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Hi, I'm Anna.

I am a multi-passionate creative with a fondness for those hidden gem hideaways and cultural crossroads. I spend most of my days creating, exploring, and hacking into coconuts after long swims in the ocean.

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Props and Styling for your Photoshoot

New Client

May 16, 2023

Anna Bek


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Depending on your business and the reason for the photo shoot, locations, props, and styling should always be considered in the storytelling. The visual cues for the viewer can help create a certain mood or vibe that speaks directly to your target audience. I like to encourage my clients to think of themselves as actors who perform best when they have something to do!

Consider the Art Direction of your shoot in the context of the entire Brand Identity or Visual Branding Experience. Need help in your effort to DIY for your brand? Check out our *freebie* Visual Branding Guidebook.

Preparing for your shoot

It is always best to start planning any photo shoot with a mood board, reference imagery, or shotlist. For collecting ideas, I like to use Pinterest, but you can also create a folder in Instagram, on your phone, or pull images from other sites that speak to you in whatever way is easiest.

Give yourself enough time to source the needed props or reach out to other collaborators. I like to have some basic items always nearby for those more spur-of-the-moment shoots, and typically I source fresh items like flowers or food on the morning of the shoot, sometimes having them delivered straight to me. Stress less by reaching out and getting all the information you need so you can plan accordingly.

The Importance of a Shotlist

For product and fashion-focused shoots, we get to have a little bit more creative and artistic fun. Think about how variety and proper coverage can create eye-catching visuals. From telephoto to macro photography, slow shutters, time-lapses, and extreme wide shots, all kinds of imagery have a place in conveying the essence of a business or brand. Scan through what kinds of imagery spark your interest and bring them to the discussion.

Nowadays, shooting videos alongside a photoshoot will guarantee the most runway for your content. It can be as simple as capturing the same moments, both still and moving, or creating a mini-story. When in doubt, a behind-the-scenes video of the photoshoot is always useful to share!

Determine your deliverables

Know where you want to use the content. We all have multiple platforms that we use for our marketing. Each might have different deliverables such as horizontal or vertical, GIFS, mini-clips, and promotional videos…and even with different aspect ratios like 5×4, 16×9, or 9×16. Are you needing negative space for graphic overlays? Include it in your Shoot Brief or Content Strategy Workbook. This is something we like to discuss when working together!

Elevate your storytelling

Props and styling are the storytellers in your visual narrative. They provide context, depth, and texture to your images, setting the scene and immersing the viewer in a world you’ve created.

Sell your service or product experience

It is nice to have props and styling for your photoshoot that reflect the kind of business you are in or what a client can expect the experience to be like. Seeing a product “in situ” means seeing it being used in a way that helps the customer visualize using it themselves or be connected to a feeling when using it.

Collaborative Opportunities

Oftentimes, the location or the culture of WHERE the shoot is happening is part of the story. Places like iconic or scenic outdoor locations, community spaces, or well-designed architecture and interior design are all beautiful options. Include the details of what people, clothes, props, jewelry, and makeup are used, and the opportunities to promote across all involved parties will amplify!

Not all portraits need props and styling! Some of the most beautiful moments are minimal and feature light and detail. There is certainly something classic and timeless about stripping it all back or working in a studio.

What next?

When possibilities are endless, it can be overwhelming to get started. When in doubt, come back to the intention of the shoot along with the product or service being sold. Need help planning, shotlisting, or styling your shoot? This is my zone of genius! Check out our Services page or go ahead and get in touch.

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I'm Anna Bek

I'm a traveling artist, obsessed with living like a local, and always looking for ways to help you feel more spaciousness in your business and life.

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