A lot of people have been commenting on social media lately that they are finding it hard to get into the groove of styling images this year. I must admit that sometimes I get in a rut too and think that I’m just producing the same type of images over and over again. It’s boring for me to style these types of images and I’m sure people get bored of seeing them over and over again as well!
If you need a little inspiration for styling your images then why not try using a picture in a magazine as inspiration to create your own image. Whether you draw inspiration from the colour scheme or help tell a story about that image, you may be surprised at how drawing inspiration from this picture can help get your creative juices flowing.
One of the easiest ways to get inspiration for your image is by using dominant colours in your image as the colour palette for your props. Pick out a few dominant colours in the image and then go scouting around your house, garage, pantry etc to find objects that will match your colour scheme.
Don’t forget that you can also use complementary colours into your to bring some nice contrast into the image as well (see colour wheel below). Sometimes you might find that the stylists behind the image might have already done the colour matching for you. For example, in Nikki’s image of the Vogue magazine below, you can see they have used the complementary colours red and green for their image which look really striking together.
Reflect the look and feel of the picture
Pictures in magazines will already have a look and feel to them whether it be moody, uplifting or a sense of serenity. Let the mood of the picture help you to decide what type of mood your image will portray.
For example, if your picture is of a dreamy holiday destination then you’re more likely to pick props that are colourful and light and conjure up images of lying on a beach with a cocktail in your hand. Or if your picture is moody then use props that will create nice shadows and depth to your image. If your picture has a minimalist feel then of course, keep your props, colour scheme and structure of your image minimal too.
Context & The Art of Storytelling
You might look at an image and think okay well that’s a nice looking person or a nice pair of shoes but what is their story? Give your subject some context and use your props to develop a story about that person or that pair of shoes. When you take away the magazine picture you should almost be able to tell you a little bit about the original image was about via your props.
I love this image from @_fridays_child_ below. You can only see the legs and shoes of lady and man in the image which creates a little mystery. Who are they? What are they doing? Are they kissing, fighting or just chatting away? In Anne’s photo she has given the people in the image some more context through the props in her flatlay. It seems that that one of them is a nurse or a doctor who has to write lots of medical notes. They take their jewellery off during work hours and drink lots of coffee to keep them awake through their night shifts. Okay, well I don’t know if that’s where Anne was going but I love that it lets your imagination run wild!
Here is another example of giving an image some context with this cute Puffin Bird I found. As a stand alone picture, the Puffin bird is cute but add some feathers, a camera and eggs and it tells you that someone was going out to take picture of the Puffins during breeding season. Again, take the original image away and you would still know it has something to do with going out into the wild to take pictures of birds.
Make 2D products 3D
Another styling option which I personally love is to literally take objects from your picture and add them into your own image. It creates a really lovely juxtaposition between your 2D and 3D elements which helps to bring the image to life. In Nikki’s image below she has used take the leaves and pink walls from the image in the magazine to style her own flatlay.
The second image is a workflow on how you can build up a 2D image of a wine tasting session into my very own 3D wine tasting flatlay. Thank goodness there is always a bottle of vino open in my house to help with ‘styling’ and I can assure you that no wine was wasted in the making of this flatlay!
Don’t forget that this weeks challenge is all about paper and using a magazine could be the perfect way to help your get your creative juices flowing for a #CS_paper entry. Also, if you use this a magazine image to style an image make sure you use the #creativelysquared hashtag so we can see all your fabulous styling!