Lovely Web Links: Issue 110

Lovely Web Links by Lesley Myrick - weekly link roundup of business, productivity, art, design, parenting, and fun. Featuring 25 self-improvement books that will make you a better person; 25 apps to make your life easier from TED; free handwriting fonts from Making Nice in the Midwest; no-carve Halloween pumpkin ideas from A Beautiful Mess; best gifts for a new mom from Love Taza, and more. Image by Jenny Andrews-Anderson. #lovelyweblinks
It's been a lovely, low-key week around these parts. Nate and I marathon-watched the final season of How I Met Your Mother (so good, right?); I Skyped with a couple of my best friends from Canada; Ford was adorable and charming, as always (proof here, here, and here); and we booked a mini vacation to Texas at the end of the month! I'm excited for a few days off of work and little getaway with the family.

Hope you've had a lovely week too. Thanks, as always, for reading.

+ I've been wanting to add a "related posts" widget on my blog, but haven't been happy with the options out there that either require sign-up or branding. Thankfully, Code It Pretty has a fantastic tutorial on how to do it yourself! You can see it in action on any post page. (If you're viewing this in a reader or on the homepage, click here to go directly to this post.)

+ 25 self-improvement books that will make you a better person. I've got a couple of these on hold at the library now.


+ A great roundup of free handwriting fonts!


+ Cute no-carve pumpkin ideas for Halloween.

+ Best gifts for a new mama. Or any mama, really! I will accept free childcare any time.

+ What kids really think of their parents and cell phones.

+ The Young House Love blog is no more. Sad.


Find more Lovely Web Links here. Happy Thursday!

Image: Jenny Andrews-AndersonHave something to say about this post? I'd love to hear from you on Twitter! Tweet me @lesleymyrick.

Lovely Web Links: Issue 109

Lovely Web Links - weekly #business, #art, and #creative links from Lesley Myrick Art + Design. Featuring 8 #resume tips for creatives, online shipping with Shippo, free #printables from Goodnight Little Spoon, custom portraits by KrisAtomic, and flashback #90s songs.

+ A great (and free!) e-book to help you charge what you're really worth.

+ I've been looking for an easy online way to purchase and print shipping labels, and I think Shippo is it. SO EXCITED to never return to the post office. (Thanks for the tip, Jared!)

+ If you're in to type and lettering, this is super interesting - Jessica Hische's subtle re-design of the Mailchimp logo.

+ Goodnight Little Spoon has the cutest free printables.

+ Instagram lover? Poster of food pics? Check out yesterday's post on how to style food for photos.

+ Billboard parenting. (And another great post from Erin Loechner here.)


+ This little girl is the CUTEST!

+ I want KrisAtomic to paint a portrait of meeeee.


+ These 90s songs are not terrible. THEY'RE AWESOME. (High school flashbacks!)

Find more Lovely Web Links here. Happy Thursday!

Image: Virginia Njeri KamauHave something to say about this post? I'd love to hear from you on Twitter! Tweet me @lesleymyrick.

6 Food Styling Tips for Photography

6 Food Styling Tips for Photography from Lesley Myrick, Interior Designer and Stylist. Great ideas for Instagram photos! Photo credit: 55 Downing Street #photography #tips #Instagram
Whether taking pictures of food is something you do for fun or it's part of your creative business, food styling is a tricky thing to get right! The pros make it look easy, but I can assure you, there's a lot more to it than meets the eye. Here are my 5 food styling tips for photography to get Instagram-worthy photos of your eats.

Food Styling Tip #1: Find the Right Light. 
Lighting can truly make or break a photo. Natural, diffused light is best. You want your photos to have depth, but no harsh shadows. If you need a little more light to bounce on your tabletop, try holding up a white napkin or something similar to bounce some light and brighten the scene. It's not the same as the fancy reflectors that professionals use, but it's a creative solution that will help in a pinch!

6 Food Styling Tips for Photography from Lesley Myrick, Interior Designer and Stylist. Great ideas for Instagram photos! Photo credits: Ginny Branch and Domaine Home #photography #tips #Instagram
Food Styling Tip #2: Shoot From Above.
There's a reason you'll see a lot of food photography shot this way. It makes for an interesting and beautiful photo! It's relatable and really invites the viewer in to your scene, since they're seeing it from your perspective.

6 Food Styling Tips for Photography from Lesley Myrick, Interior Designer and Stylist. Great ideas for Instagram photos! Photo credit: The Brand Stylist #photography #tips #Instagram
Food Styling Tip #3: Shoot with Shallow Depth of Field.
This is how you get objects to be crisp and focused in the foreground, and beautifully soft and fuzzy in the background. With a DSLR you can adjust this with your manual focus. On an iPhone, tap the screen where you want the camera to focus and that spot should appear crisper while the background should appear softer. Play around until you get a look you like.

