Best Props for Great Photography
Taking great photos can take time, but there are a few tips that might help you. Trust me, I know the feeling of being stuck in a lull of bad photos and there’s nothing better than the feeling of taking a GREAT one! Sometimes you have a bad composition or bad lighting, or importantly, your photo is missing some props. Although bad lighting and composition can’t be fixed easily, adding extra details to your photo is nearly impossible!
Over the years of taking photos, I can definitely say that props have saved my life (well, editing too 😉). Here’s a few rules and tips for the best photos including props!
These are a few of our early pictures to the blog that lacked props (and everything else 🥴)
Here are a few better examples of props in use. Don’t forget, not all photos need a lot of props, but they do enhance your photos.
Is there such a thing as too many props?
Yes! Having props is a great addition to photos, but having too many can clutter the space and take away from the main subject.
I do love good props, and I think they add some great touch to photos that can really compliment the composition. They add extra details, texture, and dimensions.
The most popular props I use are:
- Linens / Dish Towels
- Utensils / Kitchen gadgets
- Food scraps/pieces
What to get?
There are a lot of different props to choose from and sometimes they can get overwhelming, but finding great props is the best thing EVER!
Here are some of the best things to look for:
- Antique spoons/silverware
- Ceramics (Bowls, plates, mugs…) (I love @rvpottery)
- Household gadgets (Whisks, graters, measuring cups, ice cream scoop…)
- Food scraps and extras (Sprinkles, food related to what you’re baking, cinnamon/powdered sugar dusting)
- Linens / Kitchen Towels
- Parchment Paper / Textured backgrounds
Where to buy?
Nothing is better than finding a diamond in the rough and they always come along. The best places to get props are antique stores, thrift shops, TJ Maxx (I LOVE this place 😏), any stores with little trinkets (you never when you’ll find something), and online stores.
Finding little gadgets can be very rewarding, but believe it or not, you have many tools around your house that you might not even know about! Almost everybody has whisks, utensils, cookie sheets…etc. Sometimes it just takes a little creativity!
How to know when to use?
Props are breaker and maker for your photos and it’s very important to know when to use them.
- Use when the photo is lacking some texture or details.
- Add some extra details when you are going for one theme. Ex: Adding lemon slices to some lemon scones.
- If your photo already has a lot going on, don’t use any.
- If you’re doing a close-up, you might consider having something in the background but blurred out.
- If you have TOO much blank space, considering adding a few but don’t overcrowd!
- Using food scraps or food that ties into your theme is a big help!
How to style them
Now, you’ve got the hang of what props to get and use, but how do I style them? Styling can be tricky, but a lot of the time you just have to play around with it. Everything is trial and error.
Most of the time I add props to the background and spaces that feel dull and empty. When in doubt, add a prop, whether it’s large or small.
Most of it’s just playing around. Take a photo, if you don’t like it, re-arrange the item and see how that looks.
Less is More
Now you might be thinking, “I need props in everything!” It’s easy to get carried away, but sometimes it’s best to take it slow. Don’t forget, too many props can take away from your subject, and the main focus here is the food!
Want some more details on the props we use, visit our Products We Love page.
Happy baking and send us your prop pictures!