Photographers, if you have ever struggled with what to put in your styling kit, or how to transport everything to a wedding – this blog post is for you! I wanted to share with you all what makes up my styling kit. I bring it with me to weddings, styled shoots etc. and it has taken me a while to figure out an efficient and practical way to transport everything I need. Over the years, I have collected a lot of different goodies that I have found really useful to have as a wedding photographer. So today, I thought I would go into detail for anyone who might find this helpful.
I want to first start out with how I transport all of the items I have. I originally bought a kit that had removable dividers. At first I thought this would be great as I was able to customize the size of the compartments. But, I quickly learned that was not the case. The dividers kept falling out which caused all of my styling accessories inside to get mixed up and it was just a mess. I ended up finding a bin that is a gem and I recommend it to everyone that asks! The one I found is a lot deeper and has a handle so it is easy to carry around on a wedding day. Also, the dividers are permanent, so they stay in place. It is great because there is a variety of different size compartments so I haven’t had an issue making everything fit! The best thing about this one is it is only $20 off Amazon! Here is the link!
Now let’s talk about what I put in my styling kit! I will begin by showing you all of the different things I put in it and then at the end of the blog post, I will show you how I fit it all in my particular carrying case. First things first, you have to have ribbon! I get my ribbon from a few different places. (Tono and Co., Frou Frou Chic, Silk and Willow, Bellame Ribbon and even Etsy) Having a variety of colors and different textures really helps you be prepared for any wedding! Also, a good tip, if your ribbon is wrinkled, use a hair straightener! It is quick and easy and works wonders!
Another good thing to have are these clamps! I got mine at Home Depot. They are great for many things but I use mine mostly for clamping sample-sized dresses at styled shoots or securing different colored fabric to my styling board.
Ring boxes. I have collected many of these over time and love how each one is so unique! Most of these boxes are from The MRS BOX but I do find a lot of vintage ring boxes on Etsy too. Again, I like to have a good variety because each wedding is so unique. I know this is a big investment but your clients will be so appreciative and it really helps you feel professional and prepared for whatever may be thrown your way!
I have also collected a lot of random things that I find helpful to have as well! I go to estate sales, consignment shops, and garage sales to search for one-of-a-kind pieces to add to my kit. These wax seals are nice if you are photographing an invitation that has a wax seal and you want to add it to the flat lay. I got these from Stamptitude and love them! Another helpful tip: if you are shooting an invitation that does not have a wax seal, be sure not to style it with a wax seal stamp because it will just not look right. You want to make sure everything you are styling is cohesive, hence why it is helpful to have a larger collection to pull from! (If you look closely you can see me in the reflection of the spoon, woops! haha)
Vintage stamps are a great thing to have in your kit as well! Sometimes invitations that you are given won’t have stamps so it is nice to add them in when you are styling. I got these off of Etsy I believe!
Heirloom Bindery just released these styling blocks which really come in handy when styling invitations and other paper goods! Because they are transparent they let light through so shadows are less noticeable. They are also stackable which is really nice if you want to play with different heights!
They also come in this nice little linen case which keeps them together and organized!
In the photo below I show some other items that I find really helpful to have with me. The Gogoheel stoppers are great for brides or bridesmaids that don’t want their heels to sink into the grass! I also have this Gem Pen ring cleaner cloth that I got from The MRS BOX! The last thing is this mini emergency kit which is simply a lifesaver. You never know what someone may need when you are at a wedding, so having that on me makes me feel super prepared and helpful! It has everything from clear elastics to lip balm! See the next image for everything it contains. And it all fits in this tiny little kit!! Amazing!
The last item I keep in my styling kit is fabric. I like to have a few different options to choose from. These are great if you want to use them for styling. Sometimes I put the fabric over my styling board to add texture and dimension! They are just a great accessory to have I think!
Now that I have shown you all that makes up my kit, I wanted to demonstrate how I fit it all in the compartments. I separate my ribbons by ones that have a spool and ones that don’t to help with saving room. My ring boxes fit really nicely all together in that one compartment on the middle left. All of the harder items like scissors, wax seals and small dishes I put in the bottom right. And then the larger pieces of fabric and the emergency kit go in the largest area on the top. You can obviously arrange this however you would like, but for what I own I have found this to make the most sense!
Now one thing I absolutely love about this ArtBin container is the handle. This makes transportation such a breeze. Once it clicks closed, it is secure and I can grab it on the go very easily. I also really enjoy that the top is transparent so I can see the items inside easily.
I have been asked before how to communicate with brides regarding what I bring and what I do if they have their own things that they want me to use for styling on their wedding day. When I have their final phone call a week before their wedding, I go over this and usually discuss what I have. I also have a few vintage hangers in different colors so I ask them if they have a special hanger for their dress or if they want me to bring one of mine, and if so, what color they would prefer. There have been lots of occasions where a bride has something they would like me to use, like a ring box etc. and I, of course, use what is special to them! My styling kit is just a really helpful tool to have if for some reason there is not much to pull from on the actual wedding day. I also get a lot of use out of this kit during styled shoots! Having an array of different colored ribbons and other items to play with really is great when shooting an editorial.
Keep in mind my kit is always growing and changing depending on what goodies I can find, and I think that is a good thing! I hope this blog post was helpful for some of you! Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have! You can follow me on Instagram too if you would like (@mallorydawnphoto)! I am always posting tips for photographers that I find helpful. I have a “highlight” saved on there that is dedicated to photography tips if you want to check that out! Thank you for reading!