In the Studio Archive

The Placement of Things: Black & White

April is all about refueling and finding creative inspiration here in the SC office.  I’ve taken the month off from commercial work to refuel after a very busy first quarter and am focusing my efforts on building up the collection of styled stock photography in the shop and creating “white space” (pun intended) in my work days to get out of the office and seek creative inspiration.  This afternoon you could find me sitting in a sunny corner of Barnes and Noble with a Caramel Honey latte in my hands flipping through art, food, fashion and decor magazines looking for visual inspiration. One image in particular stuck with me. It was an unlikely subject…vintage brooms and dustpans actually, but I have not been able to get it out of my head since.

That is the power of beautiful styling and product photography. It’s not the subject but what you do with the subject that makes for a memorable image.

At the end of the day I was reminded that what continues to be the most inspiring thing to me is to be working with my hands styling and shooting.  So, I shoot a little mini series that I will share here little by little that I am calling “The Placement of Things.”  It’s nothing fancy but just a challenge for myself to style with the everyday things around my office.  Fun right? More to come friends.

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Free Styled Stock Images For You!

Let me ask you a question friends, who here doesn’t love free stuff? I know I do! That is why each month it gives me so much joy to send out free styled stock images to everyone signed up for my SC Insiders Newsletter!

2013 Shay Cochrane

The free monthly download goes out around the first of each month and I also like to share what I am learning, struggling with, or working through in business at the time. So you get to hear more from me personally, receive any helpful business gems I have come across that month, and get your free monthly styled stock image download!

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This month readers received several free image downloads and I really don’t want you to miss out! If you love these fun, tropical palm leaf images, then you will love getting free styled stock images straight to your inbox each month! Each month I send a different styled stock image that is available for immediate download to be used to promote your blog, business, shop products, workshop, and more. How fun is that?!

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I really love connecting with readers each month through the newsletter and it’s not too late to sign up! And because I wouldn’t want you to miss out, I have included the Instagram square images from this month’s newsletter here in this post, yay! To download any of the palm styled stock images you see in this post, simply click the image and then right click and save to your computer. Be sure to tag the #scstockshop and @scstockshop when you use it so I can celebrate your business, blog, and products with you!

2013 Shay Cochrane

We would love to get your free monthly image downloads to you! Sign up to become an SC Insider today!



In the studio: Emily Ley

I am so excited about my sweet friend Emily Ley‘s newest Simplified Planner launch this past month! As many of you know, I have done styling and product photography for Emily for the past few years and I always love getting to work with her gorgeous products. I don’t know about you, but I think that these newest planner covers are her prettiest yet! We did three key banner images, one for each of her newest covers and each with a theme that would mirror the gorgeous individuality of each cover design.

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A fun fact about this shoot is that I had to ask my husband to fire the shutter for me so that I could get my own hands in the shot. I am no hand model, but I love how the styling of these turned out!  They really needed that human element to bring them to life. It took some finagling but it was worth it right?!

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These gorgeous pineapple accessories that we found from Hattan Home fit so perfectly with the EL brand and I was thrilled to style them in.  Also, I couldn’t resist sneaking in photos of Emily’s youngest little ones for a personal touch!  The layering of the sleeves has to be my most favorite.  Inspired by an image that Emily texted over to me one day, it was fun to pull in bit of wardrobe that would match Emily’s sweet preppy style.

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We are so thrilled for your new launch Emily! Thank you for asking me to style and photograph these gorgeous new planners. Be sure to catch the new Simplified Planner launch on May 6th!


Creating a concept: Product Styling and Photography

I knew this image was going to be a favorite of mine the moment I started styling it.  There are client projects in commercial product styling where you have a very clearly defined image concept and then there are projects that, for a variety of reasons, have an end goal but no other creative restrictions.  Often times, when shooting on location for a client I am simply pulling from available props and items the client has on hand and creating as I go – styling on the fly you might say.  I LOVE the challenge of projects like that and really feed creatively off of the client’s product and props that are found last minute on location.  Do you guys remember the “White Room Challenge” on HGTV’s Design Star? I kind of think about it like that – my very own White Room Challenge!

For this particular image I was shooting on location in Miami for Adrienne Bosh in anticipation of the launch of her new website, store and event space Sparkle and Shine Darling.  One of the goals during this day long shoot was to create  7 images that would communicate the various themes that customers will be able to pick for events hosted in the amazing SASD event space.  One of those themes is her “Garden Tea Party.”  Adrienne wanted these specific images to be a small teaser of what your experience will with each party theme without the images being simply a typical themed table setting.  I LOVED this idea!


For our primary props I knew that we would need to incorporate some of the gorgeous patterned tea cups, pots and saucers that she has in her store collection as well as featuring the gorgeous Sloan Fine Tea (whose packaging is to die for!) that will actually be available in the Sparkle and Shine Darling boutique and cafe.  Adrienne had gorgeous fresh peonies, ranunculus and roses on hand and ready for styling (and you know I LOVE to incorporate fresh florals any chance I get!) so I was in styling heaven.


For our secondary props we pulled this fabulous soft pink vintage perfume atomizer as well as PINK sugar cubes and hearts!  Its doesn’t get any more Darling than pink sugar cubes!  But when you think about a garden party you don’t think modern, sterile, white do you? No, you think about a lush garden with green grass, blossoming trees and mossy stepping stones!  I have worked with moss before and knew that it would lend a gorgeous color and texture and complete the garden tea party story but the problem was that we had nothing of the sort on hand – the only risk in styling and shooting on the fly.



Fortunately for me, Adrienne has the most gorgeous fresh floral arrangements created each week and placed around her home.  Sitting in the living room was a beautiful, lush, tropical green arrangement that had the most perfect mossy greens arranged in. What are the odds!? PERFECTION. It’s never fun to ask a client if you can disassemble something in their home for the sake of “getting the shot” but Adrienne was sweet enough to let me pull whatever I needed to complete the vision.  To me, the moss is what makes this image. It brings in that crucial earthy element while maintaining a clean aesthetic.


Creating an image concept, whether on the fly or through hours of inspiration gathering, is one of my favorite parts of the job and when it works, you feel it instantly.  I knew this was going to be a favorite image of mine the moment I starting styling it. It makes me want to take off my shoes and sit on tree swing with a cup of tea in hand while my bare feet brush over the soft green grass.  A good image begs you to crawl inside and live in it and for me this image does exactly that!




It’s hard to say goodbye!

Mailing back gorgeous projects to clients is the hardest part!!  Sometimes I just don’t want to say goodbye!  These two pretties in particular needed to stay and live at my house after our shoot with Adrienne Bosh for her new Sparkle and Shine Darling site and shop (opening soon!). I need at least eight of these Kate Spade gold polka dot tumblers (you will be seeing me again my friend) and this amazing ceramic gold waffle cone dish (what is it even called!?) is just perfect isn’t it? Sigh…A day in the life of a product stylist and photographer.  Can you just image my house if I accepted payment in products! I think my husband would leave. haha  Happy Thursday friends.

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