3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Creating a Branding Shoot


Wedding editorials are INCREDIBLE to get to know other professionals and show your aesthetic. Branding, my friends, is winning the hearts of editors everywhere for their ARTISTIC and immediate VALUE delivered to blog followers... more so than traditional inspiration shoots.

I will be sharing a LOT more about BRANDING x INSPIRATION shoots here (in celebration of my branding feature on ONCEWED, hello!) but it all starts with a few key questions.

Here are the first 3 ones I ask my branding clients to design the perfect picture for them:

Photography D'Arcy Benincosa

Photography D'Arcy Benincosa


1. What is YOUR CLIENT's mood and feel?

What do you want your ideal clients to see and feel when they first reach your site? Do you want them to get excited, relaxed, hopeful...?

Don't overthink it but do some research...think about your best client so far and consider what she feels, what brands she loves, what wedding blogs she followed for her wedding and go for that feel. 


Photo: D'Arcy Benincosa

Photo: D'Arcy Benincosa

2. What is your GOAL for this shoot?  

How long would you like to have this 'brand feel'? Forever or just until the next awesome trend comes along? Is this a brand refresher or you are creating a whole new brand with those images?

While this might sound a little odd, it is so important to know if you are creating a shoot to get published (hence a lot more of the editorial punch is key) or to get you more of your ideal client. 

Oh Roberta, you silly...both of course! Nah Nah I say. The easiest way to come up with a totally blah shoot is to try to nail all your marketing goals in one go. Brides are not necessarily the most fashion forward people you know?! 

Decide if you want to create editorial material or emotional, relatable photos for brides to fall in love with you on a glimpse.

Pick one and go with it. 



3. What are your brand MUSES? 

Now we are talking serious branding terms here... what creatives, blogs, brands inspire your BEST WORK the most?

For a jewelry client we picked Sugar Paper as a muse. Did we copy everything Sugar Paper does for its brand? Of course no! Did we look at the website, the newsletter, the products to see how the brand communicates to its clients? Heck yes!

Even if you choose a fellow photographer or a stylist you love, look deep into what really attracts you to their work and how you could make it your own. The shortest way to disappointment is to try to copy someone's work. That style is taken and it is so done, you can create something fresh and equally as beautiful.


Here is what we did to get inspired without totally copying it...



My MUSE for this shoot (and for my whole brand really) was this shoot from D'Arcy Benincosa and Sarah Winward, featured at OnceWed a while back. 

I made it my own with an intricate dress in a beautiful color + soft, organic details. I also wanted florals of a different texture and colors so I partnered with Kelly Lenard to design something a little more 'branchy' for the shoot.



Ahh so now you are ready to create your own branding shoot and can dive into your marketing goals more confidently. There is still a ton of work to shoot and then implement the photos so...


Follow along as I peel all the layers of creating a styled shoot and leave your questions and comments below! I would love to hear how your branding is going :)

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How to Book Clients OUTSIDE of Social Media (and relax about your grid!)

There is a bunch of reallly great training on social media out there and at least a gazillion IG accounts that seem to be getting more followers than celebrities these days.

We all know them, follow them and COMPARE ourselves to them several times a day. Social Media anxiety IS a thing and we all are going to fall ill of it sooner or later...just accept it! 

Nat from PapelnCo has some serious IG skills!

Nat from PapelnCo has some serious IG skills!


While I am still a baby account...


I am not saying quit social media if you are not making any money with it! There is real money and tons of potential in having a great social media presence and you NEED a piece of that pie to grow. Nonetheless,

while you learn and build your tribe online go make money in the real world!

About 60% of my business income comes from good ol networking and face to face meetings. Not only that allows me to have clients and pay the bills (which I am so grateful for), it also means I don't have to freak out every time I get 10 followers and still show a total of 1518!!! 

I sold more styling kits to people that know me in person than through social media efforts this far! You know why? Because people will always trust a thoughtful conversation, a recommendation or a beautiful business card. 

Here are 2 of my most successful strategies to book clients in real life:


Is this you? Waiting for clients to find you? Photo: Gert Huygaerts

Is this you? Waiting for clients to find you?

Photo: Gert Huygaerts


Stop waiting and start booking...just put your work out there!


1. Know your ideal client and go after it

This is the best way to book clients AND it will bring you so much joy to work with them. When I started designing photoshoots I had a list of people and items I loved working with and those were my first contacts!

Photographers for example should connect with local venues/planners and instead of putting together a photoshoot why not gift a couple a mini session at that venue. Or offer to photograph one of their mixers so you can connect with brides. There are plenty of ways you can get in front of the client and not have to give the elevator pitch. 

You can print a portfolio and hand it to locations where you want to shoot or where you think your client hangs out. If you are a designer or florist make a sample of your work and gift to local stores that have your 'vibe'. If you are a good match, the perfect client will see your work first and book you!


