12 EASY & AFFORDABLE BLOG PROP IDEAS

64 comments

blog-props-ideas-photography-tips-barely-there-beauty

One of my most asked questions is regarding blog photography. I answered a few queries in my Blog Photography Tips #1, and I'm thinking of turning my response into a little series here on BTB, with today's edition being dedicated to blog props, and what I like to use to spruce up my layouts - so let's get started!




blog-props-ideas-barely-there-beauty

Props are items of interest that sit within your photographs, not taking away the limelight from your focal objects, but sass up the composition of your pics and stop them from looking like a blank, promotional piece from a catalogue. Whilst sometimes I do like to feature an item on a plain, white background and keep things really simple, props can often make a photograph, giving the item context and grounding.

You can literally use anything. It doesn't have to be anything specific or pricey - in fact most of my favourite pieces are almost free, and I can't think of many props I use that are over £20.

easy-affordable-blog-prop-tips

Stationery

Any pretty notebooks, postcards, planners, clips, pins and pens are fab, versatile props that can add some colour, graphics, glitz or geometry to your photo. I love these subtley textured notebooks, this botanical rose journal or this DIY sticker book! TKmaxx, Kikki K, Selfridges and John Lewis are great places to scout out some pretty stationery - I'm hopelessly attracted to gold foiling at the moment. And you don't have to go out and drop all your cash for lots of little trinkets, in the above snap I've just used the one marble notebook (similar) in all four photos.

flatlay

Literature

Any books or magazines that coordinate with the other items in your photo is fair game - maybe that's a nice, leather-bound hardback, or Alexa Chung's IT, or some monochrome text from a page in a magazine. Magazines are great as they cost next to nothing and you can get a lot of use out of just one by using the cover as well as different pages inside, like I've done in the above photo from my review of the NARS Tribulation highlighter.


Food

A little bowl of blueberries, a smoothie or cup of coffee, a croissant, some macarons; food and drink is definitely a cheap and easy prop to add to photographs. You can tie in the colours to other items in the photo, like maybe using pale pink tulips with some pastel macarons, or giving things a little pop of contrast, like a bowl of bright berries amongst a monochrome background. And the bonus is you can eat it right after you're done taking photographs!

blog-photography-tips-props-ideas

Trays & Dishes

Another really versatile prop, little trays or trinket dishes are great for zoning products in your photograph, but don't be scared about going 'over the edges' either, I sometimes like things 'spilling over' into the white space. I love my little square, candle tray from Ikea or this marble one - I think white and marble are my favourite types of tray to look for, and are pretty much all I use, like the white tray in my Making Sense of Korean Skincare post, and like you can see in the above snap.

aerin-lipstick-swatches


easy-affordable-blog-prop-ideas-photography-tips

Paper & Cardboard

One of the cheapest and most versatile items that can instantly alter the look of your photographs. Try using some coloured card as your background, just a change up in colour can bring a little life to your photos - I like the idea of picking a selection of pink lipsticks for example, and laying them all out on a pink background. Or perhaps try laying coloured card at an angle across a white or coloured background a la Jacob Reischel, and that could be all the prop-age you need, it's really effective. You could also try tearing the edge of the card for a raw finish, turning some paper into origami (scattering a handful of origami flowers would be really pretty actually..) or even using some torn up pieces to display lippie swatches (although I tried this with very textured, rough paper and a Tom Ford lipstick and it didn't end well, so stick with a smoother grain!).

easy-affordable-blog-prop-ideas-photography-tips

Plants & Flowers

These make an appearance in a lot of my photographs - it was pretty hard narrowing it down to the 8 above! I love adding some greenery to my photos - plants often have quite structural forms which I find interesting, and green works really well with black, white and gold tones, which are colours I really like to use. Fresh flowers are an obvious choice, but for very good reason! I like to have them in the house as much as possible anyway, so often nab a few to include in a flatlay for example. And don't think you need to have roses or peonies, or anything expensive, wild flowers or inexpensive/seasonal flowers are just as good. Top tip is to pick off the petals when a flower is old and looking worse for wear, and scatter them amongst a flatlay, it's almost like you get a second use from them! Have a look at my Kevyn Aucoin Neo Bronzer post (somewhat tropical flora) or Etude House Real Powder Cushion review (flouncy white petals) for some inspiration.

blog-photography-tips-props-ideas

Beauty Tools

If you've beautiful makeup brushes or pretty palette packaging, give them a secondary use as props. I love to include my Nars Yachiyo brush, it's all black so goes with most things, although there are so many pretty brushes to choose from, any Zoeva brush for example, these jazzy Spectrum brushes or the RT Bold Metals range. Lash curlers are a good one to use too, I love including my rose gold ones in lots of photographs, the unusual shape gives them interest, or a pretty perfume bottle never goes amiss, I love this beautiful one from Guerlain, and the scents a stunner to match.


