Over the weekend I had the pleasure of meeting up with a handful of amazing people at a little historic cottage in Santa Monica (right on the beach!) and styling, shooting and sharing goods of 9 of my favorite L.A. makers. It was kinda hectic, I’m not gonna lie—but it was also really fun and I learned a lot doing that much styling, shooting and sharing in such a short amount of time. I was really impressed with how fast Verizon FiOS Internet was as we uploaded everything throughout the day to a dedicated Pinterest board. With SpeedMatch, only on Verizon FiOS, upload speeds are as fast as download speeds, so the Internet was actually able to keep up with our relentless uploading — which is not always easy (Dabito and I are pr-e-tty—speedy :P)
Instead of doing just a simple event recap with you today I thought that it would be more fun (and useful!) to share some tactics, new and old for successfully styling, shooting and sharing images—so here goes!
1. Cohesive color: Pic a color palette to weave throughout the image. In the above pics, you can see I’ve woven in pops of yellow in the top pic of the Cotton & Flax home goods and pops of aqua in the image of the Paper and Type stationary and notecards. It helps the image to look more cohesive and visually harmonious.
2. Add life: While creating lifestyle images, it’s nice to ‘add life.’ Meaning, add details to the images that make them feel real and un-staged—like Paper and Type‘s hands as she jots down a note, or the shoes and jacket that are featured in the photo with the Modernhaus chairs and bags.
3. THREE is the magic number— group objects together in odd numbers (like these vases by Jen E. of Lovebugkiko) —3’s, 5’s and 7’s. It just looks better. I don’t know why, but it does :)
4. Make magic: Always bring fishing line and masking tape with you on shoots. If you can’t make holes in walls on location you can have two people hold the item up on fishing line, or tape the item to the wall–we covered an unsightly mirror with fabric in the above picture–in fact, if you look closely you can see a tiny bit of the blue tape peeking through :P –normally I’d crop it out, but I wanted to show y’all how the styling magic works! (can you find more tape holding up curtains in any of these images?? :P)
5. Add Botanicals: If you’re a regular reader here, or if you’ve taken my online styling course, you probably know what this last one is gonna be: Botanicals. You can see that there are hardly ever any photos of mine without some flowers or plants–even in simple shots like this one of this MFEO mirror. Flowers and plants breathe life into images.
6. Go Low: Squat down to get to the same level as the vignette you’re shooting. It makes for cleaner lines and a stronger focus on the object.
7. Visualize the grid: Make sure the vertical and horizontal lines of the things that you’re shooting are at 90 degree angles. See how this Modernhaus chair lines up so nicely with the lines on the window? Ya, it makes the pictures look more architectural and clean.
8. Shoot from different angles. Shoot from a bird’s eye view, from straight on and at a corner angle to see which angle works best for the product that you are shooting, like on these Lovebugkiko vessels.
9. Get up close and personal: Sometime a detail is enough to tell the whole story–You don’t need to see the whole Chaparral Studio terrarium, or the entire Modernhaus pillow set to set a sense of what you’re looking at.
10. Shoot in natural light: If you’re shooting from home, study the light and where it’s brightest (but not uneven). Choose the shot locations based on bright and even light and you’ll find your pics look amazing. (Florals by Viva Voce and vessels by Concrete Geometric.
11. Formatting: Different image formats work better in different contexts. Vertical images perform better on Pinterest. (…And unless you’ve got a regular horizontal or vertical format thing goin’ on on Instagram, I find that square images work best on that platform). Often times on blogs and websites horizontal images work best because they mimic the shape of the screen and therefor doesn’t involve scrolling or anything like that–check out these different version of the Primitive Reserve serving boards that I shared on different platforms.
12. Takeaways: Images that have a ‘takeaway’ spark the imagination and tend to perform well on platforms like Pinterest. So add a hint, idea, recipe or tip to a photo to spark the interest of your audience. For example on the above image I may write–love the idea of keeping plants on my bedside table like Chaparral Studio!
13. Variation: If you’re sharing on Instagram or Pinterest, try and keep some variation in your feed—if you post a detail shot, try and post a wider shot next time to keep your audience engaged.
14. Tagging: Be sure to add hashtags or to create your own hashtags for personal projects. Hashtags can introduce your images to totally new and wider audiences.
15. Keep it Speedy: Sharing images quickly and frequently are a HUGE part of the social media game so be sure your Internet speeds can keep up with you!!
Photography bu Dabito.
#StyleItShootItShareit is sponsored by Verizon FiOS.
Thanks to the following makers for taking part:
Cotton & Flax
Paper and Type
Viva Voce with Disregarden
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Thank you so much for sharing these secrets, some of these are tips I’ve never read anywhere else! :) Can’t wait to put them in to practice.
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Really useful tips. I find that, more than speed or frequency of sharing, timing is important if you have a global audience. I started by blogging from the northern hemisphere but then moved to the southern so knowing when people are online matters.
Zara Imrie says
WOW Justina, you have my brain going a mile a minute now with re-thinking! I am getting excited by these posts, they give me hope that I can make positive changes in styling things up..kinda suck on it lol. I love also your tips, I am now following your blog more and am reading all I can. Thank you for all your insight. Very inspiring!
Margaret Murga says
Great pictures. What kind of camera do you use?
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Thanks for sharing this! So helpful and detailed!
Amrita Basu (Misra) says
Seriously great styling tips .LI’ve your use of plants in all shots
These are really great tips. I’m trying to step my styling game up, so I found this post right on time! Thanks, Justina.
These tips are FAB! Thanks, girl!
Jessie Jade says
This is so, so, so ridiculously useful solopreneurs with no styling, design or photography background. Shooting your own pics can be SO DAUNTING. But I’m getting better every day. Thanks for the great post.
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Nadine Petschauer says
I found you on Pinterest. :) I have no financial reason for creating vignettes (apart from the odd canteen post), but as it’s a hobby of mine, I love and appreciate your tips! ….. and I feel a little proud that I’m already implementing most of them. :) I’m looking forward to seeing more of your style.
Sam Solo says
I really liked your tip about using fishing line during a shoot. I think my daughter would love this little trick of the eye when taking pictures. I’ll have to remember your tips about taping if the fishing line is too difficult for me.
Iveta Grajcarova says
Ciao ! Amo creare lo scenario di interni. E una ricerca continua di harmonia tra gli oggetti e colori. Grazie per utili consigli.
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