Styling. What is it & how do you do it? These are question we ask ourselves on a daily basis. It seems like there is always something to photograph around here and sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. Over time we have found ourselves reaching for the same items again and again, and have discovered that keeping these key items in our styling closet can help us get out of any styling rut. Whether you are taking product photos for your shop, or just want to get that perfect Instagram shot, having these 5 items on hand will help take the stress out of all of your styling endeavors.
- Flowers: They are the perfect way to add an often needed pop of color to your photos and can help bring your shots to life. Whenever I am styling a photo and it is lacking a little life, my go-to is to add some color with some flowers, preferably peonies, but lets take a moment and mourn how short peonies season is. Try having the flowers peek out of the corner of your photo or have them sitting in the background for added depth. If you are feeling daring, try layering some greenery underneath a mug or a book for some added interest. Our go-to for flowers and greenery are the silver dollar eucalyptus and white roses from Trader Joes, but we also keep a few fake succulents around in case we haven’t stocked up on fresh flowers.
- Texture: Tea towels, cloth napkins, blankets, etc. Anything you can drape across the corner or under the main attraction will give your photos a more lived-in feel and the layers will add a little something extra to your shot. Our favorite way to add texture is with a good ol’ tassel-y blanket and in the winter we love anything furry or fluffy. For kitchen shots, some classic linen napkins or a neutral tea towel are also really versatile.
- Glasses: Not to be confused with drinking glasses, we are referring to eye glasses here. You can grab a fake pair online for pretty cheap, or, if you happen to wear glasses, you’ve hit the jackpot and can use your own! These are a nice prop to add a lived in look and a human element to what you are shooting. You can fold them up or leave them open for different looks, plus they will make you look like you are super smart.
- Trays or cutting/serving boards: If you have followed our Instagram for any amount of time, you might know which tray of ours is our favorite. We do like to have some variety though, so we also mix in a cutting or serving board here and there. We have found that having a variety of sizes and textures is helpful for different types of shots. Our favorites are 1) a mixed material tray 2) a marble tray with gold handles, 3) a large wooden cutting board.
- Books: Stacking up a few books can help create differing levels in your photos, especially if everything is feeling flat and on the same plane. You don’t even need fancy coffee table books, although those are good too. Instead you can stack up some old hardbacks (take off the paper cover!) and then turn the spines away from where you are shooting. We have found some great books at Home Goods or even Goodwill for pretty cheap and we tend to use them over and over. If you have a magazine addiction like we do, you can keep your favorites for additional layering and added interest in your photos.
As you can see by our examples, we love to use multiple styling accessories in one photo.
Bonus Item! White Foam Board: If you do not have a white foam board, go out right now and get yourself one. They are a few dollars at your local grocery or craft store and they provide an easy way for you to get a clean background for your beloved flat-lay photos. They can also be propped up and used as a backdrop!
We hope this is really helpful and sparks some creativity for your photos! Styling can be a challenge and even with all the right props, sometimes it just takes time to play around with what you have and see what works! We would love to see your newly styled photos using our tips so be sure to tag us!