Last year some fellow bloggers and I sat down and decided that we wanted to find a way to bring eyes to the fashion scene in Detroit.  People already looked to places like New York or Chicago when it came to influencer opportunities but sadly Detroiters are often overlooked.  After a lot of back and forth we landed on the idea of collaborating with other bloggers of color to create some black girl magic that also highlighted cool places in Detroit.  And so we pooled our resources to host our first group blogger photo shoot at the end of 2017!  After all the love we received after posting our photos we decided to make it a monthly event.  Over a year later and we are still at it every month!  We’ve even gotten some really cool venues to host our shoots, like the Willis Show Bar where these photos were shot.  One of the biggest questions I get asked is how I manage to able to organize these shoots.  So today I’m sharing exactly how you can gather fellow influencers to create a killer photo shoot.

  1. Find a photographer.  Without a photographer, you won’t have any photos.  Plus your photographers availability will dictate when you’ll actually be able to do your photo shoot.
  2. Set a date that’s at least 3 weeks away.  Once you’ve found your photographer choose a day and time that works best with their schedule and yours.  I usually aim for a Saturday or Sunday because not all influencers are full time so they may have job schedules that you will need to work around.  Also you want to be sure that you plan a date far enough in advance that allows you plenty of time to organize everything else that needs to be taken care and participating bloggers to clear their schedule.
  3. Choose a theme and find inspiration. This is probably the easiest of all the tasks but not to be overlooked.  You want everyone to kind of coordinate on some level so having a theme and some inspiration for the other bloggers to reference is key in setting the vibe of your photo shoot.
  4. Nail down a location.  Depending on the weather this task can be relatively easy.  If it’s warm enough I suggest shooting in front of a well known landmark in your city as it’s the easiest to plan.  If you do want to shoot inside I’ve found that it’s best to reach out to a lot of places because not all are open to influencer collaboration, especially if you don’t align with their demographic.  I personally shot companies DMs on Instagram explaining a little bit about what we do, referencing a previous shoot and asking if they are open to the the idea.  But again be prepared with a few options if you do plan to use inside locations as I’ve definitely been ignored.
  5. Reach out to influencers you want to participate.  The reason this is last is because you want everything up set up and ready to go before you invite a bunch of people to participate.  This makes you look organized and like you mean business.  People in general really don’t appreciate being invited to something last minute that isn’t finalized.  Plus it takes a lot of the stress off you because now all you have to do is wait for people to say yes!
After hosting our first shoot there were definitely a lot of learned lessons, i.e. having a theme, that we were sure to implement in the following blogger photo shoots.  We have our own guidelines that we ask our participants to follow which helps things run more smoothly from start to finish.  We also try to host our shoots every 3rd Saturday around the same time so that other bloggers can plan in advance.  The one thing that I will say that has been a struggle is participant consistency.  In the beginning you may have tons of girls show up.  But what you might find is that a few months in your numbers dwindle.  That is okay!  Don’t dismiss the power of having a few solid bloggers who consistently come through with the slay.  There have been a few months where only 3 bloggers have shown up to our shoots but we continued on anyway.  That just means more time spent getting the right shots and for people to get a bunch of individuals.  For us the goal is to consistently create quality content not only for personal use but also for any venues or brands that we involve.  While these days it feels like you need big numbers, we find fulfillment in making our vision come to life!
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Photos by Jordan Bowens

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