Back in January, I attended my third AKP Retreat in Destin, Florida. What is the AKP Retreat? Here is a quote, from my friend & founder of the whole experience, “The Ashton Kelley Photography Retreat is a workshop for photographers. It’s centered around travel, motivation, support, creativity, and education. Our goal is to take you out of your comfort zone and introduce you to new people, new places, new destination portfolio opportunities, and the best vibes.” A lot of my friends & clients have asked me what these retreats are all about, and Ashton’s quote sums it up perfectly. Most importantly for me, it is about continued education for myself and my clients of Northeast Ohio. I love being a wedding photographer, being a part of such an important day, and by continuing my education I am giving my clients that much more every single wedding.
What is a styled shoot? A styled shoot is NOT a real wedding, it is important to know that. On a real wedding day, your photographer has many different elements and surprises to deal with, for example: lighting changes, people in the way, extreme weather, pressure, etc.( This is why you ONLY hire a professional wedding photographer!) A styled shoot is controlled, to a point (we did have extreme cold and wind in Destin), and designed to perfection. It is designed to showcase beautiful and unique details to inspire couples, showcase the photographer’s destination wedding skills, create stock photos for the photographer, as well as forcing the photographer to think outside the box and expand their creativity.
What else can be learned from a styled shoot? Different perspectives. By working side by side with other wedding photographer’s from all over the country, you see how others work, their own unique approach to details and showcasing them, as well as their own way of posing a bride and groom. Sometimes, the couple used as the bride and groom are models, and other times like in Destin, they are a real married couple. The couple in Destin were actually celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary!
If you question whether a photographer is only displaying images from a styled shoot, ask them about it. When choosing your Northeast Ohio wedding or destination wedding photographer, be sure they show you real wedding galleries, of the full day! You want to know that they can handle the real elements of a wedding day, from the dark church basement to the uplighting of a reception. If they cannot show you a full wedding gallery, move on. You deserve the best on your wedding day!
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Special thanks to my friend, Ashton, of Ashton Kelley Photography, for hosting another amazing experience. I love you girl! And, special thanks to all of the amazing vendors!
Event: AKP Coastal Retreat
Designs & Florals: Simply Gorgeous Events by Lara-Jill
Venue: Destin Bay House
Paper: Rock Paper Sisters
HMUA: Powder N Paint
Cake: Blue Lace Cakes
Ring Box: The Mrs. Box
Runner: Green Earth Studio