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How to Create Your Year Round Prop Stash!

How to Create Your Year Round Prop Stash!

How to Create Your Year Round Prop Stash!

Welcome to the Crystal Clear Podcast where we strive to empower the everyday creative boss to elevate and grow a business that matches your creativity and passion for creating products.


Things mentioned in this podcast episode:


Look for the basics! It seems pretty general to say look for the basics but when I say that I mean both color and then the basic types of props that are necessary to have a stash for year-round types of products and things that you might be working on or styling. The basic things might be stuff like plates because those are on trend right now. The imperfection of it is gorgeous, but then also a lot of the neutral colors and tones right now are very popular here.

Recommended Prop Basics for 2021:


  • Clay plates – They’re trending right now because they have a classic and raw unfinished look. It leans to that high-end editorial look that a lot of brands love.
  • Clay bowls – Same case! Raw, edgy, and unfinished bring in texture and neutral tones that fit any brand.
  • Throw blankets (keep away from kids!) – They are great for texture in jewelry images, lifestyle photos, and any type of stock images. They’re offered in a variety of colors and can be chunky knit, medium knit, or solid fabric.
  • Linen throw pillows are my personal favorite. I picked up some from Target that have tan on one side and white on the other so you can flip them around for versatile use. The linen lends another fabric that’s good for close-up product shots of small items like jewelry.
  • Vases! Dare I say clay, but also neutral-tone vases from Amazon and Target. They offer a variety of sizes to support different images and product heights but also can be a great punch of color to fit a brand.
  • Neutral furniture pieces! They’re all the rage this year and will continue, especially if you’re in the business of having some items that fit the aesthetics of product brands. A great example is my studio couch: it’s a light linen grey and works easily to be dressed up with a variety of colors that fit every brand. I also have a tan tuft chair for the desk that fits most brands.
  • Blank journals or artist notebooks in a variety of basic colors – The artist journals (you can snag those at Michaels) are awesome because they’re a solid color with a nice band and can double as books or a pop of color.
  • Basic pens – My favorite are the Poppin pens; they don’t have a ton of variety. The logo is small and only on one side so you can easily flip it over for a stock photo or product image on a desk. The best part is they come in a variety of pastel and neutral-like colors!
  • Basic desk accessories – I collect desk decor in the 3 basic areas – gold, silver, and white. You might find it necessary to only get the one that fits your product/brand, though. So if you lean to one style or another, make sure to only buy things that fit that style or compliment that color. I personally love things like pen holders, desk, notepad, or sticky note holders, too!
  • Don’t forget the tiny things! Fun paperclips, unique magnets, and other tiny office accessories make for great filler items in your flatlay and product photos. I love the new trend of cute accessories like decorative and fun-shaped office magnets (they sit flat!) or even decorative paper clips and push pins with different colors.
  • Beauty dishes – Great for jewelry or creative beauty photos! They are also great for holding the tiny desk accessories for more texture.
  • Last but certainly not least, functional trays – They double for a beauty brand counter styled look or even a countertop or a table and living space setup. It’s a very versatile prop and comes in wood, marble, gold, silver and so many options; you can really find 1-2 that are your style and use them in many different ways!

Like this episode?

Comment, share on Pinterest, or even snap a screenshot and tag me on Instagram! I’d love to hear what you think about props for product photography.

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About Crystal

Corporate America had me at hello for 10 years. And just when I thought I was where I was supposed to be, God changed the narrative and helped me find more time for my husband and two beautiful girls through my own photography business. Now, I live for all things styled photography and serving the business community exclusively through styled imagery and personal brand photography.

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My Top Business Apps I Can’t Live Without

My Top Business Apps I Can’t Live Without

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My Top Business Apps I Can’t Live Without

My Top Business Apps I Can't Live Without

I am so excited to share with you today the top business apps that I can’t live without.


 like to update people with what I’m currently using in my business in hopes that you, too, can become more organized and efficient.

As my business has grown with Crystal Clear Creative Studios and now the Creative Boss Society, there are many moving parts. Some of the apps that I use have changed within the last year, and I wanted to share them with you. 


It’s the organizational core of my businesses – Crystal Clear Creative Studios and the Creative Boss Society.

Everything like product photography and shot lists to client information is kept here. Along with branding information, graphics, hex codes, content calendars, and more! Airtable is the most important app that I use that I cannot live without. There’s also an app for your phone, making it super convenient when you need to access it right away.


This is a newer app I’ve started using in my business. It has the database appeal of Airtable mixed with the nuances you love about GoodNotes. You can use it for notes, create sections, templates, spreadsheets, etc.

I love it because I can have a board in Notion and build out lesson plans and trainings for the Creative Boss Society. I can create modules and set reminders and timers, similar to Trello and Asana. There are also sharing capabilities that allow me to share content and copy with my web designer and have her go in, take the copy I’ve written, and plug it into the right places on my web page. As a visual person, I also love that you can see certain things in different views of the same type of content.


I love Slack for team communication. It gives me one central place to track back-and-forth conversations with every team member. It’s searchable, so I can search for attachments or photos that my team might have dropped and sent to me that I need to find and vice versa. It’s a clean way of staying out of your email daily.


I’ve been with this app since they were in their first year of business, and I have continued to use it because it’s so easy to customize. Dubsado is continually making improvements and changes to find ways to make a creative business owner’s life easier.

