The next class in the Maker Session series is Simple Product Photography, scheduled for Monday, January 12th. Instead of teaching you all how to use a camera, which you can learn easily from your camera’s instruction manual or by just plain googling it - Maker Sessions is going to teach you how to create professional looking photos through lighting and editing, but also key to a professional looking photograph is styling.
Styling creates a context that can help possible buyers imagine how they might use your product. By placing your product into context within a photograph, you can not only attract buyers by providing a more beautifully composed photograph, but you can evoke a feeling as well.
When researching photographs to learn about styling, it is easy to see styling is best when it is invisible. It is a process that features your work and never detracts. Because of this simplicity, many think styling is easy. Once you try yourself, you will find that it is not.
Meet Stephanie Chojnacki. She has a background in design and styling in both the corporate world as well as her own small business. By one short look at her Instagram account, it is very apparent she has a keen eye for keeping things simple and beautiful. Most of this she can credit to styling.
Stephanie will be a featured speaker at the next Maker Session, Simple Product Photography on January 12th. She will be sharing all her tips and tricks to elevating your photography to the next level with seamless looking styled photographs. Maker Market caught up with her to ask her a few questions so you can get to know her before the class.
Maker Market-Where did you grow up?
Stephanie Chojnacki- Milwaukee - In Bay View actually.
MM-What training have you had?
SC- I started off at F.I.T. in New York for fashion design and merchandising. Then I graduated with my Bachelors from Madison.
MM-How did working for Target shape you and your future?
SC- I learned so much working at Target, most importantly the importance of branding. The very first day of training was all about branding and you learn pretty quickly how important it is to any successful business. Working at such a successful company with so many creative people definitely made me want to do it myself. Working there was almost a better education than going to school.
MM-As you stepped away from the corporate world what were the steps you took to launch your brand?
SC-I started by writing a blog while still working and wrote for over a year before launching my brand. It allowed me to see my style develop and really tighten my vision for what I wanted to make, who I wanted to market to, and how I wanted to style everything. Essentially building my brand before putting it out in the world.
MM-How would you describe your brand and aesthetic?
SC-A lifestyle brand based around simple handmade living. My aesthetic is simple, clean and handmade pulling from both vintage and modern design.
MM-What kind of content did you create for your blog/site to keep your buyer interested?
SC-It was a lifestyle blog that was mostly photo based about my life, my home, my style, DIY projects, and other designers I was interested in.
MM-What does styling do for a product and how can a photo make a positive or negative impact on a company?
SC-In the world of the internet you are pretty much selling a photo of a product so I think styling is really important. How well the product is styled and photographed will either make you want to buy something or not.
MM-As a stylist, how important is the client/makers vision?
SC-As a stylist you are helping bring the clients vision to life. You need to understand what their brand is about in order to style it in a way that reflects who they are and what they are trying to sell.
MM-What can the makers learn from you at the upcoming Maker Session?
SC-How to define your own style and use that style in your photographs to sell your product.
MM-What is currently inspiring you creatively and professionally? Who are your favorite bloggers? brands? ig feeds?
SC-I get most of my inspiration from Instagram these days and some of my favorite feeds are Lena Corwin, Lotfi Lotfi, Block Shop Textiles, and Ledansla.