I’ve always loved taking pictures of people and product, but since I’ve started shooting with other bloggers + creatives, creating product content to balance out the outfit posts is a (fun) challenge. One of my goals is to regularly shoot with small businesses + brands, so I’m always buying props and working on my styling. I still buy things for function (plates, accessories, jewelry), but once that styling flip is switched, you’ll find yourself ALWAYS looking for props. The cool thing about it all, is that many of the basic props that you see people using in their photos can be found around your home, or are relatively inexpensive.
If you’re just starting out with your blog images and need help figuring out what to use, here’s a list of everyday photography props you can find around your home.
Stationary + Journals
Target + Michael’s are a good place to find stationary, especially when you’re on a budget. Target usually has other office supplies (pens, pencils, paper clips, etc.) that can be paired with their stationary, so you can have a them when you buy; you can stock up on a few options for less than $10.
Books + Magazines
These may be a little more expensive, but depending on how often you buy books and magazines, you can easy pull a few from your library to use in your pictures. I have a ton of fashion, style, and decor books that I’ve purchased over the years, and my favorite “covers” to use are Harper’s Bazaar, Flutter Magazine, and InStyle.
Small Jewelry + Glasses
Stud earrings, tiny layering rings and statement necklaces are cute extras for your pictures. Buying pretty baubles to use as props actually helped me step out of my comfort zone with what I wear. I also have some faux reading glasses and cute sunnies in my bag at all times (these are great options when you need to have a certain “vibe” with the photo). Check your stash to see what you’ve purchased over the years-you might be surprised!
Doesn’t matter if they’re real of fake, most people have some greenery around their house. Grab a few small plants that you can use to help balance your photos out when you feel like something is missing. Just make sure the type of plant works well with what you’re shooting it with. Succulents and other small cacti are good options, ans you can find fake ones for as low as $3 at Target.
Coasters, Plates + Catchall Trays
The little trays that we keep around the house to catch our keys and jewelry are awesome props to use in your flatlays. Coasters are a great option too-they’re small, can be layered, and help fill up space when you feel like your backdrop is too bare. If you have $10, just go to Goodwill + look around at their dishes; you can find a few unique pieces to keep for when you’re cooking, eating dessert, or just need a pretty pattern to layer in.
If you’re a product junkie like me then you’re ALWAYS buying new makeup… but you may not have used it yet. Keep a look out for pretty packaging and design, because even if you aren’t doing a product review, a bold lipstick could be the finishing touch on your flatlay with jewelry, mags, or ever accessories.
Flowers + Candles
We all like our home to smell good, so when you pick up fresh flowers and candles, see if you can use them in a picture before you place them around your home. If you don’t get the real thing every week, you can always invest in fake/silk flowers. Peonies, roses, tulips, ranunculus and hydrangeas are blogger faves, but that’s the fun thing about styling-you can get whatever you want!
Flatlays (those pictures you see that are styled perfectly with 1 (or more) hero products are big biz right now. If you can take beautiful, interesting photos of products and they’re shared a lot/receive great engagement, they could lead to some fantastic opportunities. The biggest thing to remember when styling is to have a theme in mind. Focus on the color, materials, or overall vibe of the images when you start gathering props to make the styling and shooting process easy. Don’t forget your whiteboard!