I think one of the most common questions that I get is “How do you get your Instagram photos so professional looking?” – and my answer is usually one of these: good lighting, good editors, good angles. Tbh I think that even I forget about the really power of blog props, and the fact that they don’t even come to mind when I’m talking about uppin’ your photog. game conveys that pretty well. The reality is that my photography wouldn’t be half as good without the careful choice and placement of all the blog props that I’ve invested in over the last year.
Yep, they really are an investment. I actually have a big box in my IKEA storage cabinet just to hold all of my blog props and keep them organised, and all in one place! Whilst a few other little bits like trays and fleurs are out in my room for decoration. It’s worth nothing that I’m not covering blog props like jewellery, etc, because it goes without saying – adding a little glitz to your photos goes a long way!
I’ve decided to add a little shoppable list so you guys can have a right gander of what’s out there for all budgets, but mostly everything is within an under £10 price range!
FAKE FLOWERS LAST LONGER THAN REAL ONES (£1-£3)
Home Bargains – Rose & Peony Bouquet, Box Bouquet
Even though I treat myself to a small bouquet of real roses or tulips for a savvy £2.50 a bunch from Lidl at least one every two weeks, I am always on the look out for great faux flowers to keep on hands for any impromptu blog posts or IG shots. I don’t frequent Home Bargains often (but I feel like that’s about to change as I’ve moved house and literally live about 5 minutes away now – #GetIn) however I feel like abut 50% of the time they have blog-perfect props for an absolutely bargain price, obvz. The Rose and Peony Bouquets cost me about £2.50 each, and the Box Bouquet was a ridiculous 99p. Plus, all of their flower decorations usually come in at least two colours. Most commonly, white/cream, pink, and lilac shades – Which are gr8 to complement any Instagrammable blog post.
BLOG-ABLE (AND PRACTICAL) (£4-£10)
TK Maxx – Clipboard, Weekly Planner
Urban Outfitters – Ohh Deer Notebook/Planners
I alwaaaaays get asked where my planners/diaries are from: 1) Because I have about 10, and no, I don’t use them all… 2) As I always feature them in my photography, on both my blog and on IG. I think they give a really lived-in, yet organised, vibe to any photo – Plus, they’re really versatile! You can stack them, place things on them, have them opened up and placed upside down, or the right way around with some relevant words scribbled inside.
UTILISE THE FREEBIES (FREE)
Ribbon – Free
If you order bits and bobs online on the regular, especially beauty boxes, you’ll probably recieve a few freebies along the way. No, I’m not talking about lil samples of perfume or face cream – I’m talkin’ about the packaging folks. I always keep ribbons that wrap up some of the blogger mail / beauty boxes that I recieve in the post, and carefully place them in blog posts to further enforce a colour scheme (usually black to add contrast). It adds some movement to an otherwise one dimensional #flatlay post, and I can’t believe that I only figured it out in 2k17.
MUGS – CUTE AND HOLDS COFFEE (£3-£10)
Primark – Palm Mug
??? – Heart Mug
Urban Outfitters – Cat Mug (Similar)
I seem to feature a mug in a lot of my IG photos and that’s either because I have a brew on-the-go at the time, or simply because I need to add a dash of colour or texture to an image. My Palm mug was a bargain at £2/3 and I’m 98% sure I got the heart mug from Home Bargains around Valentine’s Day 2016. They’re also puuuurfect for adding a little bit of interaction with the post, like holding the coffee cup or reaching out to grab it for those action-styled first person shots.
THE ICONIC LIGHTBOX (£15)
ASOS x New Look – Rose Gold Lightbox
The lightbox prop has become a serious staple amongst bloggers and vloggers alike, and for good reason. It can act as a usual room decoration when you’re not blogging away, and is then fully customisable for specific blog posts or for conveying a message across social media. Plus, they’re mostly monochromatic which is a chic look for any post, and works with pretty much any other combination of props.
CANDLES, CANDLES, & MORE CANDLES (£1-£10)
Boux Avenue – Miss B Candle*, White Chiffon Candle*
(20% off everything with “KITTYBOUX”)
I have sooo many candles that I’m too scared to burn because they’re beautiful, and that’s really quite sad – because that’s what they’re for right? My answer to this is to simply make small investments in relatively cheap candles which I can snap a few times and then enjoy burning afterwards! Obviously, after they’re all burned up I don’t keep them around for long, so here’s a selection of candles that are very similar to the ones I’ve featured on my IG recently:
PUT STUFF ON TRAYS & THANK ME L8ER (£3-£10)
Home Bargains – White Tray
Flying Tiger – Wire Baskets
This one is quite important to me, as I almost always use my white bedsheets as the background of all of my flatlay photography. I was always trying to balance prop and products on my sheets, whilst trying not to knock stuff over, and get a variety of texture, and don’t forget depth to the image! I bought my first tray on a whim, and I’ve never looked back since. They’re such a great prop for casual placement of things like books or coffees, because that’s what you actually use a tray for duh! I got my trusty white one from Home Bargains, and it cost something silly like a fiver which proves that you really don’t have to splurge on this one.
THE OG-IG HOMEWARE BASICS
Ikea – Potted Plants, Cacti, Mini Orchid, Fluffy Rug
Sass & Belle – Black Terrarium Plant holder
These props are the O.G. of all instagram/blog props and are, IMO, essential for any blogger who is serious about creating incredibly instagrammable content. The IKEA bits & bobs are reasonably priced, and they have so much selection considering most of the items are quite minimalist. The rug was £10, the set of 3 cacti was £4.50, the plant and plant pot was a nifty £3, and I nabbed the mini fuchsia orchid at £4.90. The Terranium Plant Holder, however, is a tad bit pricey coming in at over £25 and I feel like I should add that I was actually gifted this product. Butttt it’s absolutely gorgeous and I feel like I would have invested in one, it was only a matter of time. It’s not essential, but boy is it cute or what?!
