Styling in a photoshoot

Styling is one of the key elements in a successful photoshoot. A lot of people overlook this subject and end up with “perfect” lighting, great locations and still unattractive photos, or at least photos that don’t make you go “WOW”


In my opinion styling will make or break the shot, however as soon as you start using styling you also dive into the snakepit called personal taste…… so prepare 😀


Now most people think “I can’t do this” or “This is SOOOO expensive” in reality however it isn’t.


In our studio I work together with (I think) one of the most creative stylists in the Netherlands at the moment Nadine, she can do wonders with almost nothing, and she is a pretty good model too (so what more to wish for), the idea is to combine materials and colors that work together, for example strong red with a blue wig would seem ridiculous on paper but when you execute it the right way you will see that it really works.

nadine dec 27 201317711-Edit

Now on the materials?
Most of the stuff I and Nadine use are cheap, we want to keep switching looks and hardly ever use something a second time in the same way, so often very basic materials are transformed into clothing, like christmas wrapping paper, curtains etc. etc.


Nadine 25 Nov 2011 - 14

Nadine 25 Nov 2011 - 47


And the clothing?
I always tell model combine stuff you would never walk around with on the street and make sure the colors mix and match, now add some elements like a tie or some funky glasses and you’re there.

Nirmala 3 September 2010   54

Oh so styling is just throwing stuff together?
HECK NO are you nuts 😀
Styling is a feeling, styling is an art, it’s just like photography.


Light is our language and we as photographers have to learn to master this language and start playing with it, combine the words/light and shadow and make something beautiful.


Styling you have to learn, to master but most of FEEL.
This is why in my book “Mastering the modelshoot” I give a lot of attention in between the technical stuff about quick styling tips that will lift your photos from ok to WOW.


Styling for me is part of the photoshoot. I get a lot of remarks about the book that “it’s so incredibly complete, and not just about lighting or retouching” and that’s cool to hear but for me it all is connected, no photoshoot without attention to lighting (of course) but also the pose, expression and styling, it’s all part of the end result, add a little bit of motion and maybe smoke on top add some story telling and you are done.



If you want to know much more about how we use styling in our work we have a few options :


1. On October 17 from 19:00-22:00 I teach a seminar on styling and story telling in photoshoots, costs are 35.00 language is DUTCH.
You can register a seat via


2. My book “Mastering the modelshoot”


3. On November 21-22 it’s time for the Ultimate Photoweekend in Emmeloord, 2 days JAMPACKED with information on modelshoots on location and in the studio, retouching and this seminar in English all cramped into 2 intense days and an evening. For more info visit :


Any questions ?
Feel free to ask