When we first started shooting weddings we wondered how the photographers we were following got such detail rich photos. They seemed to have clients with fancy ribbons, the perfect dress hanger, and so many other special touches. We longed for images with these many details! It just wasn’t happening though, even with our best encouragement to our brides. Then one day we learned about a styling kit.
Simply put: a styling kit is a set of details a photographer brings with them on a wedding day for detail shots. This can include all sorts of items that are meant to give your clients an elevated wedding experience! Not just that, by bringing these with you you’ll elevate the quality of your images too. When we started compiling our styling kit it was small and seemed kind of sad, but even the smallest items can make a huge difference. Over time, we’ve added more and more items to our kit, and we’re always looking for something new to bring!
Today we wanted to share with you just a little sneak peek into what our personal styling kit looks like for Katie & Alec Photography! Without fail we always bring a few must-have items that can help kick-start your styling kit: cute hangers, command strips, a cute command hook, and a clamp. We’ve also got a few “luxury” items we’ve added to our kit over time that we love having but don’t have to have: Mrs. Boxes, silk ribbons, and vintage stamps. Sometimes we’ll get playful with other items at weddings like extra flowers, pieces of leftover lace, and other fun details that are unique to that wedding!
For Her Dress
A bride’s dress is such an important piece of any wedding day. Most of the time our brides have spent a significant amount of time, emotion, and money picking the perfect dress for their wedding! We believe that this means we should put as much care into getting amazing shots of their dress. That’s why we bring a couple of cute hanger options, command strips, and command hooks to help get the best photos we can.
The hangers allow us to provide nice, higher-end looking options for dress shots in case our brides forgot to bring along one of their own. This helps us keep our shots looking nice & keeps us from having to use cheap plastic hangers that most dress shops use! The command strips and hook can help us if there is nowhere good to hang the dress. We can simply pop this on the wall without worrying about damage. Once we’re done using it we pull it off the wall and can move on with our shots quickly. The clamps come in handy by allowing us to flatter the waist line of the dress for our brides! When a wedding dress is laid flat it makes it appear much wider than our bride actually is. We simply clamp the dress from behind (just a few inches) so it looks as tiny as it will on our bride. This simple tip can make our brides feel more beautiful and add value to our images.
For the Rings
Since Katie is completely obsessed with ring shots, and our brides expect the best from us, we put a lot of effort into these! Like we mentioned before, we will sometimes pull in details from the wedding like extra flowers, the bride’s bouquet, or other personal effects. Sometimes we don’t have access to these so we decided to invest in the Mrs. Box styling set! It’s definitely pricey (about $300 for 5 luxury vintage velvet boxes), but we use them all the time. We love using them, and our brides love the results. We chose to get 5 different colors that would allow us to offer our brides the option to choose which color we use.
For the Overall Details
When we spend time shooting a couple’s details, we focus on everything from their jewelry to their invitations. Our goal is always to capture as many details as we can to honor the time our couples spent picking these details. Sometimes when we get all the details together, we could use a little something extra to make the images stand out. Our favorite ways to do this are by either popping into the background ribbon, extra flowers, or even some vintage stamps. These small items can take the quality of an image and add the luxury touch we’re looking for without detracting from the details.
Occasionally, we’ll also bring along fabric pieces or styled paper! We typically bring these when we know our couple has planned to include either glitter or a specific pattern into their wedding decor. This helps connect their overall wedding vision from the beginning to the end of the day. These also create an amazing background that gives us the perfect backdrop for detail shots. Our favorite place for amazing paper pieces is Paper Source! They’ve got some incredible inventory at a decent price!
We’re constantly looking to expand our kit and create a better wedding photography experience for our couples! We hope these ideas help you to either start your own kit or expand yours to help your own business flourish! It would mean the world to us to hear what you think of our kit and if there are any items you plan on getting. We’re also up for ideas for how we could keep expanding our our kit!
Here’s to so many beautiful weddings ahead!