Household Items That Make Good Photo Props

Wednesday, May 23, 2018



I'm not a jealous person. It's not my jam, I don't really find any need for it, even if it's very easy to be envious of anyone who has the pleasure of marrying Joe Jonas (ahem, Sophie Turner, you lucky human you...). However, I feel like the closest I ever get to a true feeling of jealousy is when I see a really, really, really fucking good flat lay. Like, a good flat lay really messes me up in the best way possible. Some of y'all do them so well and it's mindblowing. Where do y'all get your props? How do you get the lighting that great? How does it not look like a horrifying mess?

This post isn't about great flat lays, just FYI. I can't take a flat lay to save my life and I've stopped trying. But, it has something to do with flat lays, which is why I brought them up in the first place. Look, some things that I say are for good reason! Though, to be fair, most of what I say is never relevant and hasn't been for at least seven years.

One key to a good flat lay–or really, any sort of interesting picture even if you don't fully commit to the flat lay–is having good props and backgrounds. I don't know about you, but I can barely navigate Target's dollar section, let alone an entire craft store like Michael's or something. If I can barely get myself to spend $7 on sushi at lunch, how the hellllll am I supposed to get myself to drop some mad cash on props for photos that I don't even know how to take well? Trick question: I'm not going to.

There's plenty of junk stuff that you might have around your house or apartment that will work in a photo without having to purchase a ton of new shit. You just have to get a little creative! In theory, just about anything could be a prop if you just arrange it in a certain way, right? Okay, well maybe almost anything...


Laptop

My laptop keyboard, whether it's clean or dirty, always makes plenty of appearances in blog posts from time to time. And from time to time I basically mean anytime I am talking about something vaguely work or school related. What can I say, Apple just makes some products that are photographable AF!

Candles

Your candles don't have to be Diptyque mini candles (though, I mean, if they are, more power to ya for dropping that $$$). Candles are a super easy way to not only spice up a flat lay, but really just any shot of your desk, bookshelf, bedside table, literally anything. 

Jackets

Have you ever need a good background for a photo but you just can't find a surface in your house for it? Ever considered utilizing your closet for things other than outfit photos? I've been known to take product shots on my white furry Forever21 coat because it not only is very cute to wear, but it also is a fun, textured background to spice up a photo. 


Stationery

This is a duh option, but utilize all of that stationery that I know you hoard! Pens, notebooks, cards, the sky is the limit. I've been known to buy regular pencils with cute sayings on them even if I haven't used a pencil in about three years. Do I have a set of Pop & Suki pencils in my drawer that are still sharpened to perfection and untouched? You betcha, but they're cute as hell

Mugs

Again, a total duh item on the list, but mugs are almost always around the apartment, somewhere in the cupboards or maybe on your desk holding all of your pens if you're me. You can use simple, solid colored mugs, or obviously got the other route and find one with a cute saying on it or some sort of monogram (who doesn't love those good ole letter mugs from Anthro?)

Sheets / Comforters

This one is pretty similar to the jacket option, but if you want to add a little texture to your photos, just take advantage of the bedding that you most likely have on your bed. I like ruffling the sheets a bit so they're not crisp. The wrinkled texture just adds a bit more depth and dimension to a photo that could otherwise be just a little flat. 

String Lights

These aren't really necessary for any extra lighting purposes, but they just look cute. Whether they're hung up on the wall or are just laid flat on your backdrop of choice for a flat lay, you can't go wrong with string lights. 


Cutting Board / Marble / Serving Board

Okay, so this might not be a typical household item, but if you for some reason have a marble cheese board laying around your house, what are you waiting for? Put that sucker to good use!

Handbags

Handbags don't just have to be for fashion purposes. Make 'em work double duty and have them act as photo props when you need to fill some extra negative space.

Books

Books are very similar to the stationery element. I like to use books with interesting covers, like this Jessi Klein book that coordinates spectacularly with my YSL bag. Play with textures and patterns and see how you like the combinations. The possibilities are endless!

What's your favorite photo prop to include in your shots?
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1 comment

  1. Yaaaaas my girl helpin' out those bloggers in need! I mean, you know I went to Hobby Lobby and bought those big square pieces of scrapbook paper for my backgrounds and here we are. But I'm still on the hunt for the perfect marble board that's not a million dollars

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