10 years ago, before social media and wedding blogs, I created my very first photoshoot without any experience. I just had this incredible, creative desire to tell a visual story. Yes, there were no how-to guide, books or website available to help me create one, but with a lot of trial and error, I jumped right in it and just did it. And boy, am I so glad I did. Creating my first shoot has lead to many more learned lessons that only through experiences could only teach you when you’re creating an editorial shoot from scratch. And I’m excited to share a few of my favorites tips, lessons and tricks in the next few weeks

Today, let’s start with a few simple ideas that could help make your photoshoot better. I teamed up with a few my favorite fine art photographers from Colorado and South Carolina, Haroun + Smith to share their knowledge along their latest beautiful photoshoot. Cousins, Candace and Lindsey, have been in business for awhile, but they just launched their new collaborative business Haroun + Smith and it’s a match made in heaven. We chatted about who they were before and now, their creative process and lastly spilled the beans about 3 insightful strategies that could help you create a successful shoot.

1. Pick the right team of people.

I can’t stress this enough. And don’t just pick anyone that’s random. The success of shoot will be dependent on the chemistry of the team and everyone having the same vision and purpose.  For every shoot that I’ve worked on the creative team I always pull together has always been intentional. Does everyone have the same vision, same aesthetics, could one artist bring out the best in the other and vice versa, do they work well together, have they’ve always wanted to work together, etc.

For example, as individuals Candace and Lindsey always wanted to capture memories and stories in the most beautiful and artist way. Yes, they started as individual separate business, but it was not until 9 years later that they came together to form Haroun + Smith because this common bond that they had not only made it easier to work with, but different their styles of seeing strengthen their common bond. They were both were striving for more in their  work, travel, growth, and opportunities to be creative.  “Not only did or sense of style sync up, but it was because we were like minded in all areas that we were able to come together to form a business. Lindsey and I both love weddings, but we also want to move into more editorial work with an emphasis on bridal lines, teaching workshops, create projects and events, and using our work to give back. With the use of our last names, Haroun + Smith was born,” says Candace.

“Delightful” gown by Ines di Santo
Makeup & Hair by Wild Ivory Beauty
Venue, the beautfulLowndes Grove Plantation

“And it’s because of this love for capturing beauty and stories that our styled shoots have become such a success. Sure at the end of it, you’ll get amazing images, but the best part of creating a styled shoot, are the connections you make with each other, and with other artists and vendors who are part of it. Real friendships and relationships are formed, which always leads for more work together in the future. You can’t get this through social media alone.

2. Follow your gut

If you get that strong creative feeling about something, follow it. Some of my best shoots have come from following my gut.  I love how Candace says it, “We are on this planet to create and expand. Our souls crave it. I only had met our model briefly in November, so going from what I remembered of her and the way that I felt (as far a her being the inspiration of it all) I had to trust that moment and that intense feeling I had – that I had to create something with this beautiful model. And when we all saw it come together, it was more than I had ever dreamed.”

“Gabrielle” gown by Anna Maier

“Every shoot I go into I pray to God that I am able to capture His beauty, whether it be a family shoot , a maternity, an editorial, or a wedding. This is always my intention. I truly believe with this intention you can stay true to your brand, your authenticity, and your intuition will speak truth. With all of this you can connect every aspect of your shoot – from the vendors you collaborate with to the way you photograph or create – you will stay true to your voice and you’ll be able to see and create with so much clarity to what’s needed and how you want to capture and shared with the world.”

Styled & Designed by Peper Events with rentals from Eventworks and all florals designed by Fresh Weddings & Events

3. Get out of your comfort zone.

Don’t be afraid to do things a little bit out of the box. Believe in happy accidents! For Candace and Lindsey, their vision start with finding Meg at a restaurant. They were taken back by her unique stunning look. I loved that she wasn’t the typical Southern gal that you’d think of. But with her almond shaped eyes, gorgeous locks, it was a beautiful compliment to the people, the history, colorful buildings, and southern architecture of South Carolina.

”We wanted an Old World vibe mixed with that Southern Charm. But what we found that was kinda cool, was that Meg also had a modern edge to her look as well. with her tattoos and long dreadlocks, How could we blend both Southern classic style with her boho modern look? Every element of the shoot, even though in a sense was different from the other, just seemed to flow into a piece of art that leaves you wanting to stare longer. Its interesting, but it just works so well together.”

“Gabrielle” gown by Anna Maier
Gown by Liancarlo

FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY Haroun + Smith | VENUE Lowndes Grove Plantation | MODEL & TALENT Meg | HAIR & MAKEUP Brittney Gerhard of Wild Ivory Beauty| WEDDING SALON Betty Bridal Boutique | WEDDING GOWNS  “Delightful” by Indes di Santo, “Gabrielle” by Anna Maier, Liancarlo | JEWELRY Maria Elena| DESIGN & STYLING Peper Events| DISHWARE RENTALS Eventworks| FLORAL DESIGNS Fresh Weddings & Events