Styling a scene is about telling a story, without words.
The same principles apply; it needs a setting, main characters and supporting ones. It needs a theme, a plot and action, a beginning and an end.
The props become the main characters of the story. They should be unique, offer contrast to each other and be relatable to the viewers. They should be interesting, even controversial if your story calls for it.
Props are tools that help portray a feeling - and that feeling is what people will remember about a photo.
Having a collection of props to call upon for each styled setting, will ensure two ground rules of visual storytelling; and a well told visual story, is what a successful brand is all about.
1. Stay consistent to your brand by using objects that support it
Whether your brand is natural and organic, bright and cheerful, clean and modern, so should your props be.
2. Create repetition using recognizable objects, that are unique to your brand.
When viewers see an image that you post, and they automatically recognize it as yours, you've done well. Using unique props that nobody else has, is the shortcut to achieving this.
Props can be a simple way of standing out, or a sure way of falling flat, so choose them wisely.
I wanted this image to tell the story of a farmhouse meal preparation, before the days of "task lighting" and "useable counter space", where the table works double duty as both prep surface and dinner table. The main characters of this story - the dishes and tools are hand made, unadorned, time worn. They support the story and invite us to believe that they are cherished and handed down through the family. Simple. Honest.
Here are some of my favourite styling props: