Setting the Scene

Recently, and all of a sudden, I have been getting lovely messages about the little tableaus that I create both for my shop product images and my Instagram feed. 

These comments have taken me by surprise as this photo habit is something that I developed in my own little bubble using whatever I have lying around to make my photos more interesting and appealing as well as give a sense of depth and perspective.

It is such a lovely heartwarming feeling to know that my little scenes are being well received so I thought I would scribble a brief note or two on how I achieve these looks. I am more of an enthusiastic amateur and no an expert but this is something I really enjoy doing.

\\ Let there be light

Good lighting is always important to me. So much so, that the levels of daylight that spill though our window dictate my schedule for the day. Nice light means I stops what I am doing and take photos. 

I tend to use the same nooks and crannies in our flat. I avoid using flash because I find, it flattens the details and textures of my pictures. 

\\ Camera action

I use 2 cameras for snapping the scenes. I use a Canon DSLR and my iPhone 4.

\\ Primps and Props

Details can make or break my tableaus. I take great care to quickly polish any shiny props to avoid fingerprints, dust marks etc. 

I actually have little boxes of props. They consist of little things that catch my eye and bring a story to the scene.

I rarely go out purposely to buy props. I try to use what I have and make use of things like, makeup, books, stationery, crockery, ornaments and even food.

\\ Background

The background is important to me. I like plain simple backgrounds just as much as decorative ones. 

I use scraps of wallpaper, wrapping paper, posters and fabric to achieve a look I like.

\\ Editing

I have to resize the photos taken with my DSLR and sometimes retouch the light if I find it too dreary.

Editing pics with the iPhone is a breeze and quite addictive. I like using Line Camera and Snapeee (mentioned HERE) to edit my photos before uploading to Instagram.

I aim to give my photos a feel of being in a quiet place with a warm glow of sunlight washing over the scene. It helps to have an idea of what it is I am trying to achieve before I edit. Although random messing about is fun and provides great results too!

\\ Get lost, have fun!

I really enjoy this part of my work it is like quiet story telling, secret keeping, magic creating all in one go. I can quite forget about everything else going on around me while I create a fragile seconds to photograph.

These tableaus are temporary and last but a few fleeting moments. The props and backgrounds are also temporary as "things" often are (they will be made into things, sold, lost, vanish given away etc). Such is life that all I will have is the photo to jog my memory and I very much enjoy sharing these pictures with you.

I hope that I have provided some helpful tips for everyone that asked me for advice. Please feel free to ask any questions.


  1. I always love your photos, they do make the products and scenes more interesting and eye catching!! You do fabulous work doll xx

  2. Love the photos on this post and also the tips, thanks a lot for sharing and keep those tableaus coming : ) Have a great weekend xx

  3. Thanks for this little tips! Sadly, light is what we don't have much of in this part of the town. I love the tableaus AND the peculiar stories behind each items in the Fushigi shop.

  4. I have an idea, for amateurs like me, it'll be helpful to both present the before-edit picture and then the after-edit picture. That way, I can see which angle you take the picture from, how far your camera from the object, which part to crop, etc. etc. I'm sure I (and so many other readers) can learn a lot from your excellent skills of picture taking. An idea for a blog post?

  5. Dear Yasumi, I'm finally back after a bit of travelling and a lot of work in the past few weeks...thank you so much for the nice comments and tweet! You have such a beautiful aestetic, which is reflectd in everything you do: your creations, your pictures, your capacity to find beauty in the simplest of the things! BTW, I read with great interest your post about the udon place and I hope that sooner or later we could visit it together! Take care, Caterina

  6. I love your photos! The lighting and composition of every single one <3

  7. Just wanted to chime in and say how much I appreciate the thought and detail that you put into your tableaus. Each picture is like a window into a different world, delightful worlds with lovely colours, textures and patterns. It was really great to read about how you carefully construct these... :)


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