Working on a styled shoot and gaining any type of work experience opportunity is something our Wedding Academy students love as it is such a valuable addition to the Wedding Business Launchpad Course.
It’s always exciting for us to see just how our students put what they learn into practice and today I want to introduce you to Niki Romanou who recently had an opportunity to work with our Brand Manager, Martha of Anemone Style, on one of her styled shoots.
Martha is not only an Academy Alumni but a talented planner and stylist in her own right.
So without further ado I’ll let Niki tell you about her experience.
Niki can you describe the event you worked on?
The theme of the day event organised by Martha at Anemone was ‘Modern Baroque Winter Wedding Styled Shoot’ and it took place at the Queen’s House at the Royal Museums Greenwich.
The shoot team (onsite and offsite) consisted of 12 different suppliers so it was truly a (dream) team work!
Had you ever worked on an event like this before?
No – never on an event of this scale.
This summer, I planned an impromptu styled shoot for an engagement dinner party with an island boho vibe in Paros, Greece on a much lower scale.
I took way too much of this on myself and although I learned a lot in the process, I also realised how much I would benefit at this stage from partnering with experienced creatives in my area who have done professional styled shoots before.
What were your top 3 lessons learned from the experience?
- (Organising and) Working a styled shoot is intense: on the day of, everyone involved, does a lot more than their job which is pretty much what happens on an actual wedding day. It is not always glamorous and it is hard work BUT you are surrounded by a team and this makes all the difference. I recall us setting the backdrop for some of the shots and for a moment I felt like we were stuck on how to best style it: we opened up to the team and ended up exploring different options together which was way more creative and fun!
- Planning and preparation are key: there are many things to think through so make sure you give yourself enough time to pull all the details (big and small) together well in advance and have backup plans. You will be expected to improvise and think on your feet so the less you have to focus on problem-solving, the more you’ll be able to concentrate on the creative and fun sides of the shoot.
- Collaboration is a must: styled shoots depend on collaboration and creating a culture of trust and appreciation is important. Communicate your vision to your team early, set clear expectations to all suppliers at all times (before – during and after the shoot), listen to their needs and be respectful of the creativity of everyone involved.
What was it like being able to put everything you have learnt as part of your course into practice?
It felt like stepping out of my comfort zone, slightly uncomfortable at times, but overall extremely grateful and passionate about the task at hand.
I was very keen to implement my learning in real life and start embracing the new venture I am about to embark on, with its challenges, and see where it leads me.
Did you have any moments where you were able to think, ‘oh yes, I remember learning this in my course‘?
It was as if this was a live demo from the course which made me have many ‘aha’ moments during the day (the list is long!).
As I did not have the chance to complete the Styled Shoot 101 module before the event, I remember going through the course material the next morning and reading all about what I had experienced the day before and it all made perfect sense.
I found the content and worksheets and checklists shared on creating the concept, planning the activity and marketing your styled shoot incredibly helpful.
If you had to sum up the experience in one sentence what would you say?
Insightful, in so many ways – I think that’s the word that best describes it for me.
I not only had the chance to experience first hand how a styled shoot should be run (and gain a better understanding of what actually goes behind organising one) but I also had the opportunity to observe myself in a new setting, doing something that I had never done before, surrounded by experienced creatives and working collaboratively.
I found myself taking notes on the way home that evening and reflecting on things that went well and things I learned and could start working on in order to build expertise and become more confident in the future.
What would you say to others looking for a similar experience?
Go for it – hands down, one of the best things I’ve experienced recently and I look forward to taking part in other similar projects as well as organising my own one soon.
Styled shoots are a fantastic way to put your planning, styling and designs skills into action, especially if you are at the beginning of your journey and keen to learn new things from experienced professionals.
You’ll also have the opportunity to meet new people, exchange ideas, test different approaches and expand your network which can help you out in the future.
Last but not least, be open to learn from everyone in the shoot. You do learn something new each time which is just one of the reasons I love and believe in them.
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