EP 189 | Well Styled with Margot Austin

September 29, 2020

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About this Episode

To create the most compelling photos of your projects, you must do more than just document the space. By working with a team of professionals that includes a photographer and an expert stylist, you’ll be able to produce a narrative that markets your services to your ideal client or the publication you want to pursue.

In this episode we learn:

  • the stylist oversees art direction; providing direction for the overall narrative of the story
  • preparing for the photo shoot is a huge percentage of the effort that leads to great results
  • avoid the cliches—stilettos and a Kelly bag on the floor of the entrance or the Hermes blanket on the sofa
  • always put the toilet seat down for shoots
  • your chances of getting published increase when you work with a stylist who is connected to the magazine you want to appear in
  • before scheduling the photo shoot, determine where you will use the images
  • a stylist helps when the designer is too close to the interior or “over it” because they’ve been working on the project for years
  • compelling photography is not documenting the home; it’s just capturing the magic

Design Intervention

You’ll never be younger to learn. Margot’s Mom used to say this to her when she’d say, “But Mom, I don’t know how!”  It has pushed Margot to learn new things, which has been invaluable in advancing in my career. Right now, she’s learning TikTok.


Margot Austin is a Toronto-based stylist and partner in AustinSmyth Communications. The boutique firm, launched in 2019, helps interior designers and design businesses polish their communications and get coveted media coverage.

Margot spent the first chapter of her career as a magazine journalist, honing her storytelling and styling skills at several lifestyle titles, including Style at Home and House & Home, Canada’s top design media brands. In 2015 she left print and launched Chapter 2 of her career. Since then she’s been styling shoots for local and global brands, sharing her DIY ideas as an occasional guest on The Marilyn Denis Show on Canadian national TV, coaching design businesses on upping their social media game and creating simple and beautiful portfolio web sites.


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