Say Cheese! 4 essential tips for amazing photo styling

By now, you can tell I love photography. Not just any photography, but a deep appreciation and affinity towards interior design photos. I am addicted to styling scenes and bringing out their best details in photos.

Many of you might be wondering how does Anita do it? Well, lucky you because today I will be sharing a few pointers on photography and styling. And at the end, there will be surprise that you won’t want to miss!

My love of photography started in high school when I headed to a week long journalism camp.  I was randomly selected to work with the photojournalism department and spent a week at the University of Washington learning about developing film, shooting in black and white, and learning what aperture, ISO and shutter speed was.  At the end of the rigorous week, my professor and our little shutterbug group went downtown to Skid Row and shot whatever caught our eyes.  It was an incredible experience and I even won the scholarship for most creative! Needless to say, that was when my love affair with the camera began.

I continued to pursue my love for photography by taking family photos over the years, but recently I decided to pursue my life passion of design and photography. And here I am talking to you!

4 Tips to Help You Compose a Better Picture:

1) Find the focus of the image. Think of the story you want to tell.  Is it the new sofa you got or the flowers leaning into the sunlight on the kitchen counter?

In the beginning it’s tempting to shoot artsy pictures and although it’s good practice, think about what point you want to make to your audience. For me, I often think how will this picture help others design their space?

2) Play around with placement.  Think of different textures, pattern and color then mix it up until it looks balanced. An odd number items on a tray spaced apart with a couple of things on the opposite side on a table can give just the right symmetry. One or two larger items anchoring the left and right side of the pictures help provide balance too.

I tend to like simple items and then I layer the depth with colors and textures.  More is not always more in my design style but at the end, it still feels rich.

3) Do bone up on basic photography 101. There are many links online to great photography teaching tools. Here are a few:

4) Lamps, books, accessories, plants and personal and meaningful touches are must haves in any design you are creating.  I will delve into specifics in future blog posts. I plan to cover how to style shelves, coffee tables, beds, dining tables too–the world is our oyster people!

And now the part you are waiting for! To thank you for taking the time to read my blog today, when you subscribe to my weekly Design Drop, you will receive 5 FREE popular lifestyle stock photos taken by yours truly to be used however you wish!

I’m so happy you visited my blog and we got a chance to meet!  See you next time as I continue my mission to offer design inspo and advice that will help you open up your home and world.
Happy day!



Leave a Comment


  1. Julie wrote:

    Love your interior photos & these are really great tips!
    I need to bone up on the basics so I’ll definitely be checking out those links too.😊

    Posted 4.24.17 Reply
    • Anita Yokota wrote:

      Thank you so much Julie, I am so glad you found it helpful!

      Posted 4.24.17 Reply