Frames & Ornaments

I love this geometric copper photo frame but any pretty frame adds a little detail to a photo - once again TKmaxx and Homesense have lots of affordable but stylish numbers. And don't feel you need to fill them with personal photos; a print, some text, or even a magazine cutting are all viable options. As for ornaments, think about from what angle you take most of your photos from - if you're a flatlay lover for example, choose something that's going to look pretty/recognisable from above. I'm in love with this adorable ring holder (similar here that's equally as cute), en-scripted 'Every bunny needs somebunny' - heart. melt.

Fabrics

I do like adding fabrics into my photos - playing with textures is a great way to add interest whilst keeping a monotonal colour palette - I'm yet to do the perfect white photo with all white items and maybe some white fur or linen in the background, but I love that whole style! Try using your bed linen, a rug, decorative scarves, woolly knits or some ribbon and create some shape and shadow by positioning pliable fabrics into folds and pleats - you can even use a piece of clothing, like the embellished top in the main photo for this post.

blog-photography-tips-props-ideas-flat-lay

Candles & Holders

There are so many aesthetically beautiful candles around, they make for lovely props as they often have just enough shape and text to add interest, without distracting too much, and you can blur them in the background, something I really like to do, and still make out what they are. Diptique, Jo Malone, Tom Dixon, Aquiesse, Byredo and Cocolux all have beautiful candles if you want a luxe option, or try The White Company, H&M or Sainsburys for something a little more affordable - I actually think M&S candles are excellent value, I picked up a huge, glass, multiwick candle (which was legitimately delicious) for only around £12.

Furniture

Try taking a look around the house for suitable items, or parts of items, to use, starting off with something that colour coordinates with whatever focal items you want to feature. For example, our grey sofa ties in nicely with monochrome items and I love using the pretty fire surround in the new place as a platform for products. Or alternatively, DIY yourself something beautiful like this gold and marble table.

barely-there-beauty-blog-prop-ideas





























You

This is one of my favourites. A really simple but effective way to showcase a product and fill some blank space within a photograph is to add in a little of yourself. If you've got shoes for example, show them on your feet, if it's a lipstick or blush, show your hand holding it, if it's a hairbrush, show your readers you brushing your hair with it. It seems really obvious but sometimes, that's all you need.

And with that, I'll round things up here! I think 'anything pretty' is worthy of decorating your photographs and I hope I've given you some ideas and tips. Just think about colours, shapes and textures and have a play around - I know I've broken these down into categories but I think some of my favourite photos are when I jumble numerous props in together, and perfecting that just comes with a bit of practise!


What are your favourite blogging props to play with? And let me know what you'd like to see next in this Blog Photography Tips series!



P.S Have you seen Part 1 of my Korean Skincare & Makeup Haul?

Don't forget to follow on Bloglovin! 


Follow

xx


SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL FOR MONTHLY INSIDER UPDATES

64 comments

  1. Thank you so much for spilling your secrets! Your photos are always gorgeous!

    Parie x
    classandglitter.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. This was soo good read! So helpful. Thanks for sharing :-)

    <3: Jasmin N
    Little Things With Jassy
    Bloglovin'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, glad you found it helpful! xx

      Delete
  3. These are all so gorgeous, the first one especially, I love the shadow from the plant! Thank you for those tips :) xx

    Conny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Conny! I've enjoyed playing with shadows, I'll probably talk about that in another edition of blogging tips! xx

      Delete
  4. Omg those photos so good. I loved this post it was so helpful.

    Charlotte xx

    www.mylifecharlottex.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Charlotte, glad you found it helpful xx

      Delete
  5. Oh girl you are killing it with your blog at the moment and your photography is always outstanding! Loved loved this post! I love a good prop and have picked up some great tips here thank you xx
    Lisa xx
    Beaudiaries.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks gorgeous, as if you needed any help! xx

      Delete
  6. Such a lovely helpful post!! <3

    Amelia | http://amelia-g.blogspot.com.au/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Aw what a lovely post! You have the best pics, darling! Only wish I could be as talented as you!

    xoxo
    www.hellohimawari.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks lovely, and don't be silly! Yours are stunning xx

      Delete
  8. Your photos are honestly so stunning. Definitely need to up my prop game, I always feel that something is lacking a little bit so this post is ridiculously helpful!

    Fii | little miss fii | uk fashion & lifestyle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you lovely, glad I could help! xx

      Delete
  9. I love your pictures, I tend to go for a white background and a single flower in most of mine :)

    Rosy | Sparkles of Light Blog

    ReplyDelete
  10. These are so useful!

    Jemima x
    anotherrantingreader.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm currently into colourful cardboard, but I like most of your ideas, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Elena, coloured card is a great one xx

      Delete
  12. These are great! Thanks for the tips! :)

    Nicole | In The Life of NM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nicole, glad you found them helpful xx

      Delete
  13. Great tips!! Thanks!
    Adi xx
    www.fancycorrectitude.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Adi, glad you enjoyed reading xx

      Delete
  14. Wow, your blog is amazing! I love it! xx
    Would you like to follow each other? If yes, please follow me on the both of my blogs and let me know in the comments of my newest posts so I can follow you ASAP.
    Have a great day!

