Behind the Scenes: A Styled Shoot for Marie Mae Co

Styled shoots have been one of my favorite projects lately. I love talking through the product and brand story with the client. Finding props, and then making shot lists and story boards - it's this magical combination of planning and treasure hunting.

For this shoot with Marie Mae Co., I teamed up with the lovely Angie Webb. She took care of photos and lighting, which allowed me to be all in when it came to styling. We had 4-5 major "scenes" for this shoot and about 10 products all together. 


We shot the entire session at Ember Hot Yoga in Downtown Woodstock. Amazing natural light and white walls made for photo shoot heaven. 

One under appreciated skill is how to drop things beautifully. I think it's something I learned in art school. Styling photos is so similar to painting - laying out the composition, considering colors - it's all there.

Product photos have to tell the story for customers who are too busy to read your product descriptions (i.e. everyone). Like most visuals, product photos work as the receptionist. Good photography is like a warm welcome to your audience. It should say, "You're in the right place. This is for you."

Hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes peek! You can see the final pieces on this page. If you're interested in a photo shoot for your company, don't hesitate to reach out. Contact us to get a list of current rates in your inbox.


Field Notes: Styling and Content Tips from Facebook and Instagram

Instagram Styling Tips

Yesterday I got to hang out at PCM with the fine folks of Instagram and Facebook at a free event in celebration of Small Business Week! Go small business, go! I had the chance to connect with some fun people while picking up some tips and tools from the pros.

Instagram Styling Tips for Small Business
Instagram Styling Hacks

Styling Tips

I was really overwhelmed at how encouraging the team was at the Facebook Creative Shop. Their motto seemed to be: There is no reason that small business should be creating less than stellar images. If you're like me,  definetly NOT a photographer, take heart. You can get high quality images with a smart phone and a small lighting set up that would set you back about $50. They had an awesome mobile light studio and a few lights set up to show how quickly you can create your own little photo cube. They used contact paper on foam board to create marble, wood and other textures. (I have been hauling the heavy extender leaf from my table up and down the stairs for photo sessions. Face palm.) They also had flat poster boards for color blocked backgrounds. I know this was all on the internet already, but seeing in person just how easy it all was to set up gave me new hope.

A video posted by Mad & Dusty (@madanddusty) on


The one thing I kept hearing over and over was how much movement affects your content’s success. Whether this be through video, a gif, or boomerang. Movement is simply more engaging and generates more clicks. It jumps out at you as you scroll through your feed. Below is a list of Instagram Facebook’s Creative Shop’s favorite apps for editing.

But, Quiet Movement

If you’re not optimizing your video for quiet then you could be missing out on a lot of engagement. People who view Instagram and Facebook on mobile generally have their sound off. If you need to have sound in your video, consider making the first bit “quiet friendly” and give the viewer time to click for sound.

Editing Apps

If you have a smartphone, you literally have a film/photography studio in your pocket. These are the favorite apps of the Facebook Creative Shop:

  • Hyperlapse - Time lapse videos 
  • Boomerang - Mini videos that loop back and forth (like the note cards above!) 
  • Layout - Combine photos into different layouts
  • Legend - Animate text over videos or gifs
  • ALIVE - Movie maker with effects
  • Gif Toaster - Make a gif
  • Over - Overlay art work on photos

Marketing Resources for Small Business 

I loved chatting with the team at Facebook Blueprint. They offer training modules on how to use Facebook and Instagram marketing to their fullest potential. They are working on a certification program too, which sounds awesome! I'll definitely be keeping an eye on that.

Hope these tips help you in your content creation. I left with a better understanding and I'm excited to try some of these apps and tips myself! What new things would you be most excited to try?

Hugs + Happy Weekend!!