June 22, 2016


how to style photosPhotos are visual marketing and one of the best ways to connect with our customers. Visual marketing is our customer’s first impression and is oh so important today. With that in mind, styling photos is so much more than making pretty photos! Styling a photo intentionally is actually marketing. With a few simple things to keep in mind, styling does not have to be complicated. Here are a few style tips for creating photos that are beautiful and will communicate a brand message very well. 

Our customer will assume our product has the same values that our photos communicate. They choose to trust brands based on these intangible aspects of a brand. Be intentional about choosing style elements that communicate your brand values. Show quality, if your product is quality. Show custom and personal if that is part of your brand. Show genuine if your culture is genuine. 

The color palette communicates an emotion and feeling. Is your brand message happy and energetic or moody and peaceful? Is it clean cut and professional or organic and free flowing? Bright pink will communicate an entirely different emotion than muted gray. Select a color palette that communicates the feeling of your brand.

Copper Cup_006

The background has a big impact on the photo and should be chosen with the brand in mind. Here are a few backdrops that are easy to store and pull out when photographing are :: a rustic wood table top or slab of wood, linen, white poster board, a board painted with chalkboard paint appearing to be slate, and marble printed vinyl (search on Etsy). Take the time to prepare a few backdrops that align with your brand message. This will save time in the future when shooting while also creating a consistent brand message.

more-1-2Through The Photo
Draw the eye though the photo, inviting the viewer to interact with the photo. This can be done by trailing the objects  in the photo through the frame, starting on one side and going off the other. The result is a photo that feels fluid, alive, and moving.

16day 3_-2Window Light
Always beautiful light, window light is our favorite kind of light to photograph in. This directional light creates shadows and highlights capturing great details. Directional light will take a flat photo and make it alive with incredible dimension. Try it! Take several objects and photograph outdoors. Now go inside and photograph the same objects next to a window. The difference is stunning.

View More: http://char-co.pass.us/copper-cupTexture
Texture adds so much interest to a photo. Add texture in with soft linens, fur, and style details.

02Story Design_Invite Us In
Wide crops sharing a whole scene invite the viewer to ‘come in’. Creating instant connection and communicating openness, these photos share real life and invite others to be part of our brand.


Not Too Perfect
We all crave realness and our customers will appreciate a peek into real life. The goal of styling is not too create perfect photos; instead it is communicating our brand message and creating a sense of camaraderie with our brand.

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Purposeful styling communicates our brand story. At the very foundation, a brand story is connection. A brand story is a business whispering to it’s tribe…I see you and understand you. Let’s think of our photos as an invitation to others to connect with our brand. In today’s world where so many things are vying for our attention; thriving brands build a meaningful story and utilize visual marketing. The best part? Marketing no longer has to feel ‘salesy’ or forced, instead it can be authentic and welcomed by our customers. With thought and style intentionality, photos will connect us with our customers and grow our business. 

We hope these style tips help you create beautiful photos and loving marketing!


  1. Peter says:

    These are great tips – thanks!

    I am not sure I understand the part about values (sounds great and I would love to understand better).

    When you say. “Show quality, if your product is quality. Show custom and personal if that is part of your brand. Show genuine if your culture is genuine” I think…. hmmm…. how?!? (and I also think we all want to make a perception somehow of quality and genuine – don’t we? ;-)

    I really don’t try to make fun – I would live to understand this better.
    Maybe you can try to explain a bit more? Maybe it’s an idea for another post – to go more into detail and examples (since photography is playing a larger role than ever)?

    If I want to give to use photographs for my small marketing consulting business, what props etc. could I use?

    BTW, I don’t understand how you use the chalk board paint – can you show how its done maybe;-)?

  2. Renee Dabney says:

    I love the information that you all have provided. I am starting and interior design business and was looking for ways to create a brand image the way I see it. You help with that so thank you so much.

  3. Mindy says:

    This is the best, clearest explanation of branding and styling that I’ve yet read, and I’ve read many, many articles on the topic. Well done! I’ll definitely be following you guys.

  4. Amanda says:

    love these tips! There are so many things to be mindful of when shooting.

    • Char says:

      We are so glad you enjoyed these tips, Amanda! There are definitely many aspects to be mindful of while shooting, but the more you practice them, the more natural it will feel to do it. Eventually, it will just become second nature!

  5. I love this post, beautiful images and clear direction for how to capture that illusive ‘branded’ feel without it being too staged. Great work team.

  6. Mia says:

    Such an amazing post! I never know how to take a good “Instagram-Worthy” picture and this is super helpful. I never even thought about buying backdrops, definitely going to invest in some so I can create some photos with a great aesthetic!

  7. Awesome article and visuals

  8. Courtney says:

    This was so helpful! Definitely going to check out Etsy for a marble slab. It’s something I thought about, but wasn’t sure if it was an “actual thing” and the background/table top has been my biggest struggle because my countertop is GREEN. LOL. I don’t anticipate my landlord wanting to change it….

    • Char says:

      We would definitely recommend purchasing a marble slab! It’s not the easiest to move, but it makes a HUGE difference with photos and flatlays!

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