    Vildana from Living Like V & Stalia Is BAE

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am obsessed with buying blog props, I always seem to buy more even when I don't need them. I love buying different fabrics and blankets. H&M Home is one of my favourite shops to buy props.
    www.thisisallure.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm guilty of that too, and yes to H&M, great copper pieces that don't break the bank! xx

      Delete
  16. This is so helpful. I've been trying to play around with photography more lately and start to look at what I'm putting into my blog photos but something I've always struggled with is props. I'm definitely saving this post!

    Sian xx Cakey Dreamer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sian, glad you found it helpful! xx

      Delete
  17. You have amazing blog photography! Thanks for the great tips x

    Jen / Velvetspring.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you Jennifer, that's so kind! xx

      Delete
  18. So many helpful tips! Thanks for sharing :)

    Ella xx

    http://www.truthfullyella.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  19. Your photos are so beautiful and creative! Some days I feel very 'artistic' and will plan my photos and take ages to organise the props etc. and some days I'm just rushing and use barely anything :) x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We can all relate to that! And thank you for your kind words xx

      Delete
  20. Replies
    1. Aw thanks Tiffany, what a lovely thing to say xx

      Delete
  21. Love your photographs! I like to use fashion and home decor mags with dishes and flowers sometimes. I just find shooting on a white background really difficult but your photos look amazing. No matter how hard I try or spend hours in editor the whites always have blues and greys. Would appreciate if you do a post on lighting and editing when it comes to white backgrounds. Thanks! 😊

    Jadirah Sarmad at Jasmine Catches Butterflies ʚϊɞ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's a bugbear of us all! I've been thinking of talking about lighting in an upcoming edition to keep your eyes peeled xx

      Delete
  22. These are such great tips! I really love the look of busy blog photos with props, but I always struggle to think of things and compose them nicely, so I'll definitely be stealing some of these ideas!

    Kelly // Velvet and Vibranium

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a bit of an art and I'm by no means any good but glad you found things helpful! xx

      Delete
  23. those are very good ideas / secrets, I struggle but at least I learn something new every day
    galantosfun

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As do I and I think that's important so keep up the good work! xx

      Delete
  24. Love these tips! Can't wait for the rest of your mini series :) Your photos are always so gorgeous! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw shucks thank you for your kind words! xx

      Delete
  25. This was really helpful, thank you. I have ordered the tray and will endeavour to try and use some magazines and food in my shots! (I use the others so at least I'm getting somewhere)!

    Sarah from iheartcosmetics

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking forward to seeing it in your photos! xx

      Delete
  26. Excellent tips - stationery, literature, and plants add such incredible texture to photos for virtually no cost at all. Is the marble texture in your photos from a marble cutting board? That's what I use after receiving one as a wedding gift.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice wedding gift! We're fortunate to have marble surfaces in the new house. And definitely, some of the best props are free xx

      Delete
  27. Absolutely love your photos! I'm always trying to improve mine, and props always make such a big difference!

    xx
    Nida | Caked To The Nines

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can attest that yours are beautiful so keep up the great work! xx

      Delete
  28. I love this blog post!!! These are wonderful tips! I am definitely going to have to incorporate these into my future blog posts when I take product photos!

    ~Crissy
    www.whimsicalfawn.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you lovely, glad you found them helpful! xx

      Delete
  29. These ideas are amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing. I've never thought to use food and drinks in my blog posts, I always go for make-up or stationary, so that's definitely one to think about. Your photo's are so stunning btw!!xx


    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you Lauren, such a lovely thing to say! xx

      Delete
  30. Oh my goodness, this is SUCH a helpful post. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut when taking blog photos, especially when you are taking them in a big batch but your photos look so gorgeous. I will bookmark this post for when I need some more inspiration! x
    Louise | helloteddy.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks Louise, that's massively sweet! I love getting inspiration from posts like these and it's lovely for the shoe to be on the other foot and to be helpful to others xx

      Delete
  31. What a fabulous post and prop ideas dear! Today I ordered my new marble table which will be used for my first beauty blog post :)) Can't wait to have it home! Thank you for sharing your ideas!
    xx
    Stella www.stellaasteria.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Some lovely ideas thank you! I'm always struggling for little things to think of and add in when I'm taking still shots, so I'll be referring back to here!

    Caroline
    www.carryoncaroline.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. This was extremely helpful. Writing down ideas now!

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you, so do please leave your comments! If you're looking for a speedy answer then tweet me @jennifer_btb xx

© Barely There Beauty - A Lifestyle, Beauty & Wellness Blog. Design by MangoBlogs.