Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | February 10, 2013

Part 1: Styling and Profiling for Blogs

“For great home photos, declutter, prop well and tell a little story.” Becky Harris

NOTE: This is part 1 of a three-part series on better photo styling for blogs.

PicMonkey Collage secretary desk 4X4 with words jpeg

Part 1 Styling and Profiling: Talks about my interest in photo styling, shares a few of my own styling experiments and this part includes a bibliography of styling books.

Part 2 Stylist Hall of Fame: Showcasing My Favorite Top 6 Photo Stylists.

Part 3 Becky Harris Styling and Profiling’: Part three highlights a great article written by Houzz contributor and freelance writer Becky Harris.

I hope you’ll join me for the entire series!

I’ve been seriously studying the art of photo styling for blogs this winter. This also seems to be a huge topic of interest among bloggers seeking to improve the visual portion of their posts. I’ve researched and read blog posts and books about this subject and have included a bibliography of styling books at the end of this blog.

I love it when bloggers style their photographs in an exceptionally intriguing or unique way. Unfortunately when I try this myself, the photograph appears overdone or just plain busy to me. How to find the right balance?

Is the problem with my props? My lighting? My camera? Or the fact that for a long time I just didn’t have the skills necessary to do this kind of photography successfully? Probably all four. Even though I have extensive photo journalist experience with photographing landscapes, people and art photography, product shots are a genre’ I never paid a lot of attention to until I got serious about home decor blogging.

Once in a while I get lucky and hit the mark, especially when I have the specific props that are right for the particular piece of furniture, but most of the time I just give up in frustration and photograph them naked.

Now I am working on creating and photographing small vignettes on the vintage furniture I transform to gain expertise and confidence.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                                                  Haywood-Wakefield console table styled with items from my collection.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                                                                                               Secretary desk styled.

There are some well-known known bloggers and stylists who, in my opinion, handle this photo styling thing especially well.

Two of my favorites stylists are Miss Mustard at the post on styling V Dione from as well as the other stylists listed below.

These bloggers are just plain MASTERS at staging vintage furniture!

1) Miss Mustard Seed often selects a single and substantially sized vintage piece like her antique wooden hobby-horse or a large-scale basket and her photographs then feel complete.

2 Dionne uses wonderful vintage objects like side chairs, glass, rugs, artwork, often layered for impact, to style her colorful vintage furniture pieces. Her props always compliment her painted furniture perfectly!

The others whose work I admire are:

3) Mathew Mead: Mead might well be the guru of home styling with his focus on seasonal inspiration and style. He has just revamped his website and his work can be accessed via Facebook or by buying his magazine. His newest magazine Recycle Style is right up my alley!

4) Holly Becker of decor8 is an American bestselling author, freelance journalist, interior stylist and workshop leader who lives in Germany. Also a blogger, Becker is also known for her product styling on Esty.

5) Atlanta-based photostylist/producer Annette Joseph with over 20 years experience in specializing in lifestyle, editorial images for national magazines breathes life into interior spaces for shelter magazine and in her writing on Making her rooms feel welcoming is her expertise. She frequently uses people and pets in her photographs and they are definitely full of life. Annette Joseph

6) Selina Lake is a well-known freelance stylist whose works appear in a half-dozen books and many magazines. She has a broad range of experience and works well in multiple styles.

Bibliography of Books on Styling:

1) Creative Display Ideas for Your Home, Geraldine James

2) Pretty Pastel Style, Selina Lake, preview this book at

3) Bazaar Style: Decorating with Market and Vintage Finds, Selina Lake

4) Romantic Style: Selina Lake, preview photographs from this book at

5) Homespun Style, Selina Lake

6) Staged to Sell (or Keep), Jena Nayar and the experts at

7) Flea Market Style, Emily Chambers

8) Creative Walls: How to Display and Enjoy Tour Treasured Collections, Geraldine James

9) Decorating with Flea Market Finds, Country Living

Small House / Big Sky Donna


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