When it comes to prop shopping, the world is your oyster and thats why it can be so hard and overwhelming to know where to spend your pennies! We often get questions like “Where do you get your props or how do you know what to buy”. So, heres a little insight on the process
Step 1. Shop for Versatility
When adding to your collection, Id recommend buying pieces that can be used for a variety of projects but still be unique to each shoot. Some things we have in our collection that we use across multiple shoots are
- Stones, tiles and concrete
These are great items that can be used by themselves or with additional items to suit the brand or concept you may be working on.
Step 2. Shop for Themes
When shopping for more defined items, it helps to think about the over all style of theme.
You might be shooting a beauty product and need beauty accessories to compliment the images. From there, think of the style and colour schemes of that brand. Is the product made from natural ingredients or it’s main marketing feature could be its scientific formula. You might want some natural stone, beige cloth and bamboo accessories or on the other hand you might want science beakers and dry ice! I am always buying with my clients brand and features in mind.
Additionally, you can buy based on the themes you work on a lot. For me, I do a LOT of seasonal scenes in my work across multiple clients so I have lots of party accessories, disco balls etc and lots of symbolic items that tell the story of party or birthday and on the other hand I have a bunch of Halloween, Xmas props too!
Step 3. Shop for your Niche
Buying props for your niche (or most popular way of shooting) can help in knowing what to buy.
For me, we create a lot of miniature quirky scenes that tell stories with your product so we buy lots of fun toys and miniatures that do this.
Some fun ones I use a lot of mini beach items and mini beds/lounges.
Step 4. Shop for Backdrops
Backdrops play a huge role in creating the over all feel for your photos and there are so many options out there.
Here’s some options
- MDF Board with your choice of paint (we buy sample pots from a hard ware store in a matte finish). You can also create a variety of textures using products like gap filler. The outcome of how the texture look will depend on how you apply it. You may sponge it, flick it, scrap it or even wipe it on!
- Vinyl backdrops: although can be a more of an expensive option but also an amazing invest and most places that sell these have a huge variety of realistic textures and colours to choose from. They are water proof and light weight so easily transportable.
- Fabrics: as per my last topic, a great versatile piece to have as you can hang them and use them for backdrops as well
- Tiles: Great if you’re wanting to recreate a bathroom look or retro scenes! You can order stick on tiles (however super expensive) and stick them straight onto some board or if you’re crafty, create your own tile wall with grout.
- Kmart (Just about everything and anything)
- Bunnings (MDF boards, tools, paint)
- Everyday Co (Backdrops)
- Spotlight (Fabrics and Craft supplies)
- Ebay (miniatures)
- IWOOT (quirky novelty items)
- Typo (quirky stationary)
- Temple & Webster (homewares/kitchenware)
Thanks for reading! We would love to know if this guide helped!