5 Questions to Ask When Producing Styled Shoots

Friday, May 27, 2011

Press features, either online or in print, can bring direct revenue (couples who hire you because of the feature) and/or indirect revenue (couples who hand over a credit card because you have more press and third-party credibility than a competitor). Depending on how online editorials are formatted, they can also help your SEO as they remain on a site forever and accrue certain tech benefits over time. If you're producing an editorial or styled shoot for a wedding blog or magazine, here are some questions to consider when deciding if a particular project is worth your time and resources:

1. Is the blog or magazine paying you or reimbursing for hard costs or perishables (flowers, opened champagne bottles, etc)? Some media outlets do, many do not. If they're not covering any costs, is this particular project worth spending money out of your own pocket?

2. How long will the feature appear on the blog's front page before it's buried by new posts? Less than a day? A few days? A week? Are the links provided nofollow or dofollow (the first won't help your SEO, the second will)? If you're producing the shoot for a magazine, what are their newsstand circulation numbers? How long will it be before the issue is released?

3. If the purpose of the shoot is to "get your name out there" ask yourself WHY you need to get your name out there. Ego and industry props? Paving the way to do business in a new market? Because you sell a tangible product, so name recognition is key?

4. Will the financial return exceed the money you're spending on the shoot? If you spend $500 on a styled shoot, will the revenue generated by the exposure allow you to at least break even? How much profit does the shoot need to bring you? Obviously it's impossible to know what your exact financial return will be, but you can make an educated prediction.

5. Will you be credited? Some magazines and blogs credit each participating vendor, while others only the photographer and main designer. Find out ahead of time what type of credit you'll receive.

What are some of the things you take into account when working on an editorial or styled shoot for a wedding magazine or blog?

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