In January, we, Ashley Westphal and Ashlyn Perkins, had the opportunity to do a collaborative shoot together, which started by networking through Clickin Moms.
Apart from simply having a blast and making friends in the industry, collaborating on a styled shoot is a great opportunity to push your creativity, plan for and split the cost of the shoot, try out different gear, and learn from one another before, during and after the shoot.
Since we decided to do a non-paying collaborative shoot, we had full reign over how we wanted to style the shoot. Being in control over the styling gave us a perfect opportunity to push our own creativity and brainstorm together regarding color palettes, wardrobe, props, location and makeup.
We live in different cities, so we used technology to our advantage. We used the group feature in Pinterest to set up a joint Pin Board where we could pin and discuss ideas (see it here), which worked seamlessly for sharing ideas and getting on the same page for the vision of the shoot.
We wanted this shoot to be fresh and modern with a touch of boho near the end of the shoot. Our color palette consisted of pinks, creams and turquoises, and we wanted to add touches of lace and floral to the images. Ashley had the awesome idea of asking a florist to make a floral wreath (which I never realized they could do!), and we tracked down a fun turquoise bike to use as a prop. Planning and brainstorming together made styling the shoot on the day of much easier and coherent.
Splitting the Cost:
Another benefit of collaborating was splitting the cost. We both took a task (such as wardrobe, makeup artist, flower headwreath and bouquet), tracked down the goods/service then split the cost. Having someone to divide the cost and workload of the prep with, while both being able to get fresh shots for our portfolios, was a great advantage for both of us.
Learning From One Another:
Learning from one another was one of the biggest advantages of planning a shoot together. For example, previously, Ashley had not been a big fan of reflectors in her own work. She felt that, in her work, it often came across looking harsh and over-lit. Ashlyn showed Ashley that switching out her reflector type could make a dramatic difference in the light of the reflector. Ashley also got to see how Ashlyn pushed herself to use her long portrait lens for unconventional uses, which pushed Ashley both creatively and technically with her lens arsenal.
On the other hand, Ashlyn felt she was not so savvy when it comes to posing, so watching Ashley seamlessly pose and instruct the model was inspirational and insightful. She loved watching her interact with the model, get her to laugh and also demonstrate the poses in order to get lovely and natural shots. She gave Ashlyn an awesome example to follow and new ideas to implement while working with models and seniors.
Another benefit of shooting with another photographer is not only seeing how they operate on the shoot, but seeing what they operate with. Ashlyn brought her giant foam core reflectors, which is something that Ashley would have never considered using outdoors prior to this shoot. Not only does Ashlyn rock those babies on her own outdoors, but she does it beautifully, and showed Ashley that it was feasible to work with them outdoors!
Making Friends/Having fun:
This was our favorite part of the entire experience. Not only did we learn a ton from each other, get to try out gear, get to stretch our creativity, and share the costs of a styled shoot, but we each made a new friend. Our shoot took place the day before Imaging, and since we shoot similar subjects, we had a buddy to attend classes with, a friend to network through, and a lunch date! We still keep in touch, follow each other’s work, and chat via CM and email!
Thank you, ladies, for the wonderful post!