“Styling for photography is very different to general styling. What we see with the naked eye sometimes doesn’t translate to the image. As professionals we always work with our camera attached to our laptop and scrutinise each picture until we are happy with the result,” says stylist Penny Hyams of The Studio Melbourne.
Located in the Melbourne suburb of Moorabbin, Penny runs her gorgeous warehouse studio alongside her best friend, photographer Sandy Rogulic where they create imagery for many brands and run an event space too.
“It was after we submitted a project to Home Beautiful magazine that we realised there were so many people looking for beautiful and affordable imagery for social media and more general online use,” says Sandy. And with years of precious experience in the trade, today the ladies share their top ten tips for product styling and shooting like a professional.
1. Over styling
If there’s too much going on in the scene, nothing feels balanced. It’s what you take out of the image, not what you put in that makes the biggest difference.
Getting the scale right in the scene is crucial. Too many same size items grouped together looks boring. Mix up the size, shape and texture. Take your picture and really examine it until you’re happy with the composition.
3. Natural light
This is our favourite! Chase the light around your house and learn where the best light is and what time of day is the nicest time to shoot.
4. Breathing space
Leave space between the items you are shooting. Sometimes what looks separate to the naked eye looks attached in a photo. For example, you should leave some space between your bed and bedside table or it can look like they are joined.
5. Human elements
Include a human element in the image. For example a pair of glasses resting on a book or a hand on a glass will give the image some life and interest.
Be aware of background. Try not to have an overly busy background as it is very distracting.
7. Be prepared!
Have a few different props on hand in case what you had planned just doesn’t work.
8. Mix it up
Try and mix up your selection of props. Sometimes adding an aged piece with the perfect patina into a scene is exactly what’s needed to elevate the image to something great.
9. Don’t copy other people’s work!
Sure, you can be inspired by a style you like but always inject your own personality into the pic. The more you play with this the better you become and the clearer it is what makes the magic happen.
10. Have fun and keep your ego in check!
When we work with other businesses and creatives, everyone has something valid to contribute. Sometimes it’s that one little thing that seems so insignificant that creates the hero shot. In our experience it’s usually the simple act of taking one thing out of the shot!
The Studio Melbourne style and shoot everything from cushions to fashion for small to large businesses from their Moorabbin warehouse. They also run styling for photography classes a few times a year.