Finding great photographic props for your studio is easier than you think. The main purpose of a prop is to give the model something to interact with. The second purpose of a prop is to sell your story to your audience. So where do you find great props?
Props can be sourced from many places just use your imagination. I generally perform my research on the period of my photoshoot first. This helps me to open my imagination to possibilities that I wouldn’t have considered on my own.
If you’re purchasing props, and I usually purchase at least some props for the period I’m working, then consider online resources. One great place to purchase props is eBay. There are literally 1000’s of items generally to work with and is one of favorite places to prop shop. For other things consider Amazon.com or if you’re adventurous Craigslist. For the not so adventurous, try antique or consignment shops.
Don’t forget to ask people you know. Fellow photographers often have items they can loan. Consider other members of your team such as your modeling friends, MUA’s and hairstylists, too. Often when a MUA or model is part of your team, they will offer to help you with props of their own. Bonus!
Sometimes, you can work a deal with a local playhouse or even actors and actresses you know can be an excellent resource. If all else fails, consider approaching a prop house. Many prop houses will place their inventory online for your research and review including the prices. I’ve never had the need to go to a prop house but know in advance that there’s a deposit required.
Hopefully, this post gives you some insight into sourcing props for your next shoot or at least some insight on sources you’ve not yet considered.