Styling a scene for a photograph is such a creative process and one that I truly enjoy. I usually start with a blank slate and add in each element until I achieve a pleasing composition. Most of the time this process starts out with a pretty minimal image and then progresses to something a bit too much…then it falls back to a sweet spot where the elements come together in harmony. That final image can take an hour to get to but you’ll definitely have some keepers along the way.
The important thing is to keep experimenting, moving things around and changing the light until you hit that balance. Read on to learn more about my process of styling a product photo.
Connecting with the viewer
Another thing I like to keep in mind when styling a product photo is creating an emotional connection to the viewer. I try to imagine what feeling they might have when they see the image. If I'm creating with intention, those feelings can be targeted by emphasizing certain elements of the image.
Composition for example...Is the scene is very controlled and buttoned up or are the elements arranged in a loose, more natural way?
What about the lighting...Is it flat and even or are there shadows at play?
Each element will trigger different emotions from your audience, either drawing them in or pushing them away. If they connect to an image, they may start to imagine how the objects featured might fit into their lives.
Visual storytelling is an art. Like a good book, the best images can transport your audience to another place and time. Have you ever stopped in your tracks when you saw a beautiful image on Pinterest? Why was it so beautiful? What was it that moved you?
Most likely the image told a story about a place you want to go, a vision you have for yourself or made you nostalgic for place or time in your past.
When it comes to shooting product, I like to imagine a scene and build elements into the set that would naturally be there, supporting the character as they move through their story.