Custom Styled Shoot: What is it and (most importantly) what does it cost?

Styled stock photography is one of the most efficient and cost effective tools to market your stationery or calligraphy business, but even with the limited edition collections available in the Styled Stock Shop, at a certain point in your business you’re going to need unique images of your work. That’s where a custom styled shoot comes into play.

So, what exactly is a custom styled shoot, why would you need one, and what does it cost?

A custom styled shoot is exactly what it sounds like; a photoshoot that is totally unique to you, your brand, and your products. After a thoughtful 1-1 conversation, you and I work closely to pull inspiration images, discuss your brand and the future of your business, and set the direction of your shoot.

Think of a custom styled shoot as the next step in your branding. You’ve got the logo, fonts, and website; custom photography is what pulls it all together. As visual beings, people are drawn to images that help us easily digest information. Custom photography helps clients understand at a glance who you are, what you’re about, and how your products or service will serve them.

A custom shoot can range dramatically in price depending on the number of images, type of shoot, types of props, and if models or other people are involved. And as a rule of thumb, it’s usually most economical to get a lot of pictures done at once versus 3 here and 3 there (because hard costs don’t vary). If we can use the same props for 60 images in one day, the cost per image will be less than using those same props for just 3 images. Make sense?

I know, I know…I’m not telling you an exact cost. It’s hard to put a price on a shoot because of the variables, but a typical stationery shoot might look something like this:

  • Gather Inspiration (2 hours) $100

  • Source & Purchase Props (3 hours + Supplies) $300

  • Style & Shoot (8 hours, returning approx. 60 images) $800

  • Edit (2 hours) $200

    Total Investment: Roughly $1200, or $20 per image

Though I 100% believe in the power of stock photography to grow your business, I also know that having completely unique images that express your values can transform your brand.

Let me take you behind-the-scenes with a walkthrough of a recent custom shoot I completed for BettyLu Paperie.

After a 30 minute call where we discussed her products, passions, and future of her beautiful business, I went to work on a Pinterest board assembling ideas based on her brand aesthetics. Valerie, the designer of Betty Lu Paperie, decided she wanted custom stock photography, instead of a specific suite photographed. After doing some research and brainstorming, I put together a Photo Directive which puts us both on the same page as far as the mood of the shoot, the shots I’m going to capture, and the color palette.

Photography Directive- BettyLu Paperie3.jpg
Photography Directive- BettyLu Paperie4.jpg

Once approved by the client, I move pretty quickly into sourcing props and florals (my favorite part!), and schedule the shoot.

After a 1-day shoot, Valerie received 42 custom styled stock images inspired by the photo directive and her brand aesthetics. Below are just a few images from the shoot :

Here’s what Valerie (the owner and designer of Betty Lu Paperie) had to say after the shoot:

Oh my goodness, you nailed it! I am dying over here. It’s so dreamy and romantic, and better than anything I could’ve imagined. I truly love them all and how well you captured my brand. Thank you so much for all of your hard work and bringing my vision to life!
— Valerie Freeman, Betty Lu Paperie

Custom shoots are so much fun; I love working with other creatives, bringing their brand to life, and often, helping them define their aesthetic so they can stand out in a crowded market. If you’re ready to transform your brand and stand out, contact me to discuss a custom styled shoot.

Shopping the Styled Stock Shop is a great alternative and gives you the high-quality, high-resolution professionally styled images at a fraction of the price. Whatever point you’re at in your business, I want to be the best resource to help you grow.

Until next time!