HTP's Cotton Candy Couture Shoot

Fluffy pink cotton candy, sparkly details, and luxurious gold accents?! Yes, please!

When Hope Taylor asked me to style her March workshop I was SO thrilled! Styling an event is one thing, but putting together all of the little details and styling a space for photographers to learn is an entire different task. I was up for the challenge!

Some of my creative industry friends expressed their fears of styling something that 10+ photographers are capturing. I get it, it can be intimidating and overwhelming to make sure every angle is styled to perfection! Here's a few tips to get you started whether you are designer/stylist or even a photographer looking to style your own shoot!

Tips on styled shoots for educational workshops:

1. The little details matter most!

While Hope can teach the HOW and the WHY - - she trusted me to come up with the WHAT! Working to pull together as many details as possible is key when it comes to a workshop. From the glitter detail on the invitation, the lemon slice on the rim of the glass, the desserts in the center of each place setting... these little details go a LONG way!

2. Try new things that are interesting and different!

Don't be afraid to be unique... and sometimes that means doing something a little bit out of the box. Cotton candy as centerpieces... why not? Flowers for dessert? Sounds pretty! True story, we were down a few desserts and had an extra cake stand. So, I decided to fill the large cake stand with roses INSTEAD of desserts. It seems a bit odd and unusual at the time but it photographed so well!

3. Collaborate with the experts.

When working on a styled shoot for a workshop, it's not a bad idea to bring in other creatives! The rentals shown below are from White Glove Rentals, beautiful blooms sourced from Amanda Veronee, and faux cotton candy from Sugar Soiree.

4. Go big or go home!

Who doesn't love to photograph over-the-top details?! I could have easily popped up a banquet table, placed a linen on it and called it a day. Instead, we had this gorgeous white table trucked in from Maryland. We could have easily made this shoot work in Hope's studio. Instead, we fell in LOVE with these marble floors and had to make it work in the hallway of the Jepson Center. If you are going to do something, DO IT big!

5. Communicate your needs.

Don't be afraid to communicate with your photographer or stylist your needs and expectations. If I want a specific shot from Hope, I will just ask her! In most cases she has already photographed this or was planning on it.. However, it is better to be safe and clearly communicate your needs. As a stylist, I like to communicate the overall design and vision to ensure we are on the same page. You can create a mood board to visually display what you are envisioning or even make a list of each vignette and what it will consist of.

Here are a few of my FAVORITE images from Hope!


Caroline Doll