6 Food Styling Tips for Photography from Lesley Myrick, Interior Designer and Stylist. Great ideas for Instagram photos! Photo credits: Stijlbloem and Decor8 #photography #tips #Instagram
Food Styling Tip #4: Consider Your Colors and Composition.
While your colors don't need to be matchy-matchy, they should have cohesion and feel good together. Consider the 80/20 rule - 80% of your composition should be cohesive, and 20% can introduce elements of contrast. 
Composition goes back to the basics you probably learned in high school art class - unity, balance, scale, contrast, etc. Move around your tabletop elements and explore unusual configurations. And after every tweak, always look through camera! The camera will perceive the scene much differently than your eye. What looks good in person doesn't always translate through the lens, and vice-versa. 

6 Food Styling Tips for Photography from Lesley Myrick, Interior Designer and Stylist. Great ideas for Instagram photos! Photo credit: Carnets Parisiens #photography #tips #Instagram
Food Styling Tip #5: Make a Little Mess!
Perfectly styled food can look beautiful, but a little boring. (Although admittedly, the textures and slightly irregular shapes in the donut photo from Carnets Parisiens, above left, keep it from feeling stagnant.) Make a little mess and add some life to your photo! Drip some coffee onto the table. Crumple up your napkin. Spill some sugar. Take a bite and artfully scatter some crumbs. Capture a lifestyle moment, not just the physical food. This element of texture draws the viewer in and makes for a much more interesting pic.
 6 Food Styling Tips for Photography from Lesley Myrick, Interior Designer and Stylist. Great ideas for Instagram photos! Photo credit: Ginny Branch #photography #tips #Instagram
Food Styling Tip #6: Give the Eye a Place to Rest.
The photo above, styled by Ginny Branch, has a lot going on - but it's not overwhelming because there's space for your eye to rest. Remember, what you leave out is just as important as what you put in!
A neutral background like a white tablecloth will allow you to go a little crazier with your food arrangement without becoming visually chaotic as long as your arrangement has some breathing room. Also, notice how the clear glasses seem to disappear into the background? They add just a little texture without dominating. Solid-colored cups or cups filled with dark opaque liquid wouldn't have the same light and airy effect.

Bonus Tip: desserts and sweets are a lot easier to photograph well than savory foods. So if you just want to take a quick snap, shoot a photo of your cupcake and coffee - not your meatloaf and mashed potatoes. 

I hope you enjoyed these 6 food styling tips for photography. You'll find more inspiration images on my Styling - Food + Flowers Pinterest board. And I'd love to see your photos using these techniques - share them with me on Instagram, will ya?

Happy Wednesday!

Images: Lesley Myrick for 55 Downing Street, Ginny Branch, Domaine Home, The Brand Stylist, Carnets Parisiens, Stijlbloem, Decor8, Ginny BranchHave something to say about this post? I'd love to hear from you on Twitter! Tweet me @lesleymyrick.

Lovely Web Links: Issue 108

Lovely Web Links by Lesley Myrick featuring 5 of the trickiest writing questions, time management tips from Michael Hyatt, how to create a moodboard for your business, a guide to Los Angeles by SFGirlbyBay, a pumpkin spice white Russian recipe from A Beautiful mess, E-Decorating from Lesley Myrick Art + Design, and more! #art #design #inspiration



+ If you missed these this week, I launched a new E-Decorating service and shared a peek into my day job as an interior stylist.

+ There are so many tools to help creatives out there. How do you figure out what you need?

+ A great guide to LA. I haven't been to a single one of these places - shame on me!

+ Thanks Terry's Blinds for featuring Lesley Myrick Art + Design in your Designer Insights series!



Find more Lovely Web Links hereHappy Thursday!

Image: Once Wed

Project Highlight: 55 Downing Street Catalog

Project Highlight: 55 Downing Street Catalog. Interior design and styling by Lesley Myrick for 55 Downing Street. Traditional romantic bedroom. I'm very fortunate to have a day job I love - I'm an interior design stylist at Lamps Plus, and I primarily shoot for their sister site, 55 Downing Street. The main project I've been tackling since returning to work in April after maternity leave has been the premier 55 Downing Street catalog. It was a huge undertaking, with over 45 individual shots - some in studio and some on location - over a 6 week period.

Here's a look at a few of my favorite shots from the book. And if you're curious, you can peek at some past styling work I've done for 55 Downing Street's website here and here.
Project Highlight: 55 Downing Street Catalog. Interior design and styling by Lesley Myrick for 55 Downing Street. Wedding tablescape and food styling. Project Highlight: 55 Downing Street Catalog. Interior design and styling by Lesley Myrick for 55 Downing Street. Fun and colorful bedroom styling. Project Highlight: 55 Downing Street Catalog. Interior design and styling by Lesley Myrick for 55 Downing Street. Traditional living room. Project Highlight: 55 Downing Street Catalog. Interior design and styling by Lesley Myrick for 55 Downing Street. Midcentury modern living room.
Happy Wednesday!

Images: 55 Downing Street. Photos 1, 2, and 4 shot by Jonn Coolidge; photos 3 and 5 shot by Alyssa Ratowski. 

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