What is in My Styling Kit

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My styling kit is something I get questions about from photographer friends and brides alike! I started building my kit about two years ago after struggling to make some of the most simple but standard wedding details look high end. My goal is to never take away from the bride’s details but to elevate them and help them contribute to consistency throughout the completed gallery.

Some photographers are very firmly against having a styling kit and prefer to rely entirely on what the bride provides and you know what? That’s great! Personally though, my clients come to expect these carefully and beautifully styled details so my kit is an essential part of my wedding day gear.

I personally think that the most important think about creating a styling kit is making a diverse one. You don’t want to show up to 15 weddings in a row with the same ribbon and the same ring box because all of your client’s images will start to look the same! The key is for your kit items to enhance the beauty of what is already there provided by the couple, not steal the show.

So, what is in my styling kit?

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I carry a Command hook because it can be very hard to find a place to hang the dress that is also in ideal lighting and brand-focused backgrounds. For example, the venue might provide a hook but if it’s on red brick or in a space with no windows, I’m going to go find somewhere else for that dress.

The clamps I use to clip the back of the dress if it’s open back to still maintain a good silhouette, secure tricky dresses to the hanger and sometimes secure the veil to the dress for photos. They are gentle but strong. Those tiny ones are only about the size of a silver dollar.

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I love my assortment of ring boxes but I would ideally like to invest in more in the future! I do encourage my brides to get their own ring boxes because they can be such perfect heirloom pieces but I keep these on hand for the brides who don’t have their own.

The wax seals and stamps are lovely for styling with invitation suites. Etsy has lots of small shops with assortments of vintage stamps. I do think it’s important to use at least slightly vintage ones for styling. They don’t have to be 100 years old but you don’t want ones that you could pick up at the post office now.

Of course, my kit would be nothing without the ribbon! I mainly have velvet and silk all from various stores on Etsy but there are a few affordable options HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE too.

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This one might seem crazy but I have a small selection of large paint sample papers. They’re great micro-reflectors and can serve as backgrounds for macro shots in a pinch.

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I am on the hunt for more ring dishes but I snagged this pineapple one a few years ago and I loooove it. It’s the one item that I will use fairly often that my brides recognize! A bride once exclaimed, “Oh gosh! It’s the pineapple!! I get the pineapple!!” while I was styling her details. So cute.

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I have a small selection of fabric and cheese cloth for creating surfaces or layering. The lace and sequin pieces are large 1 yard cuts and the cheesecloth are 12”x12” samples.

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I pack all of this into a very handy travel makeup kit that keeps it all organized. I also have a few clear pouches to separate some of the more delicate items. I’m always looking for new items to add to my kit and I love shopping for those ribbons, searching for beautiful stamps and waiting for new and unique ring box colors! I hope this helps you if you’ve been wondering how to start building your own kit or wondering what I bring along to weddings!


SSP Coaching is now LIVE!

PASSION IS GREAT BUT IT’S ONLY A FRACTION OF RUNNING A BUSINESS.

- Lori Greiner

IT’S FINALLY HERE!

Let me first start by explaining how mentoring and coaching other creative small business owners ended up on my heart. I think it’s really hard, as human and as a small business owner, to see the mistakes that we’re making. It’s extremely difficult for us to be unbiased, to think like our customers, to see what others see.

I’m very lucky to have honest friends in the industry, truthful friends who are clients and a totally un-creative/super blunt husband to bounce my ideas off of. I’ve taken risks that have paid off and taken risks that were total flops. I also have been intimately aware of the inner workings of multiple creative small businesses in the last five years and I’ve watched them both fail and flourish. I’ve learned… a lot.

It’s easier, when you’re on the outside (but with the inside knowledge) to see what mistakes people are making, what they’re doing wonderfully, what is missing and how their brand could be better. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve wished it was appropriate to pick up the phone, call that creative I’ve worked with and scream YOU ARE TANKING YOUR BUSINESS. Stop everything you’re doing. Stop the oversharing, stop the vague posts, quit spending thousands on gear when you need an accountant and some new graphic design.

I also thrive off of the opportunity to tell a small business that they’re on the right track! You’re doing amazing, sweetie! So, I have coaches in my own life. And I want you to have one too.

My 2019 word of the year is flourish.

And personally, it means a lot for me. For my business, for my health, for my life as a daughter and a wife, for my family, for our home… I want to help a lot of different aspects of my life flourish in 2019.

But I also want to help YOU flourish.

And that’s where SSP Coaching landed on my heart.

Maybe you’re ready to make the jump from a hobby photographer to a professional but you want to do it the legal, right and more successful way and that is overwhelming. Maybe you’ve been doing this thing for the better part of a decade and you’re just not seeing the growth you thought you would. Coaching is for you.

After going full time with Savannah Smith Photography in the fall of 2014, I also had the blessed opportunity to become a boutique private photo editor for more than 25 successful photographer’s across the country. I learned the value of consistency in editing, the importance of getting images correct in camera, how to shoot for your particular style and how to correct almost anything in Lightroom.

In addition to the valuable editing and brand recognition skills that I gained, I went on to take over the client care side of the business as well - communicating with dozens and dozens of photographers daily about editing, pain points in their business, outsourcing and troubleshooting. HOLY CRAP. The amount of free business, workflow and shooting advice that I was giving out was INSANE.

It’s uncommon for creatives to love the small business side of their job but it is truly something that I love and enjoy coaching on. I was you. You’ve been trying, tirelessly, to figure it all out on your own. You’ve got all of the buzzword hashtags down pat… #girlboss #hustle #momboss #goaldigger #selfmade #calledtocreate #bosslady … but the success you dreamed of just isn’t happening. You aren’t sure where to start or where to go next. I’ve watched too many female creative small business owners FAIL on their own volition simply because they were placing outward blame instead of reflecting inward. Chances are, you’re focused on lenses or editing presets when I want you to focus on how you’re communicating with your clients, how potential clients view your business and if you’re charging what you’re worth.

Creative business mentoring allows you to get direct, unbiased and tailored feedback on what is working in your business and what needs a little extra attention. The goal is to inspire you and arm you with the tools you need to take your business to new heights and see measurable growth.

So, TODAY IS THE DAY. I hope you’ll pop over to the new SSP Coaching page and discover the two types of completely personalized, one-on-one coaching for your creative small business. And then sign yourself up for a life-(and business)-changing experience!