How to Create a Stylized Photo Shoot

If you’ve been keeping up with our Treering blog, you’ve probably noticed that there are oodles of crazy cool yearbook ideas that can be brought to life through the use of a photobooth or stylized photo shoot.  While I’m sure you’re already familiar with a photobooth and how you can incorporate kooky signs and props to bring the the fun, you might be wondering how to do a stylized photo shoot, or what one even is.  Well question no more!  Here, you’ll find all the information you need to create a unique stylized photo shoot you can use in any yearbook to create a quirky, long-lasting memory!

A stylized photo shoot is a popular trend that integrates different designs together in one picture… to which there are many different varieties.  One example is having an elegantly dressed bride and groom pose in front of an old, weatherized barn.  Or, having children dress up in brightly colored adult-sized clothing – like high heels, long dresses, and pearls.  Another example could be taking a black and white image of someone holding a flower, and colorizing only the flower.  The possibilities for a stylized photo shoot are endless… and can really help bring cheer and class to your yearbook.

A stylized photo shoot doesn’t have to be pricey – use props from the play, aluminum foil to help with light, and other resources you have around. Image source: Flickr user World Literature Today

Most professional photographers offer dozens of stylized ideas, but why spend the money when you can use these guidelines to create your own unparalleled photo shoot!

  • Develop a Theme.

    Determine what you will be holding the photo shoot for.  For example, it could be a fun way to redo the usual sport team group shots.  Don’t just integrate the usual props – pompoms, tennis rackets, footballs, etc.-  but rather bring the emotion of the sport.  Maybe have the football players line up like they are in position – complete with dirty faces and sweat-soaked jerseys.  Or, hold a mock tennis match, and capture players in full swing – literally!

  • Decide the Style.

    Maybe you’ll have the subjects stand front and center in full focus, with a blurry background.  Maybe you’ll mix designs by have the stylishly-dressed homecoming court pose with old-timey royalty props.  Or, maybe you’ll come up with something brand new.

  • Scout locations.

    Will you have an outside photo shoot?  Indoors?  A mock set?  Keep your eyes peeled at all times, whether you are taking a weekend drive or just roaming the hallways.  And remember, you don’t have to shoot in and around the school to bring the sense of school.  You may find that you convey your message and emotion better in an abandoned building, outside in a field of flowers, or on the playground.

  • Picture it.

    Envision the scene you will be setting, so you can ensure that you have everything in order.  Consider the location, season, and light.  Anticipate anything that may hinder the photo shoot – like inclement weather, surroundings, etc.  Also, think about the coloring of the scenery or set, and make sure the subjects are dressed in something that will be complimentary.

  • Find the Light.

    If you are outside, choose the right time of day for your photo shoot.  This may not be the same for every picture.  If you are going for a warmer image – sunrise is best, while dusk will present different colors.  If you are shooting inside and don’t have access to professional lighting, try using the windows.  You can diffuse the light using sheer white curtains.

  • Use What You Have.

    In the same manner, don’t spend money on fancy backdrops and extravagant props.  Use what you have access to within school or from students/staff.  Maybe there is an interesting set or costumes leftover from the drama club’s last performance, or the home ec class has extra material you can use as a backdrop.  Look around for resources close to home.

  • Polish Up on Photography.

    You don’t have to be an expert photographer to take a good picture.  If you’re unsure, brush up on some basic tips.  And don’t forget to white balance!

  • Keep It Simple.

    Right now you probably have 100 ideas flowing through your head.  But remember, you are going to have to coordinate many different students, and possibly in large groups.  Don’t get too complex with your vision.  Keep the setting and props simple; it will be the people that bring fun, personality, and emotion to the picture.

  • Be flexible.

    Your camera could break, people could be out sick, it could rain on your parade.  Make sure to have a backup plan, and understand that things happen.  It is difficult to get people all in once place, so if you have to break it up into different photo shoots – so be it!  The most important thing is to do your best and have fun.

  • Relax.

    The stylized photo shoot is meant to replace the old stiff, polished portraits.  So, loosen up and get silly.  The more fun you are having, the more your subjects will feel comfortable and get into the spirit!

A stylized photo shoot is an exceptional way to bring life to your yearbook.

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