What could be more exciting than a new collection? Whether it be a dress collection, jewellery, accessories, cakes for a seasonal lookbook – the list goes on – it is a chance to elevate your imagery and thus your brand in the luxury wedding market.
However, there are some key things often missed when creating the images of a new collection to share with the world, and here I’m highlighting 4 of them – and how we made sure to achieve them in the case of Ailsa Munro Bridal’s new 2020 dress inspiration collection, Armada.
Often – but not always – your collection itself will have a theme. From florals to historical periods, places to literature, there is usually a commonality (be it intentional or an organic development). In the case of Ailsa Munro, she named this collection after the Spanish Armada, a fleet of ships destined for England in 1588. As a designer based on the south west coast (the desired destination for the fleet), and the shoot taking place at Pynes House, Exeter, this was naturally the starting point for shoot inspiration. It’s important to have a theme so that all the other aspects are in keeping and not just randomly thrown together.
Adding a floral display, a tablescape, details, stationery – things that are more than just what you’re promoting – give depth to a shoot. Having more than a model standing there wearing the item, for example. It might seem pointless, but actually helps your new products and creations shine brighter. Furthermore it gives a shoot more chance of being featured in high profile publications.
Do the flowers match the colour palette? Does the tablescape match the style? The aforementioned context only works if it’s cohesive throughout the shoot. This is why creating a detailed lookbook is such a key element in the shoot pre-production process. If we had thrown in a contemporary black candlestick, or a shade of blue more purple in hue, it would have thrown the whole look off.
Following on seamlessly from context is detail. The theme for this shoot was woven through each stylistic element, down to the heavy linen tablecloth and the antique style cake stands. I go the extra mile in finding the right props for a shoot. For example, It’s not just choosing gold cutlery – it’s choosing the exact style of said gold cutlery. Is it champagne gold or yellow gold? Is it modern or vintage? Plain or engraved? Right down to using gold ink calligraphy on deckle-edged paper for an invitation to view Ailsa’s collection, every detail was thought of to bring the aforementioned overarching theme to life.
As previously mentioned, submitting the images for publication in bridal blogs or magazines can be a highly successful option. This is because you are getting your creations in front of a wider audience. (You can find this shoot on English Wedding Blog). Depending on the blog or magazine, bear in mind that publishing lead times vary greatly. Therefore, you need to factor this into a marketing campaign. It’s also important not to overlook the more obvious uses of the images. Use them on social media (including any covers or banners) and your website to keep it fresh, cohesive and captivating. And don’t forget the often-overlooked printed usage!
As you can see, there are many hidden layers that are key to making a collection shoot successful. If you want to create your own stunning (and organised) styled shoot for your collection make sure you grab your copy of my Styled Shoot System!
Concept & Styling: Sarah Shuttle Creative | Photography: Lottie Ettling Photography| Dresses: Ailsa Munro Bridal | | Flowers: Ruby Alice Design | Venue: Pynes House | Hair and Make Up: Victoria Fergusson | Hair Accessories: Victoria Fergusson | Stationery: Fine Art Calligraphy | Cake: Edible Essence | Shoes: Emmy London | Ring: Sarah Gauci | Styling Assistant: The W Studio | Models: Frey Nielsen & Ella Natasia