Stylists’ secrets: Photography tips for styling the seasons

Get the scoop on simple styling from pro photographers/stylists, Caroline South, Candy Pop and Rachael Smith, and find new ways to keep your photography fresh and relevant. See you on the prop hunt!

Caroline South Photography

Photo © Caroline South

Caroline South is the master of styling minimal, striking flatlays using bits and bobs picked up on the beach. “In January,” says Caroline, “I like to wrap up and get out and about as much as possible. The winter months are when I find the most beach treasures. High tides and stormy weather mean there’s plenty of flotsam and photo props to collect.”

Since shorter days make photographing indoors quite tricky, Caroline advises that you find a place in your home with as much natural light as possible. “I often use a conservatory for my photos on overcast days. Bathrooms can be a great place, too as they often have lots of white tiles which reflects the light. Using a reflector, or a piece of white card, is also a great way to increase the amount of light available.”

Petal heart | Caroline South

Photo © Caroline South

February is known as the month of romance. While neon hearts have their place in Valentine’s styling, your photos could be heart-free and still tell a story of love, explains Caroline. “A romantic effect can be achieved by using a soft, hazy filter. Don’t overdo it though, or it could end up looking a little cheesy. Warm, pastel coloured backgrounds and soft, textured fabrics can help to enhance the setting.”

By March you’ll be spotting yellows and pastel pinks in your Instagram feed as people get into the spirit of Easter and early spring. This time of year Caroline likes to incorporate lots of natural and found seasonal items in her photos, rather than buying props and flowers. “I like using lots of light, crisp colours and fresh greens in my images, incorporating spring foliage and early blooms to get that spring-like feel.”

Pachael Smith | Mollie Makes Home Pachael Smith | Mollie Makes Home 2 Pachael Smith | Mollie Makes Home 4

Photo © Rachael Smith

For professional photographer, Rachael Smith styling the spring months includes lots of bold colours. “April, May and June has to be fresh, and clean. For my interior shoots I like to fill vases with fresh flowers such as roses and hydrangeas.” Her top tip for new stylists: “Style to the camera, then tweak where necessary.” When you’re happy with your styling, Rachael suggests walking round 360 degrees to make sure that it works from every angle. “But don’t move the props,” Rachael’s quick to add, “the reader ends up playing spot the difference if one thing is out of place!”

Candy Pop Instagram

Photo © Candy Pop

Natasha of lifestyle and photography blog, Candy Pop leans towards anything that evokes feelings of holidays when shooting in summer months, using “warm colours, shades of blue, shells, vintage postcards and sunglasses” in her styled shots. “It’s a time to be bright, bold and confident while taking advantage of the wonderful, natural light.”

Like so many of us, Natasha finds herself reflecting and planning in September filling new notebooks with good ideas. So go with it! “Use this time to try different things, experiment with colour and make the most of the last rays of summer.”

Photo © Caroline South.

Photo © Caroline South


For new craft business owners wanting to update their photography Rachael suggests keeping it simple, “Over-styling makes the viewer look at the props rather than the object you want to sell.”

Greet October, November and December with lit fires, dusty foliage and natural, rustic-looking props. “I always like to use rustic apples in a bowl and chunky bread with soup,” reveals Rachael. Popular colour combinations for these months are dark blue’s, Miami pinks and greys. Going for a traditional autumnal theme? Dried hydrangeas are your friends. They look great, inexpensive and could easily take you from an autumn to spring look when used in blues and purples.


Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 17.03.26About Rachael Smith

Rachael has been working professionally for 12 years, specialising in interiors photography. Her work has enabled her to travel around the world, with editorial, publishing and advertising commissions throughout Europe, America and as far as China and New Zealand. 


Candy_Pop_AboutAbout Candy Pop

Natasha behind Candy Pop is an Oxford-based lifestyle blogger, photographer and stylist who has collaborated with brands including Boden, Laura Ashley, Dwell and First Great Western.




Caroline SouthAbout Caroline Smith

Caroline South behind Scraps of Us shares memories from the adventures she has with her family. On her blog you’ll find lots of photos of their everyday moments, the treasures they find, craft and DIY projects and more.

Putting these tips into practice? Show and tell using #molliemakes.

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