how to style and photograph your design projects
January 26th, 2012
I have been more than a little preoccupied lately with photo shoots — fun, exciting … and a lot of work. I’m looking forward to sharing the results with you, but unfortunately I need to keep them under wraps for a little while longer. Until then, though, let’s talk about something we can — styling and photography.
Remember when I heard Eddie Ross speak about styling? His advice — consider “the story” — is still the absolute best. (No surprise there. Eddie and Jaithan are world class at what they do.) “The story” makes propping a shoot almost effortless! Well, unless you are hunting down things you don’t own / can’t find / can’t afford, but that’s another post.
There’s still a big piece missing, though, right? You may have a perfectly styled room — full of perfect vignettes — but unless the photographer is able to “capture the moment,” the room won’t resonate with anyone other than the people in the room right then. Sigh.
Isn’t that the rub? You’ve created a beautiful space — and the beauty doesn’t translate on film. There’s a reason that top photographers get paid the big bucks! One of my priorities for 2012 (and a big one for the end of 2011) is to invest in professional photography — so that I am able to share, truly share, what I do every day.
You don’t have to be a designer to want a great photo, either. Maybe you just want to share your hard work on your personal blog or with your family who lives away! But — if you can’t hire a professional stylist and a professional photographer (and let’s be clear, that’s the norm — not the exception) — what’s a girl to do? Study the best — and the way to do that is to study the top magazines! You can study both the styling and the angles the photographer uses.
And there’s even a “cheat sheet” — because Camille over at The Vintique Object has put together a fantastic series on photographing interiors. Camille breaks down styling to show how the eye “travels” across the entire photograph and then covers kitchens, bedrooms, dining rooms and vignettes. While she readily admits that she is not an expert and still has “a lot to learn,” Camille has done a remarkable job of identifying commonalities across all of these photos — which in turn will help you as you compose your photographs.
And if you aren’t photographing your own interiors? I’ve realized that I just cannot take a decent photograph — and candidly, I haven’t made learning how to do so a priority. (Translation: I have too many other priorities!) But Camille’s advice still helps. When a professional photographer shoots interiors, he or she usually has a computer attached so that the designer and/or stylist can see the image just taken. When I am looking at the computer screen, I’m remembering all of this information so that I can adjust for a better image on the next shot! The photographer will notice some of these things, of course, but — especially in the absence of a stylist — it helps if the designer looks for adjustments as well.
What is your best styling or photography tip? If I get enough good ones, I’ll compile them all in a separate post!
Thank you, Camille, at The Vintique Object!