I get many questions on photography and styling so I thought I will share some tips here with photos from a shoot for Scanteak Canada. Photographed at their storefront in Gastown, Vancouver.
There is no happier moment for me than being behind the camera, making something and bringing an idea to life. Here are tips that I have found helpful for executing shoots and styling still life.
1. Research, location scout, chose the right props
I am always guilty of over-preparing but I take comfort in how research, scouting your location and choosing the right props go a long way. I look to Pinterest and my favorite lifestyle brands for inspiration and narrow each shoot down to a theme with a list of props. You don't need a lot to create magic but it does take practice and skill to create a refined look. Remember that imperfection is beautiful too.
2. Look for the light
Lighting! Photography is all about lighting. Of course, edits can made in post production but it always best to start with a strong image.
I love working with natural light (I shoot with flash when necessary). I prefer to shoot by a large window during a time when there is no direct light hitting the subject. If I am shooting indoors I turn off all lights as multiple light sources can distract and change the tone of your photos. For cloudy days, I long expose my shots on my tripod (I use a compact Manfrotto). Good lighting will never fail you.
3. Print out visual guides
If you tend to get a little anxious on set, a good trick is to sketch your concepts, put together a mood board, print out reference images and bring it to the shoot. It's very helpful having a visual guide on set and you will save time communicating to people (example: bring me a prop that looks like this).
Other than that, having a shot list, hiring an assistant to help you on set is always a good idea. And of course, take these tips with a grain of salt and trust your gut. Everything comes with practice.
Thank you for reading.
Feel free to leave your questions or comments here.