We nature photographers work hard to make our images compelling, traveling far and wide, shooting in the worst weather and at the craziest times of day.
There is another tool – and an often rather simple one – that very few nature photographers practice: photo styling, re-arranging and arranging what is in front of our lens. Some nature photographers have dabbled in photo styling, moving or removing an object, repositioning an insect, amphibian or reptile. Studio, wedding and portrait photographers have long practiced photo styling, demonstrating the incredible power of the practice. So have camera clubs.
The styled image is a product of our own imagination, helping us better tell the story we want to tell. We take control, we make the image our own. Photo styling makes for some of the most evocative and yes, even salable images, we can create.
Explore a wealth of examples that will provoke you. Learn useful tips, including the principle of odds, backgrounds, surfaces, sweeps and lighting. Consider 2 key pieces of any styling: (1) practicing ethics, a complete respect for the nature we are capturing; and (2) restraint so as not to guild the lily, literally.
For all photographers, beginner to advanced pro.