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Styled for Print- part 6

Can you believe we are almost done with the styled for print series?

It is so funny how just sharing a few details about our speech has turned into a whole collection of blog posts. And I have a few more tips to share today and then something fun coming your way.
But first, let's talk about imperfections, editing rooms and why simple spaces such as hallways and doorways should be included in a photo.

Have you ever thought about what it is that brings life to a photo and makes it interesting when you open a magazine or book? 
It is a lot of things working together that we have already talked about it but it is also that sense that you are stepping into a room or a home. 

It is a 'moment' that is captured. 
And creating that feeling is key to capturing a beautiful photo. 

#1. When photographing a vignette or a room, think about ways to show the real life setting. 

First advice- add a dog. Or a cat. Or a person. 
Adding someone or something to the photo brings personality.  

Who can resist a sweet puppy snoozing on a chair? In a photo, seeing that dog on the chair makes you feel like you just stepped into the room and into a real life moment.

Same thing with a table setting. 
The food with nibbles missing shows 'capturing a moment' making it feel like you happened upon a lovely meal being enjoyed.

#2. Make it a little imperfect. This sets the photo apart from the everyday and perfectly staged. Make it a little more real.

How many times do you hear people talk about how social media, blogs, photos, etc are not 'real life'? Where is all the mess, the not so pretty, the bed that isn't made because your alarm didn't go off in time and you had to dash out the door?  

In a photo- perfection is a good thing. 
And so in Imperfection. 
That messy bed? Love it. It feels real and welcoming. 
 So sometimes- you want that imperfect showing in a photo. 
Toys on the floor, flower petals that have fallen from the fading roses on the nightstand, 
the bunched up sheets on the bed with a cup of coffee.

A perfectly made bed is beautiful- yes indeed- and
imperfect shows real life and adds another personality

#3. Edit out distractions. 
Even in a chock full type of look- take some away.

I have a confession. I have a white dish, vintage china and Arte Italica dish disorder.
 I hoard dishes. 
Ironstone at the flea market? MINE.
 A stack of vintage plates at the thrift store? Do I need them? No... but I love them. 
And I love to see them in my china cupboard. 

But when I take a photo of the china cupboard? 
Do I really want to see every. single. dish, tureen, cup and bowl that I can cram into that cupboard in the photo? 

You have to edit sometimes to make it work. Take away some of the too much - even if you like the too much and that is your look. Your photo will still benefit from taking some out and allowing for a little bit of breathing space and movement in between pieces.

#4. Don’t just capture rooms, capture spaces. 

A home and designs are often as much about the interaction and transitions of spaces as they are about the room you see right away.
So think about different ways to 'show' a room.
Capture the room in the reflection of a mirror for example. 

And that armoire or artwork in your house that is next to a hallway? 
Show the armoire and include the hallway to bring a sense of 'walking through' a space
and show that the corner of the room leads to another room.

All in all, think about what you like to see-
 and work towards styling and capturing those things in your photos.
I hope you have been enjoying the Styled For Print series. 
Any questions or thoughts?
And would love to know if you have tried any of the tips and how they have worked for you!
And there is just one more blog post about this series-but I am thinking about 
something fun to go along with it- so stay tuned.

Happy Wednesday everyone! 


  1. I LOVE this.
    However, it is SO hard. I bought all kinds of patisseries, and made coffee, and tried to do vignettes to capture the awesomeness of our rentals. But I didn't like the photos in the end. Maybe I'm too harsh a judge, but they lacked a je ne sais quoi. Which is too bad, because they are the nicest rentals in town.
    Wish you could come and do it!

    1. No, it isn't easy- it definitely takes some practice and playing - and I will tell you I take 100 photos and use 10 of them. Good luck!

  2. I have enjoyed this series, and want more. Photography is a wonderful hobby, and I enjoy your blog with the beautiful content.

  3. I have so enjoyed this series for the lovely images. I am not a blogger, or a photographer, but enjoy all forms of art, and styling a photograph is definitely an art form. I'm the one who looks at all the details in the background as well as the focused image. And I enjoy imagining myself in the space. Thank you for sharing your gift.

    1. I feel the same way. Photos are like art- and it is so fun to play with my camera and see how things look through the lens. :)

  4. Truly enjoyed/enjoying this series...thanks so much Courtney!....Love your perfectly imperfect!..

    1. Thank you Shirley!! Sorry we didn't connect in High Point this week!!

  5. I 'm so enjoying this series.... I have not got my camera out yet, but I will and I'm looking forward to working with your tips.. Thank You so much.

    1. Thank you- and have fun playing with your camera and photos when your camera arrives!

  6. I'm really enjoying this series. I also wanted to let you know your photographs are truly some of the most beautiful I've ever seen and they always add a prettiness to my day:) Thank you!

    1. So kind of you-thank you so much DeAnna. Such a compliment!

  7. Courtney,
    Thank you for sharing photography lessons with us. I am enjoying them all. I've written a new post about my sweet cat, and plan to include her in future posts as one photo that goes along with whatever I've written/photographed.


    1. That is wonderful!! I did a post about my grand kittens once- and gosh it was hard to photograph them when they were moving around so much- but they are perfect to include. They add so much sweetness!

  8. I enjoy your tips,but it is not are an artist and have a wonderful blog!Hugs,Maristella.

    1. Thank you Maristella! I do realize that styling and photography doesn't come easy to everyone-I hope by sharing a few tips it can help.

  9. I really appreciate the time you've put into sharing this series. I can write copy that I am satisfied with, I can create labels, and choose color combinations that I love, but I struggle so much with capturing the kind of images that I want to reflect my blog and business.

    1. Thank you Mel!! I hope that the tips help and you get the photos you would like!

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed reading several posts of your "Styled for Print" series. I read the first one, Part 5 and Part 6 but cannot find 2-4. Help. I want more! Love these tips so much and love your blog. It is always so beautiful and inspiring.

  11. Thank you Courtney this has been an eye opener for me. Truly great advice and things that I wouldn't have seen without your stunning examples.