Blogging Photography

Blog Photography Styling + Affordable Props

Blog Photography Styling + Affordable Props

Blog Photography Styling + Affordable Props

There are two things I wish I realized about photography when I started this blog. One: you have to fake till you make it. Two: you have to work with what you’ve got.

There’s this one thing about blogging that really….. hmm how should I put it nicely.. irks me. It’s the idea that everything needs to be perfect. Including blog photography. It’s the idea that every blogger should live in a house with huge windows, all-white interior, a french bulldog and has always perfectly manicured nails (the blogger.. not the french bulldog.. and oops this one is actually true about me- chipped nail polish keeps me up at night :) ).

And here’s the thing: we all blog for different reasons. Just because someone wants to start a blog doesn’t mean that they’re planning to quit their job and pursue blogging as a career. Just because YOU want to get better at blogging or photography, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re planning to turn it into a business.

And maybe, you are- and that’s awesome too!

If you’re just starting a blog and getting into photography, it might feel a bit overwhelming. You want your pictures to look a certain way NOW, without realizing that it’s actually a process and you will have to learn a few things. Here’s where the “fake till you make it” attitude comes in.

I remember a few years ago telling my husband that we need to repaint all the walls in our home and get rid of all the furniture because I want everything to be white. He looked at me and said, “um… why?” “well.. because it’s for my blog. I want bright pictures!“. Of course, he started laughing and told me that I’m nuts. Rightfully so. See, I fell into this trap of wanting everything to be white, bright and perfect. I didn’t realize that I could create the exact images I wanted, without redecorating my entire house.

One thing I get asked at least once a day is the marble background I use. I get comments saying “oh in love with your countertop!” all the time. No. It’s just a piece of plastic.

This is how I created my “infinite” marble background. Super professional, isn’t it? The only thing that you have to be careful with this is the white balance as with marble papers like this one, it can change throughout the image.

Full disclosure: this post was previously published, but I made some changes and added a few points.


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 patterns of adhesive film on Amazon or at home improvement stores like Home Depot ( the 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 like $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. Coasters are also great as props. Just the other day someone told me they love my marble ring dish. It was a coaster. I found a pack of 5 for like 4 bucks at Marshalls, where a few weeks ago I’ve seen almost identical ones at Bloomingdales for 50 bucks. Home Goods and Marshalls is where it’s at guys! Oh and I also love Lulu and Georgia.

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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 a hard time recycling them- I definitely have some hoarding tendencies. The 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 the flat-lay style of photos.



I don’t use these too often anymore (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.


These are great for adding some texture to 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 past, I’ve used sweaters, blouses, skirts, tops and even pretty lingerie to style my photos.

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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.

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I mean can’t you tell I love using candles for photography styling? It’s probably because I always have a ton of them sitting around and promised myself not to buy another candle until January because I’m getting out of control. White jars always work best I think and if I use a candle that I already burned, I always make sure to wipe off the soot and clean it up a bit.

Small lights can also add some magic and sparkle to your shots- which will be appreciated especially this time of year.

Blog Photography Styling + Affordable Props

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). You’d be surprised at all the little props you can find around (I mean, one of my favorite props is a cheese board..). 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.

And.. don’t go too crazy. Don’t think that you have to spend a lot of money on those little props.

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 and make them unique.

If you want to know how to start your own lifestyle blog for just $3, make sure to check out my step-by-step guide right here. For a list of ALL of my blogging resources, including my favorite affiliate networks, see this post

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  • Reply
    December 2, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    This post perfectly articulates exactly what I’ve been feeling lately as I struggle to keep my blog pictures interesting and creative in a fairly dark apartment. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Zoe Mountford
    December 2, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Another amazingly helpful post! I am so rubbish at styling products photos thank you x

    Zoe Mountford x

  • Reply
    Charmaine Ng
    December 2, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    So helpful! I’ve been thinking of getting cardboard for a long time. It’s the cheapest option, so I think I’ll get off my lazy bum to the store to get a few pieces.
    – Charmaine

  • Reply
    Rita Valente
    December 2, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    I just love your photograph posts! They are always so helpful. I’ve been having a bit of trouble with my blog photography and this post gave me tons of inspiration. xx

