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Photography guide – Interior and Prop styling

Photography guide – Interior and Prop styling

interior and prop styling

Hello everyone! I am back with the second post in the Photography Guide series and today we are going to talk about interior and prop styling – a crucial point to understand your personal style and create interior stories, through your pictures.

But before we get into details, let’s define the word…styling. Anyone?

I know to fellow blogger friends and all of you working in the interior industry, it’s a kind of DUH-question, but for anyone starting their adventure, it might be still confusing. I get it! If you asked me before I had my blog, I wouldn’t know either, so let’s define what styling actually means and what stylists do. Do they design homes? Not quite, although interior styling is often confused with interior design (again, half of my family thinks that’s what I do!)

But the best way to explain what the term means would be to say, that it’s the process of creating what you see in the home and garden magazines and books. From the first to the last page – perfect home stories, showing beautiful decorations and accessories (so called props) – set in the right place to enhance the look of the photographed house, show new interior products or simply give us decorating ideas.

Interior and Prop styling

But, let’s be real – most of the houses, on a daily basis, do not look like what you see in the magazines, just like most of the fashion models, don’t look like when shot for the Vogue cover, right? Following that thought, the people responsible for the transformation from the „real version” to the „magazine version” are called stylists. The job can differ depending on the requirements, sometimes you will have to create a story from zero – meaning you will need to find a location, furniture, props, accessories – set it all up and photograph. Sometimes, you will visit a real home, which needs to be slightly rearranged, and styled with details before you shoot it. There are no fixed rules, it’s all about your creativity, personal style and the story you want to tell.

With number of interior blogs growing, the job of the stylist becomes widely popular, as that’s exactly what bloggers do – we style interiors using props (new accessories, DIY projects, floral arrangements, food) to create and share stories with our readers.

I believe that one of the most important things to start career as a stylist is to discover your unique style. Knowing what aetshetics you are drawn to is the key to achieve satisfying results. What I mean by that is truly ‚feeling’ the scene you are about to photograph. You want to look at your bedroom corner and just love what you see before you pick a camera.

And speaking about style – Can you name your personal style? Do you know your aesthetics? Or are you still searching?

If you look at my photos, the majority of them are white & bright, Scandinavian inspired, feminine, with an occassional pop of color. Sometimes I try different colors, but I always return to my primarly aesthetics. I can’t help it! This is me – I love whites, delicate color shades and wooden accents so while styling a scene, I would (almost always) happily arrange it with those aethetics in mind. You might be drawn towards something totally opposite – for example dark and moody photography, full of drama and emotions. But only YOU can know what’s the photo-factor inside you, only you can understand it and know how to show it. That’s where the real fun begins.

Interior Photography Guide

A good exercise to help you discover your personal style is to create a moodboard (on Pinterest – click here to see my personal example, or a real one on your wall) and pin all the images appealing to you. Go with your gut feeling and gather pictures, magazine cut outs, colors in one place to analyze them:

  • What do you see?
  • Have you noticed repeating style? Modern? Scandinavian? Eclectic? Bohemian?
  • Can you you see particular color palette in your images? Any colors stand out?
  • What mood can you feel? Happy and bright? Dark and moody?
  • What’s in your images? Home tours? Vignettes? Details? Flowers?

Answering these questions should get you closer to understand your aesthetics. It doesn’t matter if you are photographing a home tour, DIY project or styled shelf – try to show your style in every picture you take. I know it might sound like A LOT to digest if you are at the beginning of your photography adventure, but the sooner you discover your style, the closer you will get to achieve your dreamed-of results!

Be patient because it does not happen over the night and practise, practise, practise! Play with props, arrange scenes, style your home in a way you would like to see it in magazine, have fun and draw conclusions – that’s the best way to learn. I am telling you from my experience!

If you would like to read and learn more about interior and prop styling:

  • including tips on how to become a professional stylist
  • affordable e-courses packed with valuable information
  • interior styling secrets
  • books about styling and photography career choices

Resource List

Click here to receive FREE PDF with the Interior and Prop Styling Resource List.

All right! Now that we clarified what interior and prop styling is, we can move on to tips and tricks, which I will talk about in the next post. It’s definitely my favourite part so if you enjoyed this series so far, stay tuned.

Have a good week guys!

Pictures: Styling and Photography – Agata Dimmich

13 comments

Basia

Thank you very much for this helpful post, love the example with Vogue, so true! I would love to get into interior styling, so very much looking forward to read more.

    Aga

    Happy you like it! That’s how it works 🙂 If you have any specific questions, please let me know! x

Ida

Yes!! Love your photos! You’ve listed great books in the PDF, curious to read them – thanks for sharing x

    Aga

    Thank you so much Ida!! They are a good source of inspiration. Have you read any others?

Susie

This is amazing Agata! I love it! I’m an all-white kind of gal myself but I’d love to add more of a Scandinavian feel to my styling! Thank you for this great post!

    Aga

    Yey! Happy to hear you like it Susie!! Your opinion means a lot 🙂 I am working on the second styling post right now, there will be some more tips inside xo

Maria

Hi! love all your tips and your photos! thank you so much. I wanted to ask you what diffuser and reflector would you recommend to get the brightest and whitest image.

    Aga

    Hi Maria, Thanks so much – glad you like it 🙂 I’m using this set (http://amzn.to/2n6uZeT) and I’m very happy with it, it does the job 🙂

Tatty

Gorgeous! I think the eternal question though, that no-one ever seems to answer, is how do you take a BRIGHT WHITE internal photo??

    Aga

    Thanks Tatty, happy you like it! I tried to explain the basic steps in my process in this guide – http://passionshake.com/category/photography-guide/, you can also download it in pdf file (from my sidebar) 🙂 Hope it can help explain the bright and white effect. If you have any questions, let me know xo

Thuy

Thank you so much for sharing your passion with us, Agata.
Can you recommend some interior books prop styling cause I can’t download your PDF that has been removed. Thank you!!!

    Agata

    Hello Thuy, yes sure – please send me your email and I will forward you the list 🙂 It’s my pleasure! <3

      Thuy

      Thank you so much Agata ❤❤❤
      my email is thdangg@gmail.com

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