Styled shoots allow creatives to come together to plan, design and style events that demonstrate their abilities and creative talents. It's a way to express ourselves artistically. Sure, you don't know see all of the behind the scenes work, sweat and dirt that goes into the shoot, but that's not what draws your eye.
If you were deciding between two different wedding planners, each with the exact same packages, prices and quality of work, but the only difference between the two is their portfolio, you will go with the one that is more aesthetically appealing to you. And there is NOTHING wrong with that.
What someone has in their portfolio demonstrates not only some of their abilities, but what they excel in and are interested. One of the most important factors in hiring your wedding vendors is that they mesh well with your personality and style. Now I know pictures alone won't seal the deal, but the pictures you see are what makes you want to reach out to that vendor and want to know more. Only then will you be able to get a look into the behind the scenes details.
Behind the scenes needs to be just that.
We live in a world where possibilities are endless, trends are constantly changing and aesthetics are key to inspiration.
Sure, styled shoots aren't real. I agree 127% that real work needs to be featured in portfolios and not just styled shoots. Yes, I totally picked a random number just then. And it's true that the cost to turn a styled shoot into a real wedding for 100+ is usually very pricey; but this is what inspiration comes from for those that need visuals to picture something.
Real or not, styled shoots are not only beneficial, but they are a marketing tool. They are designed to inspire, captivate and draw in potential clients.