I'm Ali - a photographer who built her business from the ground up and wants to help others do the same.

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Styled Shoot Red Flags

February 16, 2021

Styled shoots are a great way to expand your portfolio and target your ideal client. They are a great way to express creativity you may not get to otherwise. They are a great way to collaborate with other industry professionals, including other photographers.

Unfortunately, however, there can be a dark side to styled shoots. There has been a trend beginning where individuals start to plan styled shoots and collect money for tickets, but never follow through with the actual styled shoot. Furthermore, these individuals may promise a high-end editorial styled shoot, but deliver a set-up that is less than desirable.

In order to avoid these styled shoots and their organizers, look for these red flags:

  1. They don’t have all the vendors lined up prior to selling tickets to the shoot. Especially if they haven’t nailed down a venue! Venue is key because without a location, you don’t have a shoot! Additionally, you should totally check out the rest of the vendors Instagram pages at the very least!
  2. They don’t have a professional website. Anyone can go on Pinterest and find beautiful images for a mood board, throw them together, and post it saying they are hosting a “European-Inspired Editorial Shoot.” But if they don’t have a professional website that has similar work on it, don’t trust them!
  3. They collect money through unofficial channels. By unofficial channels I mean Venmo…something that’s not connected to a legitimate business account. A safe rule to go by is if you purchase the ticket directly from their professional website and they have the payments set up there…you are probably in good hands!
  4. Their business name has changed. Believe it or not, I know multiple “business owners” who have changed their business name so that their bad reputation doesn’t follow them as closely. If you see multiple iterations of the same business, then you should steer clear!

I wish everyone was honest and truly looking to better others and their businesses, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case! Instead, do your homework, be informed, and make an educated decision when selecting a styled shoot to attend!

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