I can set up portals and workflows for my clients within the app. They have access to all of their invoices each month, and they can access them at the end of the year for tax write-offs. Dubsado also keeps track of client contracts, documents that I’ve uploaded if I’m working with a new client, email follow-ups if something needs completion by a specific time, and more.

I can automate nearly everything through the app, which allows me to focus on other areas of my business. 


This is one that I have on my phone that allows me to create social media graphics. I can save blank templates of backgrounds that I can use on my Instagram stories and then upload them later. If I’m doing something on the fly or posting something quickly, I can do it all through Unfold. This app is my favorite graphics creator I can use on my phone. 


Mojo is how I make all of the moving graphics used in my Instagram stories. I’ve used it long enough to know exactly what I want. But if you’re using it for the first time, it could be a little overwhelming because there are so many options. Once you get the hang of it, though, it really can make a powerful impact on your stories.

I’ll periodically go through and create different stories on Mojo because sometimes it’s just fun to add music or other elements. Whenever I’m getting ready to launch something or something important is going on – I use Mojo.

Voice Memos 

I use voice memos for everything, especially when it comes to blogs. I could be out somewhere, and something inspires me, so I’ll stop and do a voice memo, then go back, clean up the audio, and upload it or use it for later. I can also turn it into text with my transcribe, go onto my desktop later, grab that voice memo from my phone and turn it into an email or blog topic. 


Voxer has become a great tool for many people in the coaching industry and many business owners in general. It allows you to have back-and-forth conversations with people at your leisure. It’s great for people who are doing coaching programs or want to speak with clients instead of sending long emails or text messages. 


Those are some of the top tools that I’m currently using in my business. If you want to check it out or have some other questions on how I’m using some of these apps in my business, please let me know.

It’s never too late to jump on board and try new apps to see what works in your business. And whether you’re just starting or are already established, the Creative Boss Society will provide the direction, training, and tools you need to start selling confidently, all while being supported by your community and coach. You can also find me on Instagram, where I post tips and tricks to help you thrive as a business owner.

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About Crystal


Crystal is the Creative Director, Photo Stylist, and Commercial Photographer behind Crystal Clear Creative Studios. From increased sales, visibility, and trends to conversions and full production, Crystal and her team, experts on the subject matter, provide clients with confidence to take your photography and videography needs off your plate. We support you in your growth with the creation and implementation of transformative ideas.

My Top Tools for Editing Photos and Creating Graphics

My Top Tools for Editing Photos and Creating Graphics

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My Top Tools for Editing Photos and Creating Graphics

top tools for editing and creating graphics

I get a lot of questions and wonderful compliments about the graphics and the branding in the way that I do things.


o, I thought I would dive more into how I edit my graphics and photos and share my tips with you. 


First Things, First 

When it comes to editing, I have a set of presets that I have tweaked and developed based on how I like editing my photos. They’re bright with loads of contrast. I shoot in a RAW format on my camera, which means I’m allowing the file to absorb as much data on the color and lighting as possible. Then, I cull through my photos and narrow them down to the best ones before bringing them into Lightroom. This is where I’ll apply my presets because I know they already have the tweaks needed to make the photo better most of the time. And then I go through, and I have to make subtle adjustments. 

The Types of Adjustments I Make 

One of the most common adjustments I make to my photos is tweaking the brightness. Every day could be different, as well as the time of the day. So sometimes, I’ll go through and make subtle adjustments if everything wasn’t at the prime time that I tried to shoot that day. I adjust my whites and bring them up about 20 points or so. I like to drop the shadows down to keep the dark contrast and keep things that are dark, dark. Then, I will also adjust my lights and make them lighter.


From there, I’ll bring my photos into Photoshop for some final touchups. I’m not a big fan of Photoshop, but I do use it for things like overlays. If there’s a screenshot or blank tablet and I want to put a nice overlay – you get better mobility in Photoshop by manipulating the screenshot. If you have some fuzz on a shirt or lint on the floor of a flat lay and need to edit it off quickly – Photoshop is the best option.


If I need to add a screenshot or make any quick edits, I use the “healing tool” to take out little imperfections and things here and there. Then, I export my edited photos into Canva, which I use to create all of my graphics to avoid the rabbit hole that comes along with Photoshop, InDesign, and some of the more advanced programs.

Creating Graphics 

I’d say about 80% of the graphics I create are done in Canva. You can use Photoshop, but I find it time-consuming since the program is more complicated and detailed than what I need. In Canva, I can quickly plug in my photos to pre-made templates, and they still have a high-quality resolution. I can make a quick design, export it fast, and get it out there.


Having these platforms makes my process for editing, creating photos, and graphics more efficient. I can rapidly produce lots of content and social media posts. So if you want to edit more like me or try to edit your flat lay, and you want better whites and brights, I recommend you check out my Presets Mini-Course.


I created a mini-course that includes videos of me pulling up a few photos and showing you how I make specific tweaks and adjustments based on common things that you’ll find wrong. For example, why some images look very gray or the whites aren’t white enough, different color tones based on the time of day the photo was taken, things like that.


I give you both Lightroom for mobile and desktop, in case you would rather stick to having the mobile format. If you have any questions about my process or some of the things that I do, send me a message. I answer questions like this all the time. You can also find me on Instagram.

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About Crystal


Crystal is the Creative Director, Photo Stylist, and Commercial Photographer behind Crystal Clear Creative Studios. From increased sales, visibility, and trends to conversions and full production, Crystal and her team, experts on the subject matter, provide clients with confidence to take your photography and videography needs off your plate. We support you in your growth with the creation and implementation of transformative ideas.

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