We're Erica + Jon, professional photographers, Mr + Mrs and Mom + Dad. We like to share insights into our industry, behind the scenes and stories about our life and chips + salsa obsession.
When it comes to styling for photos, there are so many techniques and strategies you can implement into your design. The endless opportunities and the ability to let your creative spirit flow uninhibited can sometimes feel like they work against you and turn what should be fun into something overwhelming. What we hear from our students most often is that just figuring out where to start is the most challenging part. It’s like once they have a clear starting point, everything is able to fall into place around it. So to help you figure out where to start on your next flay lay or product styling photoshoot, we’re sharing our favorite tried and true styling tip today!
Erica has what we might call a supernatural gift when it comes to styling. She tells people that she envisions the final photo in her head before she even picks up anything to actually style with and sees the end result before starting. It’s a strategy she says she can teach, but for Jon, he just sums it up as a supernatural gifting! 😉
And that’s a technique in and of itself. Bonus!! So just picture your final design in your head before you start, and voila! There’s your tip.
Although it is a great thing to practice at, that’s not our tip for you.
We want to give you a real, tangible tip you can employ on your next shoot, so let’s unpack it!
Erica’s favorite technique for styling flat lays or products is to style in odd numbers! It creates a visually interesting photo and works really well to create a great foundation for everything else you might need to style around it. So if you’re taking a product flat lay photo you might style around 3 of the product containers. Or, if you are shooting a photo of one product bottle and need to style complementary elements around it, you might include 3 of those complementary elements you choose to style with.
It looks like this:
Now, what Erica once thought was just based on personal preference is actually based on science! Can you believe it? It’s true!
A study done on people’s reactions to odd vs. even numbers literally found that odd numbers are more thought provoking to the human mind than even numbers. When we talk about our job as brand photographers, what could be better than that!? Our job is to literally create images that make a consumer stop and think about making a purchasing decision…so creating them in a way that employs a more thought provoking experience is a slam dunk win!
So next time you find yourself working on styling a flat lay or product photo, just remember the rule of styling in odds and use that as your foundation to build upon! Oh, and if this tip is helpful for you, we’d love to know! We’d also love to see photos you might have created using this technique, so feel free to send them over!