Blog photo styling: 9 affordable photography props
When I first started blogging there was one thing that I really struggled with when it came to photography: getting that crisp, white background.
My lighting conditions aren’t always perfect and because I prefer using natural light, I very rarely reach for my studio lights anymore. I also don’t have a lot of time to spend on editing, so I gave up on trying to get that perfect white background in my shots, every single time. I told myself that instead of trying to get my pictures to look as good as someone else’s I’ll just work with what I have- that’s when I started “dressing” my photos.
In today’s post I’ll tell you about some of my favorite, affordable photography props that can help to make your photos look bright and fun.
DIY BOARDS + CUTTING BOARDS
I wrote about my DIY White Marble Board a while ago, and when making one of these, the possibilities are endless. I have a few where I used white marble adhesive film and plexiglass. You can find a ton of different colors and patters of adhesive film on Amazon or at home improvement stores like Home Depot (same thing goes for plexiglass). Another place I love is Home Goods- that’s where I found a few marble cutting boards, that also work great as a product background (they also come in handy when it comes to food posts). One of my favorite things to use as a background is actually a cheese board I found at Neiman Marcus and the gold & marble board that’s often featured in my images was found in a Home Goods clearance section- I paid $8.00 for it!
Small trinket dishes or jewelry holders are an easy way to add some color and fun to your shots. I use them not only for storing/holding my jewelry, but to also store smaller beauty products, like perfume samples or eyeshadow singles.
MAGAZINES & BOOKS
Using magazines is probably one of my favorite ways to “dress up” my shots. I always have a lot of beauty and fashion magazines just sitting around and for some strange reason, I always have hard time recycling them- I definitely have some hoarding tendencies. Good news is- they come in handy whenever I take my blog pictures. The same thing goes for books- especially the ones with pretty covers. When taking beauty product shots, I’m always careful not to get any makeup on my books, so keep that in mind.
Small rings, necklaces, pretty earrings can easily add a little something extra to your blog images. I find that this works best especially when it comes to flat-lay style of photos.
I don’t use these too often (other than a big white one for bouncing off the light) but they also work great when used as a background for your photos. I find that lighter colors like light pastels work best for this (they photograph quite well) but I’ve also used colors like black in the past and that worked quite well for me, too- especially for food photos. You can also see my posts on Photography Backgrounds to see what else I like to use.
Colored paper- especially colors like pinks and blues- can easily add some color to your product or beauty shots. They’re also very affordable and easy to store. I always buy them at arts & crafts stores like Michael’s or Joann’s.
THROWS AND BLANKETS
These are great for adding some texture into your shots. I like to use anything from rugs, to patterned blankets or even white bed sheets. Sometimes when I style my blog photos, I feel like they seem a bit “empty”- almost as if there was something missing. That’s when I usually reach for one of my throws or little rugs and use them to add some texture to my shots.
If you don’t have any throws or blankets handy, you can try using different fabrics or even some pieces from your wardrobe. Sounds a bit silly, but it works (just make sure not to get them dirty). In the featured image in this post, I actually used my pink blouse to add some color and texture. In the past, I’ve also used sweaters, jean shirts, etc.
NOTEBOOKS + STATIONERY
Pretty much any stationery products also work, especially for lifestyle photography. Zazzle is a pretty affordable place where you can find a ton of cute stuff, but places like Home Goods or Marshalls also sell them, usually at great prices.
When it comes to finding those affordable photography props, I’d say first take a look at what you already have sitting around your house/apartment/room (nothing is more affordable than using something that you already have! ;) ). When buying little knick-knacks just for the purpose of styling your shots, I’d definitely suggest storing them all together in a box so that when you take your photos, you can easily grab them.
Of course I am not saying that styling or “dressing” your photos is a must (some of my favorite bloggers use just plain white background for their product shots) but if you start feeling that all of your images are starting to look a bit similar and you feel a bit bored with them, trying to style them can be really fun. I also think that it’s a great way to add some personality to your blog photos.