Do you often feel your product or business images lack a bit of depth? Like you’ve got a great focal point but there’s something ‘missing’?
Whatever the reason you are planning on taking photographs for your business then you will frequently find that the story of the picture is enhanced by the use of props, either directly in shot or forming part of the foreground or background.
It’s really easy to find props but if you aren’t sure where to begin I’m going to give you a few suggestions on where to go for them.
Finding great props is something I absolutely love doing. In my role supporting businesses with photos for their business I always need a wide range of options available to me. I’ve got an oak wooden chest that’s full of them and in fact because I needed more space I’ve got an ottoman in the office that’s waiting to be filled too. Having these on hand and knowing I’ve got something that will compliment a product or a story makes my creative job that bit easier.
Don’t panic! For you this range will be much smaller!
By the way, if you don’t already have my free PDF sheet that contains 75 Great Prop Ideas for Flat Lay photos then you can either sign up for my newsletter via my website (Rachel Bragg Photography) or drop me an email and I’ll send it out to you.
The good news is that you’ll find plenty of great props in your own house or office. If not, or once you’ve exhausted that option then you need to look further afield. Seasonal floral and fauna you’ll find in your garden or in walks around where you live. Obviously please don’t just pick things, but conkers and pine cones are plentiful from the ground… You don’t need to spend a lot of money to find props away from those of this nature, if you are clever you can find an ideal piece for just a fraction of the price, but you need to keep alert all the time and spend a bit of time checking places out.
It goes without saying that keeping an eye on the charity shops in your town are a great place to start. Most towns are not short of them either and I find that their stock changes frequently. Not only can you find some really fabulous pieces but you’ll often find them at a really good price. However the additional win of using a charity shop is that you are contributing to some great causes at the same time. So if you have particular causes close to your heart then these are your natural starting points.
FLEA MARKETS OR CAR BOOT SALES
I’ve put these two together for simplicity here, but actually they can offer quite differing options. Flea Markets aren’t around as much as they used to be, however it’s really worth looking out for them as you find lots and lots of sellers all in one place – you’ll often find them at old airfields around the country. I tend to find that the Flea Market stalls have a lot more quality items in one place as they tend to be stalls from people knowing what to buy and sell themselves. Where as the more readily available Car Boot sale you’ll find quite a bit of ‘junk’ in the way. I often find Car Boots quite frantic too for some reason! That said there are some belters to be found in a Car Boot and it totally depends on what you are looking for and if you want to filter. If you wanted a radio from 1980’s you’d probably find it in a Car Boot, where as the Flea Market might have the old wireless from the 1940’s… Horses for courses.
ONLINE SALES SITES
Old favourites like eBay, Preloved, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace etc are a good way to find things without leaving the comfort of your own home. You need to be a bit careful though so do your research thoroughly on each item and make sure that you are buying safely. If you can do this you’ll find a HUGE array of things to trawl through online. My biggest problem with this method isn’t really a negative, it’s more that I can lose myself on these sites for far longer than I planned as I shoot from this to that!
ETSY / NOT ON THE HIGH STREET
While these guys come under the online sales too they have a different feel to them. It’s not just someone getting rid of their own stuff one piece at a time like you might find on Gumtree or Facebook, it’s a small seller with a bespoke crafty offering. So with this one you are helping a small business too and we all know that when you buy from a small business then their whole face lights up! You can pick up some really beautiful, hand crafted, bespoke pieces in this way. You’ll pay a bit more for them than maybe finding something similar through a charity shop or market, but I think this is often worth it.
There are lots of other ways to source your props but the key is to keep your eyes open as you walk about town or scroll across the internet. Have a good think about the kind of props that compliment your brand and future specific campaigns and then make a list. Keep that list handy, maybe on your phone, and then you’ve got a great basis to start your collection.
I hope this has been of some help to you today, as ever if you’d like some more 1-2-1 help with your photography needs then drop me a quick line and we can chat about your options.
Don’t forget that free PDF with suggested props for you to consider.
If you are looking for a photographer offering simple solutions with effective photography for your business then please do drop me a line today so we can chat about your needs and options.