I worked as a photographic stylist for some years styling homewares for a major department store. A stylist is the person who makes the product look pretty with props using their artistic flair. It’s the stylist’s (and the photographers) job to make the product look good. Despite my background, I really hate unrealistic styling and propping … in particular, the lack of balance between the pretty and the practical. It’s all friggin’ pretty! I like to see some signs of life; newspapers, odd socks and unmade beds. Ok, I’m kidding.. I don’t want to see a shambles, but how would that wardrobe look if there was some more realistic content?
I would actually find the product more accessible – and I would certainly know how to use it better (do you think those cushions down the bottom of the wardrobe in those big deep baskets are the best of space?) I think it would also help those who are less visual and perhaps less able to imagine their stuff in situ.
There are many, many photos of products that are styled like the one above. Magazines are full of pretty, pretty pics that are very enticing and pleasurable, but how does one work at a desk with only a pencil cup and laptop? Where’s the actual paper and work? Do publishers really think we buy the promise of ‘unreal’?
What do you think? Should stylists get a grip and make things a bit more real? love to hear your thoughts.