THE STATEMENT PRINT (£5-£10)
Old English Company – Wall Prints*
Grace London Co. – Postcards*
NGL, this is a last minute addition to this post. I have been loving adding statement prints or post cards to my IG posts recently. I feel like it adds the prettiest, chic edge and a a cute lil message too. I have loved taking my prints off the wall (I mounted with those velcro-thingys for easy removal) to act as a background for photos taken at a side angle, not a flat lay angle. Plus, these postcards* that Grace London sent over to me last week have been giving me life.
What types of blog props do you invest in?
Thank you so much for sharing all these tips, you've given me so much inpso and a long shopping list! x
Thanks so much, I really hope it's helped! <3
Some great ideas for props. I recently did a props shop, which was all kinds of fun. I raided a few stationary shops for beautiful backgrounds – sheets of wrapping paper 🙂 I'm also a fan of Home Bargain flowers, I think I need more trays in my life clearly! Honestly Aine
You're ahead of me, I haven't got any wrapping paper/vinyl background yet!Maybe it might be my next DIY project! x
Thanks so much for sharing these tips. I love your style of photography and these are some really useful tips. xwww.beautylifebecca.blogspot.co.uk
No problem, Becca! Hope this helps you out xo
This post is a life saver – I've been struggling with my flay lays recently as they always seem so empty – this is given me so much inspiration! I've now got a list as long as my arm! Natasha – hellonatashax.blogspot.com
So glad this has been handy! Good luck!
Love this post, thank you! I think I'm going to have to really give my style some thought, and up my prop game.CKellyBlushckellyblush.blogspot.com
I hope it's helped you out, lovely! xo
These pictures are amazing! I need to get some props to improve my pictures asap! xxlouiselovesbeauty.blogspot.co.uk
Thank you so much, Louise! Good luck!
Loved this post! Thanks for sharing, definitely one to bookmark! I've just started using more props such as fake peonies and my notebooks and it really does make a huge difference to my photos! xoLaura | Blush and Bronze
Totally agree with you, it adds just that bit of oomph! xx
Absolutely loved this post, given me so many ideas & tips so thank you!
Thank you so much!x
I'm really new to blogging and find I'm learning every day when it comes to taking flatlays and product photos, I'm starting to use fake flowers and journals to add some movement but this post has some great inspiration! May need to pop to Ikea and H&M Home soon… xowww.ohsixeleven.blogspot.co.uk
It's definitely worth doing, for sure! xo
Such a cliche but I would be lost without my fake flowers! I do try and space out using them though so they don't appear in every photo! I use fashion magazines over and over as well!Annabel ♥Mascara & Maltesers
I should definitely use fashion magazines more often! xo
This was such a genius post!! I lovee everything you suggested, and this really helped. Scarfs and knit jumpers are great for texture also, or pretty stones (like Himalayan pink salt) or glasses are great :)My New Post: Keep Fighting for What You LoveLet’s be BLOGLOVIN friends!
Ooooh I didn't even think of that, thanks for the heads up! xo
Thank you so much for sharing these tips and ideas, I found them really useful. I had not thought about fake flowers before but they look amazing so will be going hunting for little blog props myself soon!Nikki xwww.petalpostblog.wordpress.com
Hope this is helpful Nikki! xo
I always struggle with ideas on what to use for blog props so thanks for these ideas!Aleeha xXxhttp://www.halesaaw.co.uk/
So glad this has helped you out! xo
Love this post !!! All the pictures are so aesthetically pleasing! We're new to the blogging scene as well so need all the tips we can get! Xxxhttps://sydneyandevie.blogspot.co.uk/
Hope this has given you some flatlay inspo huns! x
Bloody love this post, so well thought out and as ever your pictures are stunning. Thanks for all the tips, am off to buy even more fake flowers now (my cleaner says it looks like some sort of florist at mine) haha! xoxo Sarah from Iheartcosmetics xx
Haha tell me about it, that' what my place is like! xo
I love how you reuse the same props.. I never would have realized it if it wasn't for you putting the pictures next to each other. Thanks for this :)http://thedianaedition.com
Hehe it's definitely a sneaky tip! x
Such a great post! I really want to get more prints to add into my photos. Your photos always look so stunning, you are so talented Holly! X http://www.jadeannloves.blogspot.co.uk
Ahhh thanks so much gorgeous girly! xo
Your photos look amazing! This is a great share, but how do you handle the lighting, I can never get it this good
It's all natural lighting lovely! x
This is such a helpful post as I've been wanting to switch things up 🙂 I had no idea affordable, fake flowers could look so realistic – I'm definitely going to scout out Home Bargains!Jasmine xx Jasmine Talks Beauty
It's my fave place to go for faux fleurs! xo
Oh wow, thanks so much for sharing this! I have a, very small, box of blog props and I've been looking to expand so I'll definitely be paying my local Home Bargains a visit 😉 x http://www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x
Thanks so much for reading Aimee! xo
Nice post and tips too . Thanks for sharing this =)
Thank you Nadiah! xo
this was so helpful, I absolutely love your blog! x
Dang, great post! You’ve got it down to a science. x