Prop and Set Styling

September 3rd, 2014

Laura Sawyer, Monochrome, Interior Stylist, Style Department

prop and set: Laura Sawyer, ph: Jemma Watts

A lot of preparation has to be put in place to achieve the best photographic results and to have the right prop and set stylist is imperative to achieve a fantastic result. Prop and set styling involves activities carried out to prepare objects and backgrounds prior to a photo or film shoot. It’s the responsibility of the prop stylist to figure out how they will arrange objects in order to enhance creativity and uniqueness of the project.

If you’re looking for a professional with skills in prop and set styling, you should find one with the best experience for the most amazing results.  Some people acquire their skills in props either through formal training, lots of assisting professional and established stylists and with time developing their own personal styles and approaches.

An experienced stylist understands the importance of having proper organisational skills and effectively coordinating behind the scenes activities. This is to realise perfect shots and demonstrate high standards of professional acumen and effectively relay the message to the intended audience. Many experienced and successful prop stylist professionals stumble upon their style by “accident”. Working on your own style and approach together with plenty of practice is the best way to understand how to deliver the best result.

Some food prop stylist professionals decide not to follow a set formula on food and prop styling. Creative individuals believe that ideas should be allowed to flow freely and not be “shoeboxed” into limiting oneself to specific ideas and concepts. Having your own approach and incorporating new ideas far from the ordinary is a perfect way to achieve excellent results.

When preparing props and backgrounds for food shoots, it’s good to study the client’s brief in detail to have an idea of the scene and mood that needs to be achieved. Are you looking for a vintage, modern, rustic, combinations or just plain simple design with minimal props? Have a checklist and determine whether your ideas fit within the scope and guidelines provided by the client. Becoming successful in food prop styling means that you need to find the best scenarios to enhance a dish and work towards achieving an unique scene answering a brief and brand guidelines.

The process of sourcing and buying props largely depends on the size of the production. Prop makers are usually required in order to deliver the best output. A prop stylist is usually required to visit various prop houses, shops and theatrical suppliers to buy or hire props. If you’re working on a tight budget, a good idea is to consider renting props to save costs and work within the budget restrictions provided. Always taking into account all the logistics involved in the delivery.

An interior stylist works to ensure that every still life image that appears in editorials, press platforms, advertising, TV, and feature films is top notch and appealing. They have a special ‘eye’ to place ornaments, furniture and extra props on a set that it’s creative and pleasing to the camera. This task requires much more than an eye for style and requires professionals to be proficient in trend forecasting, sourcing props, contractor booking and finding suitable locations, working out logistics.  Having a good relationships throughout the industry to get that special prop for the right project is of upmost importance.

Prop and set styling requires people who know they have a good taste and can convert these skills into use in an atmosphere that requires expertise. We can help with prop and set styling.

prop styling, Style Department