Should you buy tickets to a styled shoot?
When it comes to styled shoots, there’s a lot to understand. Styled shoots can be great for building a portfolio, getting work published, collaborating with fellow vendors, and keeping up your photography practice even in the off-season. But there’s a controversial topic for photographers when it comes to styled shoots. With many styled shoots, photographers are required to pay for tickets. So, should you really buy tickets to a styled shoot?
Pro: Not having to put in the production work yourself
One of the major pros of purchasing a ticket for a styled shoot is not having to put in the production work yourself. Producing shoots can take a lot of time, energy and money. Having it all set up and ready to go can take a lot of stress off of your plate, and allow you to focus on what you love to do.
Pro: Connecting with new vendors you may not have otherwise worked with
A pre-planned styled shoot means you’re just dropping in on something that’s already planned. This is a great opportunity to connect with the involved vendors that you may not have otherwise worked with. These connections can take you past the styled shoot and into the rest of your working world. You may become their go-to recommendation if you click enough, and vice versa.
Pro: Creating new content for your business to do magazine submissions, share on social media
Buying tickets to styled shoots is an easy way to generate content for your business. If you’re looking for more work to post on social media or submit to magazines, buying tickets to styled shoots is a great way to keep generating content. Just make sure the planners are aligned with your specific intention with the images – they may also be submitting images to the same places that you are.
Con: You don’t have a creative say in the shoot
Most of the time when it comes to styled shoots that sell tickets, they’ve already been planned and conceptualized. Literally all you’re doing is purchasing and showing up. This can leave you wanting a little more creativity and freedom with the shoot that may not be called for under the circumstances of purchasing a styled shoot ticket. If you’re looking for a more hands-on experience in planning a styled shoot, see my production tips on how to plan a styled shoot.
Con: Repeating portfolio work with other photographers
Styled shoot planning can range from having three tickets available to 10 tickets available. That’s a number of photographers all shooting the exact same set up. It’s likely that your styled shoot is local, so it’s also likely that all of the vendors, including photographers, are also local. This can leave you with the issue of repetitive work between your portfolio and other local photographers. If you’re competing with others in your market, you want work that is standout–– not the same cookie cutter imagery.
Is it worth it to buy styled shoot tickets?
There are both pros and cons to consider when it comes to purchasing a styled shoot ticket. It’s up to you on how much creative freedom you want, versus how much time you want to save. What’s more valuable to your business?