Photography tips – styling your shoot

If you look at the websites of some of the better photographers out in Internet land, you will notice that they have a certain style that they shoot.  If you look closer, you will notice a bit more about that.  Look at the colors in the photos.  See how the antique chair matches their client’s wardrobe or how a prop adds a pop of color.  These “lifestyle” photographers approach their clients with more of a “fashion shoot” than a take-what-you-get-sit-and-smile attitude.

Composing photos is more than just basic composition of a shot in the camera.  Look at a painting and notice the balance of colors.  When you take the time to actually set up a shoot, try to make the picture cohesive shot.  This is one of my favorites.  Do you think I had a plan in mind when I took it?  Why, yes I did!


I realize that most of the photos we take are of our kids.  We take what we can get in that realm.  I am trying to approach my photography from a fresh perspective.  Now when I try to get them dressed, they actually voice an opinion.  Who told them they could do that?

This is what happened when I tried to match the umbrella to her dress for her birthday pictures this year.

Yeah…a bit of non-cooperation going on there.  At least I had a plan right??

I think the key is to just be easy going and make it more play-like.  Once they have the pressure on, they tend to get not so thrilled.  No matter how many M&M’s you have.  I get the best pictures when we are just outside playing, which is why I usually make sure they wash their faces and have a clean shirt on before we go outside.  I have ulterior motives. 😉

So…that’s my little tip for the day.  Nothing too big, but this is summer and I’m short on time again.  Off again for a family reunion today in my hometown…AGAIN.  It will make my Grandma Jo happy, so totally worth it, of course.

8 Replies to “Photography tips – styling your shoot”

  1. Great tips…hmmm, fashion with a 2mo old and a 19mo old…I will have to be creative if I’m going to come up with something for this one!

  2. Making it a game always seems to make it easier to take pictures of Ella. She doesnt play well independantly, so I have to mix it up a bit and let her see the photos after I take them, otherwise she tells me not to take pictures! The first shot you posted here is beautiful. The colors look beautifully fall like.

  3. Oh, I love the umbrella one, too!

    I am so going to “style” a shoot this week!! I kind of subconsciously do it a lot of times (like the 4th of July, etc…), but I am going to really stage one this week!

    Very fun challenge!

  4. This is something that’s been on my mind a lot lately, as I begin to think more about photographing subjects OTHER than my daughter. The truth is, I’m not good as staging photos. I can capture the moment as it naturally unfolds, but I don’t know how to pose and create the scene. I’m working on it.

    I’ve always loved that first photo! The umbrella is too cute, too. Where did you get that umbrella? It’s a great prop.

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