Styled Stock/Still Life Tutorial


Wanting to try something new? Feeling in a creative rut? Try some styled stock/still life photography! You can just use natural light! I want to share with you how I do my styled stock/still life photos with all natural light. I love doing very simple and clean photos when I am doing this. I enjoy using these photos for backdrops for my desktop, phone and tablet. I also have been meaning to make some prints for the walls using some of them! 

I use a variety of items for these photos. Sometimes I will just look around my house for things. For example in one of the photos I used a tiny little doll a friend brought back for me from Ecuador. I also love using flowers and things I find outdoors like the tiny little pinecones used in the pullback photo. Sometimes I have used jewelry as well. Also cute notebooks, pens etc make for some pretty photos. For these photos I am usually shooting from above. So I try to find things that will work well for that. Here are a few examples:








I set up in front of the window in my living room. I usually try to take the photos in the morning around 11 because that seems to have the light I like the best. But I have done it in the afternoon also and it works too. :) I use a tv tray and a plain, white piece of poster board. I usually start right in front of the window and then I start looking at the shadows and brightness. Using the tv tray is nice because it is light and easily can be moved around by the window. And then you just move the tray farther away or closer, changing the angle until you like how the lighting and shadows look. 



I use a Sony A7II camera and 28mm lens. I love the wide angle lens and how it works with these photos. I like to set the item I am photographing in one of the corners of the frame somewhat using the rule of thirds. I usually toggle my focus point to the item instead of focus and recompose as I just find my camera focuses better that way for this. I like using wide apertures for this so I am usually around 2.5 or 2.8. I usually use Auto White Balance but sometimes when I can tell its just not working right with the lighting I will switch to Kelvin. 



When I am editing these photos I only use Lightroom. First I adjust white balance if need be. Then I check the composition and crop if I feel it would make it a little stronger. Using such a wide angle sometimes I have a little too much space on some edges so I crop them in. I will check the background for any noticeable things that need cleaned up like a crease in the paper. The spot removal tool in Lightroom works well for this usually. Most of the time I use just the Luminous preset from Brit Chandlers The Authentic Set. My favorite presets are Tribe Archipelago and sometimes I like to use them as well with these photos. In this photo using the tiny pinecones that is what I used. In the basic panel in Lightroom I will also adjust the highlights, shadows, whites and blacks until I like how the photo looks. 





So that is how I do styled stock/still life photography using just natural light! I hope this has inspired you to try out something new and if you have any questions feel free to ask me! 








Comments

  1. love this!! Definitely going to try next time I get into a rut. The light is beautiful!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! So I am trying something new and trying to post blog posts on my actual website. Its www.kaelaelliottphoto.com if you would still like to follow :)

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