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Audrey Wolf - Content Creation & Social Media Consulting for Businesses

Finding the Right Props for Stock Photos

Audrey Wolf Blog Post - Finding the Right Props for Stock Photos

So you’re ready to start styling your own stock photos, your backdrop is in place, and you’ve found the most amazing props to shoot. Glancing through your lens at the scattered items you’ve set out, you realize that the vision you had is just not coming together the way you had hoped. Why doesn’t it look like I imagined it? What am I doing wrong?

Sound familiar? Trust me, I’ve been there too. 

Selecting Props

As a photographer of styled stock, having the right props can make all the difference when it comes to getting that perfect shot. And let’s face it, regardless of how many images I create for The Content Bar, you are inevitably going to take your own pictures to intermingle with purchased ones, and that’s okay.

Including personal items found in your own office and home will allow your Instagram followers to get to know you. Seeing your own desktop, your favorite coffee mug, or the notebook you use to jot down ideas will speak to your dream clients and keep them engaged!

Below are 5 of my best tips to finding a few supporting props to use alongside the things you use everyday to create beautiful images. Styling your own stock photos just got easier.
Textures

A variety of textures will visually add to the look of your image without being too monotonous. Balancing a soft texture such as a blanket or scarf with wood or metal is pleasing to the eye. This effect can even be achieved with something as simple as a plate of food with a fork placed next to it, or a cup of coffee paired with a luscious pastry.

Food

When shooting food, it’s helpful to think in layers which gives a depth of field to the shot. Collect plates, bowls, trays, vases, cups, and glassware in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors to add dimension. Then add color with foods like candy, cupcakes, and fruit and make the picture pop!

Desk

Something to stop the scroll of your ideal client is a picture of your desk, which is why these styled stock images never get old. There are so many options for desk props, such as pens, notebooks, glasses, paper clips, books, earbuds, and more. When taking photos of your desk, choose one item to feature and surround it with softer colors. That way the other props will blend in with the backdrop and let your “star of the show” shine through!

Nature

Styling props found in nature are growing in popularity for their earthy texture and how easy they are to gather. Succulents and other small potted plants, flowers, shells, and tree branches are all lovely additions to your styled stock images. Pair them with contrasting textures and colors or use them alone for a nature-inspired shoot your followers are bound to love!

Styling with Accessories

Lastly, don’t forget to accessorize! Just like any outfit, accessories can make all the difference in the final look of a stock photo. Some great accessory props for a flat lay include sunglasses, makeup, hats, and watches. Bonus points if you actually wear them! 😉

I hope this list helps give you an idea of the many options for styling your own stock photos. Many of these you can find throughout your own home, but it will take time to gather them. Growing your prop collection overnight will most definitely break the bank. My suggestion is to take your time by investing in a few key pieces with each new shoot. Let’s just say that Homegoods has become my second home. LOL For the smaller items, keep your eyes open in clearance sections. Some of my best props were found in the dollar section at Target! 🙈

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