Product Stylist, Founder & Editor of @imehly
Vamp Collective Member
Originally trained in medical science, Allison grew up in Perth and has always looked for a creative outlet to balance her academic side. As a teenager she made cards and websites, enjoyed doodling, arts & crafts to express her creativity. 15 months ago, whilst lying in bed one night, she was struck by creative inspiration. She wanted to start something, make a difference in some way and she realised she wanted to be a product stylist, to tell stories through photography and share them with people using social media…. And so @imehly was born. Vamp caught up with now Singapore based Allison to talk about visual storytelling, creating the perfect flatlay and collaborating with small creative businesses via social media marketing.
Describe your style in 3 words
Organised, Intentional Mess
What inspired you to start @imehly?
I started styling my own products that I already owned and posting them up on Instagram. This led to some brands offering to send me their products to style. Subsequently, I then got in touch with a number of brands who offered to send me products to take photos – this then led me to eventually start charging a small fee to assist other brands to showcase their products through the flatlay medium.
I am passionate about supporting small creative businesses via social media marketing. In each of my flatlay photos on Instagram, I aim to showcase the various products of different creatives in one photograph and bring exposure to these products through social media.
What inspired your individual photographic style?
I like clean crisp photos and design. I am also a big fan of natural light and natural materials.
Top tips for a perfect flatlay?
I have a saying which I try to live by – ‘Breathe inspiration, exhale vision’. In essence, it means seeking ideas and inspiration from other people and then working out that inspiration through my flatlays.
Good lighting is very important. Also, try to ensure that the products that you are featuring on your flatlay complement each other in style / colour / mood. But then again, I believe there are no set rules so do not be afraid to try something different.
Also, be patient. For a typical flatlay, I spend a lot of time re-arranging the props until I get the right ‘feel’, trying different shots from different angles, spending another hour or so choosing the right photo and editing it until it feels ‘right’ before posting it up.
“I have a saying which I try to live by – ‘Breathe Inspiration, Exhale Vision’. In essence it means seeking ideas and inspiration from other people and then working out that inspiration through my flatlays.”
What kind of camera do you use?
I use my iPhone for the all flatlay photos on Instagram and an Olympus OM-D E-M10 for the product shots on my website.
Why do you use Instagram to tell stories?
Photographs are a great medium to tell a story in a snapshot. Instagram has a wide reach and has great features. It is such an easy way to be creative through photos and have a wide market to share your stories with.
What can visual storytelling do that other forms of storytelling can’t?
It never has the same outcome and it is always unpredictable. It surprises you with how the same product can have a range of aesthetics just by styling it differently.
You say in your bio that you are building a community of creatives – that’s a beautiful idea – what is the best thing about creative collaboration?
Each creative has a unique talent. Creative collaboration allows different creatives to discover one another through a single photo. From the photo, they are able to see how they can complement each other. This will create opportunities to initiate future collaborations among themselves which will eventually lead towards building a community of creatives.
What is the best thing that has come about due to @imehly?
The opportunity to meet amazing creative people from all different parts of the world that I would never have connected with otherwise.
“Good lighting is very important. Also, try to ensure that the products you are featuring on your flatlay complement each other in style / colour / mood. But then again, I believe there are no set rules so don’t be afraid to try something different.”
Right now I’m….
Listening to: More Than This – George Kay
Eating: Berries, yoghurt and granola mix
Drinking: Iced black coffee
Wearing: Beyond The Vines Shirt Dress, Springcourt White Sneakers
Watching: 2 Broke Girls
Reading: Kinfolk / Cereal