This time of year as business begins to wind down I start to seek out different ways to be creative and meet new vendors. One way I love doing this is by collaborating with other local vendors on styled shoots. In case you’re not sure what a styled shoot is I’ll explain. You or a group of creatives, come up with an idea and then work together to create a photoshoot that brings that idea to life. For me it’s usually always wedding related but for some they like to use this time to express their creativity outside of the realm of weddings.
I’ll be honest, a full blown styled shoot is not easy, for any of the vendors. It requires a lot of planning, design and many times, money. If you are considering planning a shoot, this Champagne Toast is for you. This will be a three part series, this first part is about reaching out to meet with the vendors you’d like to work with.
Get familiar with the vendors you want to work with. Don’t just send an email requesting they work with you. Research their business a bit and compliment a recent wedding they’ve photographed or congratulate them for a recent accolade. Showing that you are familiar with what they are doing will peak their interest a bit and make them more likely to agree to meeting with you, or at least return your email!
Be honest. Tell them that you would love to meet with them to learn more about them (not their business or business model, them) and see if they would be interested in collaborating with you in the future. Also, be honest if you’re looking to build your portfolio or interested in collaborating for press.
Don’t push or seem thirsty. Maybe they replied and they were less than enthusiastic about meeting you or they flat out said not right now. That’s cool! Thank them for their time and wish them a successful season. Not everyone is going to be interested, and that’s okay.
Listen and share ideas. When you finally get the opportunity to connect, whether it be via email, phone or in person, allow them to ask questions and share their ideas. If you show up ready to talk all about yourself, your ideas and why they need to work with you, you will turn them off.
This first step is the most important step in the style shoot process. If you do this right it will most likely lead to a valuable relationship with a vendor and in many cases, amazing friendships.
How do you reach out to vendors that you’re interested in working with?
I’m periscoping tonight at 9:30 about the vendor meet up and building relationships. Join me@laurenoevents!
Until next time, happy planning!