Posted by Lyndsey James

The season of festive advertising is just around the corner (lurking in the shadows of the back-to-school promotions) and as product developers/story tellers you need to be one step ahead if you want to gain a portion of the busiest selling season of all.

The great news is that independent businesses can often turn around ad campaigns and photo shoots much faster than the big players on the high street, so read on for some tips for styling your scenes to be festive ready NOW, without adopting full on Jingle Bells mode and annoying your customers.

Subtle Festive Styling on Photo Boards backdrops

Image: Silver Bauble on the Boat House / Pier Photo Board™ 


Familiar colours and objects

At this early stage of festive promos, introducing familiar objects and colours associated with the winter/festive season will grab the attention of organised Christmas shoppers and hopefully start to increase your returns, without putting off the general visitors to your blog or store who might not even think about Christmas until December.

Subtle Festive Styling on Photo Boards backdrops

Image: Green + Neutral props on the Shadow / Spotlight Photo Board™ 

Choose subtle props

The shot above of a little collection of props looks festive thanks to the inclusion of gold and green colours, tree decorations, ribbon, candles, foliage and the tiny deer on the paper clip; all colours, objects and shapes we associate with Winter/Christmas, but (excluding the tree decoration) are props that are used year round.

Pare back your props to the most subtle versions of festive that you have, so ditch the holly from the minced pies, opt for neutral baubles instead of Santa shaped ones, choose stars instead of Angels, you get the idea.

Think about what photo props you have that can be associated by colour or shape with Christmas but that are used year round, white props are especially useful, I also love stars as a year round but festive shape. Pine cones, fir tree branches and oranges are available all year around so why not start using them as props now? I'm sure you can think of many more examples that are relevant to your own scenes.

Subtle Festive Styling on Photo Boards backdrops

Image: Red + Cream props on the Cabin / Farmhouse Photo Board™ 

Plan your colours

When it comes to subtle festive colours, I choose one colour and pair it with a neutral.

My choice of festive colours are typically Red, Green, Navy Blue or Plum and I will team one of those with either Gold, Silver, Cream or White. I also love Silver + White as an effective combo for Nordic/snowy Christmas style.

The shots in this post are examples of Red + Cream, Plum + Gold, Green + Gold, Silver + White.

Without being full on festive, the red and white of the shot above combined with the fun shapes of spots and patterns remind us of folk art style Christmas decor. However these props could be used year round, none of them are Christmas specific.

Similarly the Plum and Gold tones of the shot below have the warmth of a Christmas in front of the fire, yet no festive shapes or Christmas specific gift wrap is included.

Subtle Festive Styling on Photo Boards backdrops

Image: Plum + Gold props on the Mulberry / Damson Photo Board™ 

Of course when you are ready for full on festive styling that's when you can add tinsel, glitter, holly, crackers, and I look forward to sharing my ideas for those in October. But for now I hope my thoughts on subtle shapes and colour combinations give you some ideas for styling your own subtle festive scenes as we head from Summer in Autumn.

Be sure to tag us in your subtle styling Photo Board scenes on Instagram with hashtag #PhotoBoardsHQ 

I'll be back next week with more fun Photography / Styling tips!


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  • Posted On September 16, 2017 by Julie halliwell

    Lyndsey how very helpful. I am a complete novice at Instagram and have only just realised your products exist. I am still contemplating the best one for us at The Old Toffee Shop

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