Stylist Secrets Revealed: Going behind the scenes on ‘The Recipe’

Background and how you got into the industry of being a stylist

How would you describe your aesthetic?

Honestly, aesthetics to me limit sound limiting as a stylist. I like to think my aesthetic and look evolves with the project and client I am working with. As a creative I really believe that if you have a body of work that is really diverse it shows you can shift into any look for a company and really embrace creative.

If I had to label my aesthetic, I’d say its building in a narrative to the image. I like props to go beyond just being pretty items in a photo, each one relates to a larger narrative, even if I am the only one that notices.

I also like being able to work on different types of projects so I’d rather each look changes so that my work is always something new.


Stylists are seen to have good taste. Do you think your taste was engraved in you by your parents or something you developed over time?

Good taste! What a compliment! I think a bit of both. My mom was a teacher so she really ingrained the art of both detail and creativity into what we did as children, and my dad literally can build and fix anything so he helped me really develop the idea of everything you do being top quality and also figure things out on your own.

Over time I’ve worked with people and watched on sets to develop the skills and eye that I have now!


What is something that is crucial to your approach as a stylist?

Attention to detail. Not only the little things in the image that help make a good scene great but also seeing things that can be shifted to create a more dynamic image or make changes on set to something you thought would work but might have to pivot. A good stylist always keeps tweaking until the images is perfect.

When I shoot and style still life on my own, it takes me at least an hour on an image to get it to a place that I really love.


When it comes to interpreting what the client wants, would you adapt and evolve to their need or would you push your own style behind it?

I think a little of both. I want it to be quality and tell a story which is where my style comes in but ultimately its the clients brand so you do need to make sure it fits within their vision, which ultimately makes the creative a fun challenge. I think there are ways to integrate one’s style without pushing out the brand of the client.


What’s a typical work day for you? I can imagine no day is the same for a stylist

No day is the same is very true.

I also do multiple different types of roles so it depends on what projects I am working on. For example, I was painting a full set pink at the beginning of this week, shot and styled that pink set, today I was shooting and styling a product shoot for a jewellery company and then tomorrow its paperwork and a planning day for another shoot.

Life of an entrepreneur, always changing and wearing many hats!

How crucial is patience in your line of work?

100%, patience with the client and the other team members, patience with the set you are making or styling because it might not get exactly where you want it too. I think there’s also the art of letting go and rolling with what comes at you while on set. Sometimes things don’t fully go the way you planned and you have to work on pivoting but also staying calm and knowing you still can do your job.

For your shoots to be a success, how important is it to know the style of the photographer as well as your own?

I think it’s more understanding the creative behind the shoot rather than the style of the photographer. A good photographer can do the same as me and adjust their style to fit the project and keep them on their toes.

I do like to keep in contact on set with the photographer and/or videographer though because they can see things through the lens that I can’t and they can offer good insight in the moment! I also do really respect those roles and like working with individuals who want to work as a team!

Have you ever had a grand concept for a photo shoot but weren’t quite sure how to go about executing it?

Definitely but I always figure it out or am able to research/ ask people I have in my circle for their advice. My dad taught me this, to keep pushing through because eventually you will figure it out! I am not one to quit and I love challenges so I basically view difficult ideas  as mini puzzles you have to crack.



When it came to The Secret Recipe project:

What was your approach on bringing this project to life?

I worked with the AD on understanding the vision and the shots needed, from there I made my own notes and developed a list of things we needed. Then because I had this in mind I went around renting or finding the right things I needed. I also put together my own deck of styling inspiration to reference on the day of.

Sometimes sets like this one have shots but are a little more free flowing and I can take some stylistic liberties or make suggestions on how we can make more dynamic images.


Was this project any different from your usual?

I think it definitely was a lot more content than other shoots but it was a really fun one to tackle. I think also from a food styling side it was fun because it wasn’t strict in the way recipe development or food product shoot might be in the way it needs to be styled perfectly.

This shoot needed a little chaos but also needed to feel polished in other ways. The little mini ’scenes’ were definitely my favourite part to style.


Nicole Daly
Nicole Daly

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