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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).



Prop Stylist first Photoshoot

8th grade GraduationWell…

It’s been over a week since this amazing experience and I still get excited every time I look at these photos! My new (self-appointed) job is “Stylist.” Interior, Lifestyle, and Prop Freelance Stylist. and I think it suits me well.

Tableware from Penny Lane Antique MallAll this beautiful tableware is from Penny Lane Antique Mall. The wild daisy floral arrangement is in a White Glass Mixing Bowl, the place setting includes Antique Silverware by Silver Tulip (borrowed from a friend), F.K. White Plates, Brown Transferware Plates, Pyrex cup and saucer, Scrabble Letter Pendants (as favors), and a European Pillowcase as a centerpiece. In the first photo displayed on a Bistro chair is an F.K. White Bowl, White Creamer and Pitcher. Lovely, no? The placecards were made from brown bag cardstock and letter stamps.

place settingThe Bistro Table Set is from Dream Garden Woodworks.

Girls Tea-PartyThese girls are my daughter and her 3 besties. They just graduated from 8th grade. They agreed to be in my photoshoot! They all had so much fun they want to do it again. Soon! Additional props in this photo: Votive candle holders from Pier 1 Imports. Porcelain Cake Stand from Penny Lane. Crochet gloves and straw hat from Penny Lane. Food from Winco.

Porcelain Cake StandIn case I haven’t mentioned it yet!! These beautiful photos were taken by Corlana of Lana Jenae Photography. She did such an amazing job. She loves to photograph in the evenings with lots of sunlight. She also fit right in with these girls and their mood of hilarity :)

Cake Stand cupcakes and browniesI would have loved to prop some local gourmet food but I was short on time so these food props are from Winco: Velvety Red Cupcakes, Brownie Bites and Coffee.

Yea!Oh, and did I mention most of the clothes and accessories are from Foxxy Brown’s?

Anna is wearing Charlotte Russe and me too shoes. Kate is wearing Lush and born concept shoes, Sam is wearing xhilaration, Charlotte Russe and Fryre shoes. Irina is wearing Forever 21 and Wild Diva shoes. Wardrobe Styling was a team effort. My daughter has a strong fashions sense and she will be my advisor for future model wardrobes. yea!

Kate, Sam, Anna, Irina

Disclaimer: None of these companies paid me to style their stuff. All opinions are my own.


Freelance Stylist

What do you get when you add Vintage, Antiques from Penny Lane, 8th grade girls, Dream Garden Woodworks Bistro Table Set and great clothes from Foxxy Brown’s? oh! and daisies and a field with a barn.

You get a photoshoot!!! My first experience as a Prop Stylist!! I’ll be posting all week with a few gems from all the great images photographed by Corlana at Lana Jenae Photography.

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Styled by Melanie Beilner; Lana Jenae Photography

So, stay tuned this week, you don’t want to miss out on this!! See additional info. on my Freelance Stylist page.


Berry Pie

berry pie photoshoot

Just practising my food photography by a lovely window, of course!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I love my dining table as a background for just about anything. You gotta love a barnwood table!!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis berry pie recipe is amazing!


Peony Photos


Well, I’m at it again. The bloomin buds this time of year are amazing and I decided to practise some simple tips I’d learned on Pinterest…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, (above) I used a sun lounger folded as the backdrop (because it had an interesting pattern.) Not shown, I used a white board propped with clips to reflect the light. I think it helped!

Peony PhotoshootHere, my peony bouquet is displayed with a plaid blanket as a background (it is draped over a box.)