  • Reply
    Noirette Diary
    December 2, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    You have a beautiful photography! I was just looking for marble print paper the other day but I think I’m going to have to order it online because I couldn’t find it anywhere! Thanks for sharing your tips <3

    | |

  • Reply
    Rebecca Fletcher
    December 2, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Your photos are beautiful! I have been looking for a white wood background like your marble one for such a long time but the marble one looks so pretty in photos. Great tips again xx

  • Reply
    Katie S.
    December 2, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    There’s a Home Goods right around the corner from where I work. There was a period when I was going in there like every other day trying to find the perfect photography props lol I went pretty notebook crazy, but I also found an awesome marble serving tray, that like yours was on clearance. It’s so amazing what you can find there!

    I’ve been loving switching up my photography for the colder months and trying to make them a little cozier, so I’ve been grabbing different things from around the house to throw in my pictures. I 100% agree that it’s a fake it until you make it deal, and with styles and trends changing so often I don’t know if I’ll truly ever fully make it! Lol

    As always, these are wonderful tips! Thank you!

    Katie |

    • Reply
      Paula @
      December 5, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      OMG Same here! When I started blogging I’d spend so much money on things I wouldn’t use (other than for my blog photos haha) and I ended up having SO much junk.

      I think the the awesome thing about blogging is that everyone gets to express themselves and I don’t really think we should all follow trends too closely haha :)

  • Reply
    Jocelyne Shults
    December 2, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Seriously, I always said I needed to have a super nice camera but I was wrong. I started using my phone and use what I had available. You’re definitely right about that. :-) Thank you for sharing too. Lots of good info. -Jocelyne from

  • Reply
    December 3, 2016 at 3:53 am

    I am so happy that you have posted this article; I know for a fact that photography can be quite confusing but your images (in my opinion) are always so fabulous and are one of my favorites (and I read a lot of blogs). Thank you for the tips! <3


  • Reply
    Prettypeach Blossom
    December 3, 2016 at 4:03 am

    You articulated this issue so well. I am almost over the whole perfect white marble look, I actually actively look for blogs that are different for inspiration. Couldn’t agree more with you once you find your feet do you. Be inspired not a duplicate ?. Very helpful post

  • Reply
    Ambar Syed
    December 3, 2016 at 4:57 am

    Gosh – you have such stunning photography and this post is so thorough! Thank you for putting it together :)
    – Ambar x

  • Reply
    December 3, 2016 at 5:08 am

    Love this!! I’ve definitely gotten a lot of inspiration for photography :) Thanks!

    Fatima –

  • Reply
    Natalie Harney
    December 3, 2016 at 9:32 am

    So useful! I really need to get some of that marble roll, and something similar in white

    – Natalie

  • Reply
    Lauren Victoria
    December 3, 2016 at 9:42 am

    This is super handy thank you! I was literally reading this and nodding because I could totally relate to wanting all my photographs to look perfect. I’m someone who started a blog with no photography experience, so I’ve always found taking photos so hard and it is my least favourite part of the whole process simply because I’m such a perfectionist with it. But overtime, I have seen a slight improvement in my photography and it’s posts like this which are so helpful. Thanks very much xx

    Lauren |

    • Reply
      Paula @
      December 5, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      You’re very welcome Lauren! I found it really difficult and confusing at first too. I’m a perfectionist too and somethings I’d waste so much time trying to get that perfect shot.

  • Reply
    Rachel Spross
    December 3, 2016 at 11:38 am

    This is such a good post! So many great tips :)


  • Reply
    December 3, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Once again….amazing post Paula! Your photography posts are always motivating me to take more and better pictures. I love using scrapbook paper for backgrounds too.

    Perfect Shade of Mauve

  • Reply
    Claire Simone
    December 3, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Anything rose gold and marble I’m still obsessed with, absolutely adore your photography!

    Claire ❤ | My Little Memoir

  • Reply
    December 3, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Always admire your photography posts Paula, they are so detailed and inspirational. I have been on a blogging/picture taking rut that this came in super handy. Thank you!

