Gathering props around your home should be an easy task when you get started styling your own photos. Often enough, objects we use the most daily can become parts of stories we share in photography.
I live in a small London apartment and when I started making my own photos, I was only playing around to learn how to use my camera, so I was trying to get the most out of what I had instead of buying props, and believe me, it works really well. Here is what I learnt along the way:
Here is a small list of items I have been using in photos, either for mock ups, Instagram shots or stock photography. I am not a fan of cooking (although I like baking), and you will quickly see that using kitchen items for styling does not have to relate to food styling at all.
#1 TRANSPARENT JARS
Small, medium, big, they are so versatile. I do not eat jam, but I when I shop for groceries I like to recycle so I will often go for glass packaging if the option is available. You can use anything like: yogurt, milk (if you can still find some packaged in glass bottles, maybe in organic food shops?), marinated olives jars, asparagus or peppers jars (these are sometimes longer and thinner), jam jars (all shapes!), mustard jars.
Don't laugh, but once I got excited, thinking I'd actually re-use a tuna tin. So I washed it and put it on my desk, waiting for an idea to come later on in the day. But I ended up throwing it away 15 minutes later, as the smell was just unbearable!
#3 FRESH HERBS
These are great on flat lays in small twigs, or as a small flower arrangement in a jar. Anything like thyme, lavender, rosemary would work great, especially if you like food styling, go crazy with mint and basil too! Of course, you can also think of fresh fruits and nuts as a props, it all depends on the story you would like to share.
#4 BAKERS' TWINE
Black and white being my favourite, but normal string works great too. You can find them in bakery or kitchenware shops, online too. A large range of colours is available, and the good ones do not come that cheap, so I'd suggest to choose only one as it will last ages!
#5 SILVER SPOON
You know, that only old spoon that does not look like the others, yet you are too attached to it to let it go? It would be a perfect addition to your flat lay scene!
#6 TEA CUP
It does not have to be vintage, but if you are a tea drinker, I hope you do have a fancy or favourite tea cup! If not, definitely treat yourself to one from a market, or Anthropologie if you'd like one new.
#7 COOKIE CUTTERS
Stars are the cutest, hearts are great, but all shapes are welcome! Christmas is a great season to insert these into your styled photos.
#8 PLATES AND BOWLS
All shapes and sizes. I often use them to stock cut flowers, tiny props that I will use the same week and many other purposes!
#9 NAPKINS AND TEA TOWELS
The ones that come with a little label (Lipton normally has these). You can cut a little shape out of paper and stick it on the label for a little customised effect.
#10 PAPER STRAWS
They are easily recycled, come in lots of pretty colours and patterns, and are not too expensive (ok maybe this one is a little more on the luxury side). They are so great when used with smoothies or infused waters!
I hope this was helpful and that I will hear you running to your kitchen to see what treasures you will find! If you have any favourites, I'd love to know what they are.
Next on the blog, I will share 5 props you should look for in a charity shop. In the meantime, please make yourself at home and have a look around!