wordsmith + brand translator


Big Cartel

The first entry in an instructional photo styling series to teach the client’s online retailers about branding and marketing utilizing photography, lighting, and composition


EXPERT TIPS: Photo styling 101

Light it Up
Whether you’re selling wooden bowls, illustrated posters, kids’ toys, or clothing, natural lighting will go a long way toward making your products look their best. Artificial light can taint your pictures and cause color contamination that actually makes your images less appealing.

Back it Up
Once you’ve found the best light to shine on your item, consider what’s behind it as well. It’s easy to get in a background rut. Try experimenting with various materials like wood, marble, and cloth to create different moods in your images. As long as the background doesn’t compete with your product, it can be an invaluable addition that helps your photo tell a story.


Know Your Audience
It’s very important that you understand your customers. Really, really understand them. Research the colors, patterns, and other design elements that appeal to your intended customer. Some colors subconsciously signal trustworthiness, felinity, or exuberance. The same colors that appeal to teenage boys might turn off a 40 year old woman.

Put it in Context
Another way to appeal to a particular demographic is to build a world for your product. Hint at the life your customers live or aspire to live. Check out our Shooting Star Piñata. On its own it shows the product details, but for the main image, showing the piñata in a decorative lifestyle setting appeals to shoppers looking for unique decor. While the project is cool on its own, putting it in the context of a well-styled living room helps shoppers imagine it in their own home and get emotionally invested enough to make a purchase. 

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ART CREDITS: piñata and salt favors: Todd Hafermann, cupcakes: Shauna Younge, dessert table: Maddy Hague