    Sam || Marc Jacobs Air Blush Giveaway

  • Reply
    December 3, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    This was so useful :) I am getting a faux fur rug soon to up my game x

    Creepers & Cupcakes

  • Reply
    Cassandra Jane
    December 3, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Ahaha, I definitely buy home decor and whatnot mainly to use as blog props. Mine are more shabby/earthy, but I always thought the bright white marble look was just absolutely beautiful! It’s great to find your own niche.

    • Reply
      Paula @
      December 5, 2016 at 5:40 pm

      It definitely is, it’s what I love about blogging- you get to see everyone express their own style.

  • Reply
    December 4, 2016 at 2:26 am

    This post has been super helpful! One thing I am aiming on improving is my photography. I really struggle with setting up for a photo. You’ve given me a few prop ideas. Thanks for sharing.

    Sarah’s Abode -xx

  • Reply
    December 4, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    I so need this post so I’m pinning for future reference. Next year on my list of ‘to do’s’ is to improve my photography and styling. Thanks for the information, although you make it look easy – I’m not sure LOL:_ Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

  • Reply
    December 4, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Home Goods is great for finding hidden treasures! I also love the twinkle light idea!

    Brittany |

  • Reply
    December 4, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    I only recently realized that Marshall’s has so much treasure for the home! These tips are so inspiring! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Abby Saylor
    December 5, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    This is such a creative post idea! I always love seeing what goes on behind the blog and blog photos. Thanks for sharing your affordable ideas. :)

  • Reply
    Dany Queen
    December 5, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Amazing tips! I love your photos, they always look incredible!
    xx Dany | The Queens Empire

  • Reply
    The Gossip Darling
    December 5, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    OMG! I needed this!!! Amazing and super helpful! Thank you!!!!

    Mel |

  • Reply
    December 6, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Some great ideas!


  • Reply
    December 6, 2016 at 11:01 am

    This is such a good post. You know how much I love your photos, only wish mine looked as amazing as yours xx

  • Reply
    December 6, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Your photos are always my favourite! Thank you for sharing your tips! xx


  • Reply
    December 7, 2016 at 11:39 am

    This is great. Thanks for sharing of all these tips and tricks.

  • Reply
    Jasmin N
    December 7, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Loved this one! So useful! I’m still trying to find my way into the blog photography so I found this super helpful :)

    ♥ Jasmin N
    Little Things With Jassy

  • Reply
    The Sunday Mode
    December 8, 2016 at 5:42 am

    Great tips, I laughed out loud at the white walls part because I said the exact same thing when I started blogging! Lucky I didn’t do it haha

  • Reply
    Kim Petersen
    December 8, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Again, the most useful information! I always insist I’m a writer and not a photographer, so I struggle with the photography aspect of blogging, but simple tips like the ones you’ve given make it seem more approachable and like I can do it, despite my dark house and black furniture (lols). Loved this! XO -Kim

  • Reply
    Elina Kettunen
    December 8, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Great tips, thank you! :) You’ve got yourself a new follower ;)

  • Reply
    Marianne Escobar
    December 13, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    I’ve actually thought about redesigning the entire room too and after reading this, I just laughed because I never thought that I can just use my creativity and imagination. So far I just bought myself one of those marble wallpaper thingy for my flatlays and I am definitely stepping up my game in terms of dressing up. This post really helped me a lot. All your blogging tips are my lifesaver and references! xoxo Paula

    • Reply
      Paula @
      June 19, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Haha :) It’s all about working with what you’ve got! Fake it til you make it kind of thing hehe ;) Thank you Love!

  • Reply
    Basic Bloggerss
    January 7, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Absolutely LOVED this post & thanks for the tips and ideas!! We will definitely be getting/finding some of those props.


  • Reply
    Abby Saylor
    January 11, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Love this post! I’m always looking for ways to spice up my photos to avoid always shooting on a plain white background. Thanks for sharing your tips — I took notes! :)

  • Reply
    Rochelle X
    January 27, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Loved this!

  • Reply
    Akvilė Šyvokaitė
    February 14, 2017 at 1:00 am

    Cool post! Keep going! ??

  • Reply
    Kiki Waluyanti
    February 14, 2017 at 6:26 am

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Kellyn Jeremy-Aponte
    April 13, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing. These are such great tips. I’ve been working on flat lays using props, I’m certainly going to use several tips you have here.

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