Shopping Cart

Styling tips you NEED in your life

Posted by Mandy Gleason on
Styling tips you NEED in your life

Can you believe the year is half over? SO much has happened in the Replica world in the last 6 months and I know it has in your business world too. So to celebrate, I’m coming at you with the tips I wish I knew when I started on this crazy photo journey. There's something in here for everyone, whether your photo jam is products, food, clothing, or wedding. And never forget that every tip is meant to get your creativity flowing and doesn’t need to be followed exactly. So if you see a tip with an associated food photo but you’re a beauty guru, 100% modify it to work for you!

And to take the work out of prop-sourcing, I’ve linked to Amazon listings for most of the props I discuss. None of these are sponsored, just affordable props that I’m loving (everything is under $15 at the time of sending this). All of the backdrops are Replica Surfaces, so click the photos to shop each one.


Lovely loose tea

Replica Surfaces styling tip tea

Alright, new favorite styling prop right here - loose tea sprinkled in the foreground of your shot. With the beautiful pops of color you find in loose tea, styling with tea works for so much more than food shots - beauty, candles, soaps, home decor...I could go on and on. My favorite loose teas of the moment? Anything with colored pieces in it (think lavender, rose, and peach). This sampler from Tea Forte comes with five beautiful varieties and won’t break the bank. Plus they’re individually packaged so they’ll stay fresh and vibrant for styling AND sipping. Hellooo perfect Sunday morning!


Sorry, I’m a little tied up right now

Replica Surfaces styling tip twine

This is one of the prettiest food shots around, so let’s dissect the styling, shall we? For starters, make your main prop feel like a gift by tying a piece of cotton kitchen string or jute twine around it like we did here. Little bows are pretty bows, so keep the loops small and the ends long. This unexpected detail literally costs pennies to create.

What else makes this photo so appealing? How filled the frame feels. And that means adding simple props to the foreground and background to create visual interest. Make sure your styling arsenal contains a simple white cloth napkin (or other white fabric) and a small bowl or ramekin like the one pictured here. Drape the cloth in the front left corner of the shot and fill the bowl with a small ingredient that compliments your main dish. Try fillers like coffee beans, chocolate chips, fresh herbs, or fresh lemon wedges. 

Place the bowl in the back right of your photo and keep it out of focus. If you’re shooting on a phone, invest a few dollars in a blurring app like Fab Focus that lets you manually blur the background. FINALLY, sprinkle some crumbs all over your scene. It’s truly ok to be a little heavy handed here - the more crumbs the delicious-er!


Keep it simple, Beautiful

Replica Surfaces tip clothing

Styling handmade goods or clothing for resale is totally different than styling food or creating intricate flat lays. When it comes to selling, simple styling is the name of the game. Since you’re reading this, you already know that it's key to start with a surface or two that captures your brand’s vibe.

After that, I wholeheartedly believe you only need ONE great prop to finish the look. How awesome is THAT to hear? Using just one prop in every listing adds visual interest and creates a consistent look for your shop without distracting from the item for sale. My prop of choice? Two strands of faux greenery draped along opposite corners of your photo, just like we did here. I’m loving these willow and eucalyptus ones that come two per pack.


Block off some time

Replica Surfaces tip styling blocks wedding

This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about styling blocks, but they deserve an extra mention during wedding season! Styling blocks are any square or rectangular object that can be placed under another object to elevate it and allow you to slide other objects underneath. Here, we used styling blocks of different heights to elevate both invitations and slide flowers underneath. I promise you already have styling blocks in your home - rectangular match books, deck of playing cards, children’s blocks, or even small bowls - literally anything with a flat surface. If you’re after a more professional look, snag some wooden blocks from your local craft store.


And that's that, Gorgeous! Comment and let a girl know what you think.

Older Post Newer Post


  • Sheryl on
    I also love the block suggestion for style layouts and plan to use that one tomorrow thanks for sharing
  • JoDee Speck on

    I LOVE the loose tea idea!!! I am running right out and buying some!! What a great idea to add color and texture.

  • Jenny on

    Love these tips girl! So glad you have an email list and blog now, love following what you do and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of your surfaces as soon as I get my studio space set up! Keep it up!

  • Laura Griswold on

    I am a calligrapher and stationery designer. I struggle with styled photo layouts sometimes for invitations. Have a block underneath the invitations is genius!!! Can’t wait to try this trick! Thanks for sharing. :)

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published