Styled vs. real

Perfectly colour coordinated in a tidy house, or rolling with reality of mismatched socks and unwashed dishes in the background?

There is no right or wrong here, anything goes, however, there is danger in not managing your own expectations.
Consider a situation where you have been inspired by a beautiful emotional film. The mum and her two daughters are wearing long floating matching dresses, twirling in the sunset. Your inspiration is “I want a film like that”, so you bring the camera out and capture you and your girls dancing about. But, your girls are wearing slippers, pepper pig tops, scruffy hair, hoover and toys in the background… then you might well look at your film and feel disappointed! There is nothing wrong with your film, but subconsciously compared to the very styled and polished film it doesn’t measure up.
So, I always think it’s best to make a choice! If you want the styled version plan for that, and trust me it will require some planning! If you want the rough every day reality, then whip the camera out and start filming.


  • Location spotting/picking
  • Weather forecast
  • Wardrobe styling
  • Props needed?
  • Set a date and time, otherwise it won’t happen


  • Film at home
  • Don’t worry about any everyday mess (everything tells a story down the line!)
  • Capture everyday moments, any time

A perfect mix

  • Choose an everyday activity (maybe painting, baking, playing football)
  • Set a date for when you will record it
  • Shoot it at home, but do a rough tidy up
  • Choose clothes for your kids that you would like to remember (we all have favorite outfits!)
  • Choose to shape this memory

I hope that has fueled a little bit of thoughts around shooting something really styled vs. something everyday. I am hugely into the everyday stuff, but I do feel better if I have done a rough tidy up first, and I am often a bit fussy about what the boys wear, so I end up in the “mixed” category – that’s just my personality 😉
Happy capturing x

By admin

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