Who’s behind all those beautiful images you pin every day? What’s the secret to those stunning images in your favourite magazines? The answer: a prop stylist. As the market editor for Domaine, I often play that role on our exciting photoshoots. It’s a prop stylist’s job to select and style all of the items in a photo. From tableware to furniture, we make everything look its best. But it takes more than a well-trained eye to do that; a stylist is never without his or her arsenal of tools. Here is what’s often found in a stylist's set kit:
Terrain Long Blade Shears ($58)
Scissors – You may think one pair will do, but a variety is needed. Our kits often include paper scissors, fabric scissors, pinking shears, and garden shears.
Tape – A prop stylist always comes prepared with every kind of tape: double-sided, painter’s tape, paper tape, masking tape, gaffer’s tape, duct tape, and packing tape.
Glue – Super glue is an obvious must-have, but a prop stylist typically has a glue gun, fabric glue, and epoxy as well.
The Home Depot White Plastic Shims ($2)
Shims – A shim is basically a little wedge you can use to prop something up or stick underneath an uneven object. You can also use a small piece of moldable wax.
Floral Wire – If you just can’t get a flower to strike a pose where you want it to, a little piece of floral wire will do the trick.
Fishing Line – Make an object float in mid-air for a picture, or discreetly tie something down with some fishing line.
X-Acto Bulldog Clips ($10)
Bulldog Clips – Perhaps the handiest item in a stylist’s kit, these strong clips will hold anything in place. Excellent for smoothing out a wrinkled tablecloth, by clipping one to each edge and pulling the fabric taut.
Pins – Straight pins and safety pins are necessary, especially when styling bedding.
Steamer – A wrinkle has no place in a professional photograph, so a steamer is a must.
Rowenta ProMaster Iron ($125)
Iron – Although a steamer is great for curtains and other large pieces of fabric, nothing gets the wrinkles out of table linens like a hot iron.
Tweezers – When styling a detail shot (like a jewellery ad), fingers are far too cumbersome and tweezers should be used instead.
Baby Powder – If you accidently spill oil or an item is undesirably oily, a light dusting of baby powder should do the trick.
Tide Tide To Go ($7)
Stain Remover – Be it a Tide To Go Pen or a bleach pen, any kind of stain remover is clutch.
Measuring Tape – Say you’re styling a living room and you realise you need a lampshade, you’re going to want a tape measure to know what size to go out and get.
Empty Spray Bottles – A quick way to get wrinkles out of fabric is to make them damp (with the spray bottle) and let dry. Also, you can use the spray bottle to make a flower look a little dewy.
Goo Gone Goo Gone ($3)
Goo Gone – All those champagne glasses you got for the “party shot” are going to need the stickers taken off the bottom. A dab of Goo Gone will make that task a whole lot easier.
Hammer and Nails – In a pinch you may need to play the role of handyman and hang a picture or two.
Sticky Tack – When something just won’t stay where you want it to, stick a piece of tack underneath it.
Do you have any secret styling tricks? Let us know below.