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Beach Picnic Part 3; roasting marshmallows

roasting marshmellowsSo, after a tuna-cucumber sandwich, potato chips, watermelon and coca-cola, the kids made smores over a mini campfire on Locust Beach. Photography by the lovely Corlana of Lana Jenae Photography!

smores ingredientsCan’t you just taste the ooey-gooey goodness…roasting marshmallows

closeup smoreYou gotta love the red suspendors (all sources listed in Post 1 HERE).


so much fun!Well, the evening was a huge success even though the sun was not out very long! Cheers!


Beach Picnic Photoshoot Part 2

Lana Jenae PhotographySo, if these 3 aren’t completely adorable??? (Lena Jenae Photography)

Coca-colaI’m glad my friend painted her nails red; it makes magic!

Coca-cola happiness

red striped straws

tuna cucumber sandwiches


So, this concludes Part 2 of the Beach Picnic Photoshoot!! If you missed part 1 click HERE! (Sources included in Part 1) Stay Tuned for Part 3!!


Beach Picnic Photoshoot Part 1

Hello Everyone! Hope you had a good 4th of July. It is my favorite Holiday because it is laid back and more spontaneous. And all the local wild daisies are in bloom and daisies are my favorite flower! and of course summer is one of my fav. seasons :)

My friend Dana and her 3 kids were in my next Styled Photoshoot. I love collaborating with Corlana at Lana Jenae Photography (for additional photos of this shoot, visit her site)! Dana is going to surprise her husband with a few nice photos on their anniversary. So. Shhh!!! Part 1:

Lana Jenae PhotographyI bought a “Color Me” kite from Target and sewed this ticking fabric (from Walmart) with brown bias tape as edging. Dana and kids start the photoshoot journey on the trail down to Locust Beach, B’ham, WA. (I do not recommend going to this beach alone; it is secluded and beautiful but take a buddy along.)

Beach SceneAs seen in the Beach Scene: Beach Chairs and clip-on umbrella from Target, Quilt from Garage Sale, Picnic Hamper found in “free” pile (can you believe it?) My biggest inspiration, as a Stylist, has been Country Living Magazine! just so you know :)

Lana Jenae PhotographyThis medium size Beach Tote was a find at 2nd Chance Thrift Store, Lynden, WA. The blue and white striped towels are from Walmart.

Coca-colas in iceCoca-colas were purchased at Fred Meyer. Metal bucket I’ve had for years.Beach Must HavesBeach Must-Haves include a Vintage Magazine, Picnic, Potato Chips, decorative tupperware containers from Fred Meyer. Beach Tote: Tower Hill. Bunting made by Me! Sunglasses from a Garage Sale.

Black Sun HatThis Black Sun Hat I found at Fred Meyer, D&Y (last one!) Post magazine from 1950′s.

Beach Picnic HamperInside my Beach Picnic Hamper, I pack red striped straws from Target, Gingham Cloth Napkins from Target and tuna cucumber sandwiches (specially wrapped) and watermelon.

beautiful friendIsn’t my very good friend gorgeous??

Sun Hat, Fred MeyerThe black sun hat is from Fred Meyer: D&Y, the red berry lipstick is Clinique (I think!). The black top is from Foxxy Brown’s Consignment: Tulle. 

Lana Jenae Photography 203-25The young ladies striped tank is Pink Rose from Macy’s (via Foxxy Browns). The boys accessories (newsboy hat and red suspendors) are from the Goodwill. The young lady’s polka-dot head wrap is from a Garage Sale. Be sure to tune in to Part 2!


Behind the Scenes Photoshoot

behind scenes photoshoot1The above photo shows the “packing” up stage after my first photoshoot as a Stylist. It really is some work to plan, prep, pack, re-pack and return. I couldn’t have done it without my kids help. My son is very strong and carried the Bistro Table by himself. My daughter helped with Wardrobe choices for her and her friends and assisted at the photoshoot.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a photo taken with my camera during the shoot. It does not compare to the photos that Cor took:

Lana Jenae Photography

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So, of course I learned a ton from this experience:

*Have options! Plan A, Plan B on location, day of photoshoot, extra props, extra clothes

*Be flexible; listen to what others want and what makes them feel happy

*Consider amount of help needed transporting props, helping with hair and makeup, etc.

*Have a shot list for the photographer (send ahead of time for previewing)

*Have a prop list on site and check it over

*Have styling kit with essential might really need stuff (like berry red lipstick :) ) I assembled my styling kit based on Annette Joseph’s kit list.

*bring table, ladder, anything handy like that depending on location

*Scope out the location ahead of time for direction of sun at dusk and other considerations

* arrive early

*think “play” not work

I think there’s more on my list but I think I’ve shared enough for now… if you are a Stylist or a wanna-be Stylist, let me know. I’d love to chat with you!

For more photos of this photoshoot, go HERE  and HERE! For information regarding our services, go to my Freelance Stylist page.

And here is one last favorite pic of me and Cor at our first shoot!

Cor and Melanie


How To Become a Prop Stylist

How does one become a Prop Stylist? I asked myself this exact question a couple years ago. I’ve studied magazines and photographs for years and only in the last couple years noticed the very small writing on articles in magazines…”Photographed by…Syled by…etc.” I started Google-ing “How to Become a Stylist.”

I discovered the well-known Emily Henderson and her advice on how to become a stylist. She wrote another post on a day in the life of a stylist. These articles almost discouraged me from any more research. Emily and her kind shop for trucks of options for a photoshoot. Unpack, pack, re-tag, return (standing in line no less!) Her 3 options for becoming a prop stylist are one: get a job with Martha Stewart. Two: Assist a freelance Stylist (I can’t even find one online in my area.) and Three: Create an online brand with cache and test with photographers. This last option seemed like the only option for me (according to Emily Henderson). These articles were very informative and eye opening.

Along with my research of “how to become a stylist,” I Googled the names of Stylists in my favorite magazine: Country Living. Heather Bullard and Serena Thompson of Farm Chicks are 2 favs. (Serena doesn’t call herself a Stylist but it’s only a matter of time :) ) I also wanted to find some “close to home” stylists and I found Jenn Elliot Blake of Seattle and Chelsea Fuss of Frolic. For years already, I’ve been following Selina Lake. Her pretty style is sure to please! She talks about how she became a stylist (at a very young age) here. She shares her grit and determination using Self PR until she got her first styled shoot commissioned. I follow these ladies blogs regularly and learn so much from them! Thanks ladies!

Along with these talented ladies, I found even more specific information on Annette Joseph’s blog.  Lessons in Styling. How to Be a Producer. How to Organize Props. Styling Kits.

Basically, mostly from Annette Joseph’s tips, I came up with a To-Do List for a project/photoshoot:

1. Inspiration Board (I use Pinterest)

2. Come up with a theme, determine location.

3. Make arrangements. Determine best shooting time with photographer.

4. Order, Shop, Collect Props. Un-tag props, wash if needed, re-pack.

5. Bring list of props to use to photoshoot including your style kit (and sometimes other things like a table to set all your stuff on, a ladder for the photographer, snacks. etc.)

6. Bring “Shot” list for photographer.

7. Un-pack props in staging area at photoshoot. Set up the scene.

8. Go through “Shot” list and Prop list.

9. Re-pack everything carefully. Bring it home; unpack, wash, re-tag. Re-pack and return to store.

In my first process as a Stylist I also helped with Wardrobe Styling, Hair, Makeup and was a Food Stylist.  Also, behind the scenes, I was talking to vendors, collaborating with the photographer and then following up with vendors with images and sources. I learned a lot from this process and will share everything I learned in upcoming post(s).