*actually it’s 4 ways but I’ll get to that in a bit…
As I work from home these days, I decided one of the things I wanted to do more was take advantage of the rare days of sunshine in the winter for shooting blog posts. If you are a blogger and you work full time away from home, I’m sure you know how difficult it is to get decent shots when you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark – your weekends are your only real time for photography and even then, if it’s bucketing down with rain (as it does so often here in Manchester), the light is abysmal regardless of the fact that it’s actually the daytime.
So when I saw it was going to be a lovely sunny day on Tuesday, I figured it was time to get the camera out and do a fun styling session. Actually, I’m not even sure if I can call it ‘styling’ – it’s really just ‘faffing’, messing around with vignettes and creating some new looks.
I was determined to shoot on manual settings and I’m sure that every single time I do, I learn something new about my camera. I had the camera on a tripod and for some reason, the autofocus (which yes, I tend to rely on) just looked terrible. So, as much as I abhor reading directions, I dug out the user manual and well, I discovered a bucketload of features that I had yet to untap in my little Canon 500D – including how to manually focus in ‘Live Mode’. So that was fun.
What was also fun was creating 3 different looks (plus a bonus look!) for the same console table in my dining room. So a few hours of styling/faffing (ie, ripping my house to shreds for ‘props’), these are the looks that transpired.
Look #1 – Feminine Glam
This is the one that’s the most ‘me’ so I figured I’d start with this one first (although who am I kidding, really, they are all ME). It’s colourful and feminine with touches of pink and gold but I think that dark blue wall that is the backdrop for all of the looks grounds the space and keeps it from looking too ‘frou-frou’.
Layering artwork – (especially something as colourful the large abstract painting) creates an engaging backdrop when you are creating vignettes. Just be sure to have items at different levels to keep the eye moving across the surface – if everything was at the same height, the result would be much less interesting. Notice also that I choose those specific books for their spines – the colours of the covers really pick up the colours in the painting and that pink is carried through again in the little vase of roses.
Look #2 – Elegant (but not stuffy)
Now this is a more elegant look with a bit of symmetry in the book stacks and vases of roses, creating visual height on both sides with the candelabra centred between them. I wanted to throw that symmetry off ever so slightly so hung a pineapple sconce and a colourful print at different heights which makes it looks less uptight (which symmetrical design can sometimes have a tendancy to do) and a little more relaxed. Again the books were chosen for their spines in this vignette because they picked up the colours in the print.
I can see this look working in a rather more elegant home – it’s pretty and it’s a bit posh but it’s still a ‘young’ look due to the colour palette of navy and cerise and that cute parrot looking over the proceedings.
Look #3 – Party Time! Excellent!
I wanted to create a bit of a ‘bar’ area in this one so of course, glasses, sparkling and alcoholic beverages, a cocktail shaker and fun cocktail umbrellas have all made an appearance. A tray is always a great way to corral groups of items and it’s one of those must-have’s that you honestly just can’t have enough of in your home – they always come in handy to really finish off a vignette.
I wanted this look to be a bit of fun so I used my painting (called ‘Confetti Rising’ – see? party atomosphere!) to provide the palette and with a painting this large, you really don’t even need anything else. Another book stack picks up the reds and dark blues in the painting with a sculptural accessory sat on top.
Oooh but wait! There’s one more!
Bonus Look – Rock ‘N Roll After Party
This was actually originally the start of Look #3 which had much more of a rock ‘n roll edge – it was like while the party at Look #3 were playing Pictionary, the Party at Look #4 were playing strip poker and getting trashed on Jagermeister and flaming Sambucas. You’ll see most of the accessories are the same – the only things that were changed were the art, the books and the accessory sat on top of the books. And that is how easy it is to change the entire mood of a vignette just by changing a few accessories.
So… first tell me – which one do you prefer?
And secondly, do you like posts like this? Would you want me to do more ‘pseudo styling’ posts? Because I really enjoyed doing this but maybe it’s not very entertaining or maybe it’s not very helpful because it’s all the same sort of style… I dunno! Let me know in the comments what’s going on in that big sexy brain of yours…
P.S. And yes, I realise that Emily Henderson is currently doing posts like this but I SWEAR I had already planned this post for the last month, I was just waiting for a sunny free day to shoot it. But of course she’s kind of stolen my thunder. Considering that we’re like totally BFFs and stuff, I forgive her for totally stealing my totally original idea. (cough)