Styling & Troubleshooting
These two not only go hand in hand, but composition enters this too. You can find more videos, tutorials etc. on composition methods here.
The more visual interest you add to your photos, the more successful they’ll be. This doesn’t mean the frame has to be full of props! Sometimes visual interest is a question of getting the lighting right, e.g. a frosting close-up. Get that swirl lit up nicely and you’ll have a stunning photo. Learning to troubleshoot our images will help us improve our skill set.
Below I’ve posted some videos from my favorite online resources for learning about the styling, using props, and troubleshooting our scenes. This page is always evaluating, so I’ll be adding things as I discover them.
Good to know
Layers can be anything. A backdrop, fabric, props, the food itself when it creates a nice texture and so on.
Adding layers to your compositions will give your images texture. Using layers works miracles with flat foods, that don’t have a very distinct texture.
Use colors that work well together. If you have doubts about the color palette, look to the color wheel! You can go for a monochrome scene, complimentary or one of the other palettes.
Using color theory could help you troubleshoot a scene that doesn’t feel right to you.
Backgrounds, surfaces are an important part of styling. You don’t need to purchase a ton of backgrounds. Sometimes a crate, or drawer all you’ll need, even a piece of fabric, or some baking paper sheets.
Choose your backgrounds carefully, they shouldn’t distract from your hero subject.
Having props in your scene will help you with the storytelling. They should help tell a story, e.g. a basket with fruit —you’ve just picked the berries. Maybe you purchased them from the online delivery service, but that’s not the story you’re telling.
Use props that strengthen your story, and make sense for your subject.
You’re styling is how you tell your visual story. You’re creating a frame that is conveying a mood, a moment in time.
Add props, extra ingredients (that are used in the recipe), even the lighting choice helps convey a story.
Take inspiration from seasons, and other themes.
Often we can tell succesful visual stories by using the seasons as our inspiration. Adding autumn leaves, or spring flowers, a garden hat or some pruning shears will help our viewers feel the time of the year.
A hard light photo with water reelections screams #summervibes.