A Few Of My Favorite Props

 

Today, I want to share with you some of my very favorite prop finds and where I got them. I think you are going to love some of these unusual and beautiful options. The props you choose to collect and use in your photography are what is going to make your photos really stand out and be different.

I am always on the lookout for beautiful props at the antique markets, thrift stores, eBay, and Etsy. You have to be willing to go out looking, keep an open mind about what you might be looking for, and be willing to buy when you see something amazing. I don’t usually shop with a setup in mind. I let what I find be my inspiration for sets and photos. Most pieces I find are one of a kind because of age, there just aren’t that many out there anymore, and that is why I love them.

I like old pieces better than new ones because of the patina and stories they have to tell. The more scratched up and worn the better when it comes to a tabletop or surface I can shoot on. I love silver that is tarnished. I love interesting fabrics that drape well. I love old boxes that I can shoot into. The options are endless when you are looking, so I wait for pieces that practically jump out at me because they are so amazing.

Also, be sure to shop your own house for props. Some of my favorite props in the past have been some family pieces I have around the house. Start there, then add onto your collection as you come across great pieces.

I hope you love the pieces below and get inspired to search out some amazing pieces for yourself.

Bajot, Low Wood Table

The bajot, or low wood table, is one of my very favorite finds. I first saw them at a local floral shop, they were using some of these as display stands, and not selling them. It took me about year to figure out what they were called and then find some. They make the perfect surface to photograph on. They were traditionally low wood tables with a variety uses including ceremonial teas.

Etsy has been the best source for finding these. I also saw one at a local antique store recently – a bit more decorative than I wanted – so it didn’t come home with me. I have seen them on eBay from time to time – but it’s rarer on there. I like the ones that are wood tones with beat-up top the best.

An Old Crate

An old antique crate is another of my very favorite props to use in my photos. I like using them to create some nice deep backgrounds. It creates a deeper shadow/darkness than just using a black colored backdrop board. I adore the depth it can create behind your photos.

I found all of the ones I’ve had over the years at the antique store. I usually don’t pay more than $60 for them. This one is my favorite one of the ones I’ve had because it is slightly larger than the milk crates and it didn’t have the metal grates in it.

Small Drop Leaf Table

Small Drop Leaf Table… So this little table is my find of the century! For real… I was searching for drop leaf tables on Etsy… because I wanted a larger one for my studio. I like drop leaf tables because they don’t take up too much room. You can drop down the sides and store it out of the way. While I was looking, I came across this salesman’s sample from the early 1900s!! How amazing is that?

So while you may not be able to find this exact table to use in your sets – you can certainly find interesting tables with beat-up tops or interesting wood surfaces to use – which is what I love most about this table – the yummy beat up top.

To find things like this – you just always have to be looking around and be willing to snap them up when you see them. This table was over $200 – which was way more than I was looking to spend that day that I found it. But it really spoke to me and I knew if I didn’t buy it – I would regret that for the rest of my life. It would ALWAYS be the one that got away. So I bit the bullet and bought it and it has very quickly become one of my very favorite props.

Fabrics That Drape Well

Fabrics that drape… so love including some of these in my photos. They are perfect for still life and food photos as they can add some beautiful filler and movement to your photo. I have 2 very favorite fabrics I use in my sets.

I get the pretty loose weave linen type fabrics from Silk & Willow – I usually get the sampler sets she occasionally offers so I get several fabrics to work within those sets. They are perfect sizes for still life usually about 2′ square or a little larger.

I also get the baby wraps from Intuition backgrounds – and I love them because they are slightly silky and very drapey compared to regular cheesecloth. The colors are beautiful and I love the 3 I currently have. I’m looking to add a few more colors to my stash very soon. (I have seen recently that these are being discontinued – but if you can get some before they are gone – I know you’ll love them!)

 

I hope you loved a look at a few of my very favorite props and get inspired to go out looking for a few that you love! Til next time… I’m wishing you a very creative week! xoxo Denise

24 Comments

  1. Sharon Bridges

    Thank you so much for sharing these, Denise! I’ve looked and looked for a little stool like the black one you use in Still Stories. And it’s so hard to find out what something is called – “Jabot”. Now if I could find some crowns! And someone to move my piano over about three feet to free up some room.

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      I think the little black stool was hand made by someone using some parts from the wood department and painted. The bajots would be a good substitute and what I would have used if I had them when I filmed that workshop! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. jeanhutter

    Love all your props – I really enjoy going hunting for finds – thrift shop, goodwill, antique shops all great places. In the above pic is that a cake stand?? I love the look in your photo.

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      Prop hunting is one of my favorite pastimes! That is a little cake stand I believe. I found it at the antique market – but don’t think it is old. It is one of my favorite stands to use. I’m planning another blog post showing off some of those pieces soon. πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • Janet Slater

        Denise, what are the dimensions of your Bajot Table? I’d like to have someone make one for me.

        Reply
        • Denise Love

          The smaller one is 15” square a d the larger one is 24” square. They are about 8” tall.

          Reply
  3. Carol Wehner

    Love that turquoise bajot! I’d be all over that had I spotted it first!

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      I love it too… though not so much for photos as I thought. I prefer the wood toned ones now. πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • Carol Wehner

        Even if it wasn’t right for the photos, I know I’d find a terrific spot for it in my house! lol Really love the color! I certainly can see how the wood would be a better choice depending on your subject, though!

        Reply
        • Denise Love

          That aqua color is one of my favorite colors – so it will definitely stay in the house – even if I don’t use it too much for photos!! πŸ™‚

          Reply
  4. Gerri Jones

    Thanks for the tips – I ordered a couple baby wraps – on sale from intuition. I have ordered these before on ebay, but they don’t have the colors she has. I love your props as always – too bad we did not live closer – we could swap props!!!

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      Oooh! You’ll love them. I need to shop the colors and get a few more! We would have a blast prop swapping πŸ™‚

      Reply
  5. Litonya Knelsen

    You really do have an amazing collection of props – very inspiring! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      So glad you liked them!! Thank you! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  6. Jill Love

    Thanks, Denise. Such great ideas.

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      So glad you loved them! Thank you! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  7. Julie Boyle

    Again, thank you for sharing your ideas and tips. My props are growing under your guidance.

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      Yay! So glad! I have some other prop posts I’ll be doing soon. I have lots of good finds πŸ™‚

      Reply
  8. lori henderson

    Thank s for sharing your prop ideas. I didn’t think I was a collector, but now…Yikes!

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      Lol! So glad you loved these ideas πŸ™‚

      Reply
  9. Mark Moorton

    Thanks so much Denise. I really love your images and am looking at all the lovely Springtime flowers here in the south of the UK and to photograph and use the ideas that you have inspired me with. Hope you are keeping well. Mark

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      Thank you!! Hope you are staying safe too and finding some pretty things to photograph πŸ™‚

      Reply
  10. lizsews

    Thankyou very much for all of these fantastic prop ideas. I really love them all and I will be looking out for a crate. I would like to know the approximate measurements of your crate please.

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      The crate I use now is 9”deep x 18”W x16”L. This crate is a few inches larger than others I’ve had. They are old drink/milk crates – so the sizes vary a bit.

      Reply

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