2. Collaborate the right way

This is big right now...everybody wants to collaborate and I hear more and more that people are frustrated and don't want to work for free and so on! Well, you are just not doing it right.

Collaborations were THE WAY I got my foot on the door and still gets me the most PROFITABLE clients.

You just have to be super clear on:


Those questions always help me assess a project:

Do you want that person as a client?

Do you want to get in their IG feed?

Do you want that planner/dress shop/venue to recommend you to their brides?

Do you have what it takes to do an excelent job and profit from it?

But that is not all...once you assessed it is a good fit, you have to check if you are going to PROFIT from it:

How much am I investing? 

Am I taking time from other activities? 

Are we all in agreement? Do we all agree we want to work together so we can refer each other?

Have I communicated clearly all my vision, my expectations and everybody is like hell ya?!


and don't forget to send a friendly reminder, every now and then, that you are there for your vendors and down for more projects!


I might not have the best social media presence (right now) but sure keep things moving with those tips I shared. If you want to partner with The Romanticist for a BRANDING SHOOT, send us a note here :)




5 reasons why you should ditch the ballroom


With so much inspiration for your big day it is more than likely you are overwhelmed with all the possibilities available to you and how to bring your vision for your dream wedding to life.  What if, for a moment you stepped away from the tradition and the expectation of what you feel your wedding should be and dreamed for a moment about the possibility of taking your wedding outside of the typical ballroom.  We at The Romanticist Studios feel that it is time to ditch the ballroom and think outside the box and we have compiled our top 5 reasons why you should!


Reason 1: Your guests will talk about it FOREVER!

I mean really...if you think anybody will remember your perfectly aligned Chiavari chairs or how your florals were so lush, forget it! Guests (no matter how many) just want to have a good time and celebrate with friends and family around them.  How amazing would it be to give your guests an extra special experience not only of celebrating the love you have for each other but to take them on that magical journey with you to say the IceHotel in Sweden!  That is sure to be something guests would talk about for years to come!

Outside the Icehotel in Sweden - Photo by: The Romanticist Studios

Outside the Icehotel in Sweden - Photo by: The Romanticist Studios

Reason 2: Your honeymoon is covered!

That goes without explaining...if you bring your crew to Cinque Terre in Italy, there would be no reason to go anywhere else for your honeymoon. Keep the excitement of going to a new place by just taking the local train to another one of the 5 villages that make up the unique destination of Cinque Terre.  Eliminate the stress before your wedding by lounging on the beach or doing some sightseeing, eating at local restaurants and just being present in the moment while the pros handle everything else!  To learn more about Cinque Terre, check out our post from our Wedding Wanderlust series here!

You can get married overlooking this ocean in Cinque Terre - Photo: The Romanticist Studios

You can get married overlooking this ocean in Cinque Terre - Photo: The Romanticist Studios

Reason 3:  Make Your Fairytale Wedding a Reality

Thinking outside the box and leaving some of those traditions behind can really allow you to live out your fairytale wedding and bring it to life.  As a child did you dream about Cinderella and getting married in a castle? Did you dream about getting married on a mountaintop or or under a canopy of lights or in a beautiful home in Paris? All of these things can become reality if you make the decision to ditch the ballroom and run with your ideas.

How about a little Chateau in France. Photo: Greg Finck

How about a little Chateau in France. Photo: Greg Finck

Reason 4: You will Create Lasting Memories and have a Million Stories to Tell

Even though traditional weddings create many lasting memories, travelling and spending more than just a day with family and friends can really create some special moments and stories that can be passed down for generations. 

If your significant other wears an uniform, why not pay homage and get married at a real Fort? Photo: Elizabeth LaDuca, Fort Adams, Newport, RI

If your significant other wears an uniform, why not pay homage and get married at a real Fort? Photo: Elizabeth LaDuca, Fort Adams, Newport, RI

Reason 5: You Can Still Wear a Ballgown

Don't think that because you are holding your wedding outside of a ballroom or even outside in general that it means you can't wear the biggest ballgown you can find! Your location doesn't necessarily dictate what type of dress you wear, just need some aadjustments (like a flowy ballgown instead a a suoer stiff one).

 It is your day and you can wear your dream gown no matter where you hold your wedding. You can dance if you want to... :)

Garden weddings are THE BEST! Couple: Roberta and Josh West | Dress: Vera Wang Hayley | Photo: EverTrue Studios

Garden weddings are THE BEST! Couple: Roberta and Josh West | Dress: Vera Wang Hayley | Photo: EverTrue Studios

Photo: EverTrue Studios

Photo: EverTrue Studios

We hope that after reading through our reasons why you should ditch the ballroom, that you will definitely consider taking your dream wedding outside of the traditional box and create something truly amazing that will create many lasting memories for years to come!

When you decide where in the world...we will do it for you!

After weddings and editorials in France, Denmark, Brazil and in the US, that is all we want to do for ever!

Roberta WestComment