Earlier this month, I posted a bedroom shoot for the monthly Photography Styling Challenge. I mentioned in that post that I worked around unpacked moving boxes in my friend’s just moved-in bedroom. I had certain parameters I needed to work within to get a successful photo shoot. There seemed to be enough excitement to see how I put this photo shoot together, so here is the exposé.
I’m actually very excited to share with you a behind-the-scenes tour of how I put it all together. I always get so inspired when I see how things are repurposed or used in different ways just to make a photo shoot come together. The camera sees things so differently from the human eye, so it was important for me to take test shots along the way just so I knew what I needed to tweak.
This was the space I had to work with. Untouched. Completely raw. But look at all that awesome natural light!
The very first thing was to evaluate what I had to work with. As you can see in the photos above, moving furniture around just wasn’t an option.
I couldn’t remove this headboard without completely getting rid of the bed frame, so I decided to just cover it up with something a bit more appropriate to my color scheme and concept.
This wood grain wrapping paper has come in handy for a few of my other photo shoots as well. See the images from these posts here:
Then I got to making the bed. Since I knew I wouldn’t be photographing the entire wall based on the architectural parameters and the amount of space available for me to back up to get a full shot, I decided that the entire bed didn’t need to made up properly.
I had to do only a half duvet because my friend’s blanket wasn’t lofty enough as a single layer. And I couldn’t place the duvet at the foot of the bed because it wouldn’t show up well in the photographs. It was important that the pattern and the colors of the duvet were featured in the final photograph. Moving it up toward the pillows also helped to mask the plaid patterned sheet that showed through the solid white sheet. (If you look closely at the images above, you’ll know what I’m talking about.)
TIP: DO iron/steam out all the wrinkles in your bedsheets, draperies, pillowcases, tablecloths, etc. because they WILL show up on camera.
Did you notice in the above photos that I only had one colored pillow? Here’s how I covered it:
My friend’s nightstand was too small and didn’t have enough interest for the story I wanted to tell. So I brought in a woven basket and repurposed it as a nightstand. This is something you could do in real life too.
It was a wonderful coincidence that the pizza stone was just nearly the same diameter as the hamper!
The downside was that the basket was too short in relation to the height of the bed. Here’s how I rectified it:
I created this “artwork” on the spot with a piece of scrap paper and Scotch tape.
The Scotch tape didn’t do too well at remaining tacky. The paper started to peel off the frame AFTER I had hung it up on the wall. I left it alone and hoped the curling paper gave the art a more “sculptural” feel.
And since I couldn’t put nails in the wall….
Then I played with various accessories.
DID YOU NOTICE in the right photo that I also moved up the art piece? Yes, I did! Not only did this fill in more of the blank wall space, it also gave some breathing room around the accessories on the nightstand.
PLAY WITH OBJECTS. As you can see in the left photo above, there were too many short, bulky objects on the table. By replacing the white vase with a similarly shaped vase in dark blue, this balanced out the dark blue seen in the bedding, which was heavily visual on the right side of the photograph. The metal canister, while a good color to blend in with the table and the headboard, was replaced with a tall, clear vase to a) maintain the camouflage effect that the metal canister provided, b) to give added height to the accessories.
FUN FACT: The branch used for the photo shoot was cut from a tree on my friend’s property. I had to go out in the pouring rain to find the perfect branch.
Oh, and that blue jar was found in my friend’s bathroom! She was using it as a Q-tip jar, but it was the perfect color to pick up the blue of the bedding, while also having that bulbous shape of the white vase, so we used it in the shoot.
PLACEMENT IS KEY. The clear glass vase was moved to the center of the table, (top left photo above) instead of sitting on the edge of the table, (top right photo above) to create visual balance amongst all the objects.
DO YOU KNOW WHY I turned the book around and showed the pages instead of the spine? Because the spine was a dark brown color that faded in to the table surface rendering it almost invisible. What’s the point of using an invisible accessory, right? By facing the light-colored pages towards the camera, the book was contrasted against the table surface and didn’t visually clutter up the few accessories shown.
TIP: Earlier test shots show the corner of the book cover turned up so much that it was distracting (to my friend), so I flattened out the corner, which made for a cleaner photograph! Always use an extra pair of discerning eyes to help you!
A few test shots made me aware of the glare of the window from the adjacent wall:
TIP: The paper used to cover the window was the wrapping paper Ikea uses at checkout!
DID YOU NOTICE where the blue pillow was placed in the left photograph, and then changed in the right photograph? I made this switch in order to provide more depth of layers to the bedding and colors, even though the blue pillow is a smaller size than the white Euro sham. (In real life, the large Euro shams ALWAYS sit behind a small accent pillow.)
Then with a little bit of camera placement and cropping, all the staging tricks were hidden from the final photograph!
Based on the final photo, would you have guessed this was all smoke and mirrors?
And NOW! Because this blog is about DOING and not just collecting inspiration, I challenge you to use some of the tips I’ve revealed here to style a small vignette of your own. Be quick about it! Spend no more than 30 minutes on it. Then blog about it (if you’re a blogger) or tag me in Instagram with your staged photo and a photo that shows the tip(s) you used! I look forward to seeing your images!
To view more photos of this photo shoot, click on this post here:
All Things With Purpose
Beauty Through Imperfection
Chic On A Shoestring Decorating
Crafts à la Mode
Design, Dining, & Diapers
DIY Show Off
French Country Cottage
Keeping It Simple
Living Well Spending Less
Mr. & Mrs. Winslett
My Romantic Home
Nifty Thrifty Things
Tatertots & Jello
The Charm of Home
The Girl Creative
The Thriftiness Miss
The Thrifty Groove
Thirty Handmade Days
Twelve O Eight