Props you need to up your blog photo game

Props you need to up your blog photo game | robowecop

A few years ago, the idea of buying something JUST because it would look nice in photos never even entered my head. Then blogging happened, now I have cupboards and drawers filled with random bits and bobs that I almost solely use as photo props.

Apologies to my bank account…

My photo game was pretty poor up until about a year or two ago. It was okay, but nothing special. Then I started playing around with my camera a bit more, playing around with the arrangement of my photos and I feel like I’ve recently found my style.

Today’s post isn’t about how to take photos, so I’ll spare you all those details – it’s more of a shopping list for things that I’ve found give my photos a little depth and make them look more interesting. For me, the key to a good blog photo (especially a flatlay) is to keep it busy. So here are the props I think you need to up your blog photo game.

Card and textures

First thing’s first – the background of a photo is SO IMPORTANT. I use giant A1 sheets of card from Hobbycraft (I have white, grey and pink) and also use the fur throw from the bottom of our bed a lot.

A good background with some texture can add so much to a photo – another thing I love using is the bed when we have a white duvet set on.

Magazines, books and notebooks

Literally as many of the above as possible and the prettier the covers the better. I frequently use my ban.do diary and my Urban Outfitters daily journal as blog props because they’re both so flipping gorgeous. I also love “coffee table books” as props. (You know the types – pretty covers to make your coffee table look nice.) Magazines are the best, too. I particularly love Blogosphere magazine because it has so many relevant articles AND the pages aren’t shiny, so you don’t get that glare from the lighting when photographing.

Fake flowers and leaves

Last week I went to the opening of the new Homesense store in Leeds and I came away with SO MANY new photo props. The ones that I’m suddenly using an awful lot are the sticks of fake eucalyptus and the big fake hydrangea. I love using flowers as props, but let’s be honest they aren’t cheap for how long they last. Some flowers I’d only ever buy real because the fake ones look too obviously fake (for example, tulips), but with more leafy things (like the eucalyptus) I feel like it’s a lot easier to get away with it!

And on top of that, the sticks of eucalyptus were only £1.99 each (there are two photographed here bunched together) and the huge hydrangea was only £2.99. BARGAIN.

A post shared by Rhianna (@robowecop) on

Pots, candles and tealight holders

The little pink pot in the bottom left corner was another Homesense find and I absolutely adore it. Any sort of little pot/trinket tray/bowl always looks good, especially in shots involving lots of little bits. As an example, I used a plate in the above Instagram photo that, would you believe it, is from Morrisons of all places! Annoyingly forgot to stick them in the post flatlay though…

Along similar lines are candles and tealight holders. I use candles in a LOT of my blog photos, either to fill out the background or to pad out a flatlay. My particular favourites are ones that you can continue to use as props even when you’ve burned away the candle. I also picked up the copper wire tealight holder (top right) from Homesense for about £6 or so and it works great in the same way I use candles (laid down in flatlays or stood up as part of a nice blurred background shot).

Makeup and jewellery

I think the key to an interesting photo is to have things of a varied size littering the shot. Big things like candles and books, but then small things as well. My favourite small things to use are rings, bobby pins, watches and bits of makeup (specifically lipstick or brushes).

Tea, mugs and kitchenware

You can never go wrong with a cup of tea in a pretty mug (this is the mug I ALWAYS use) if you’re struggling for prop ideas. Y’all know how much I love tea and how often I feature a good cuppa in my photos – they always serve me well!

Other things along the same lines that make great props include teapots, trays, little plates and dishes.

Stationery, crafty bits and other miscellanous things

I can’t think of a category to house all the rest of the bits, and I don’t want this post to be TOO much longer, so in terms of “stationery, crafty bits and other miscellaneous things” I’m talking confetti, pens and pencils, photographs and polaroids, cameras, lenses, prints and even a laptop can look great as a prop.

My favourites are definitely prints, confetti and polaroids. I ADORE these prints from Lazy Pencil Co, this colourful confetti from Hobbycraft and my Instax Mini.


I hope this has given you a little bit of inspo for how to up your photo game with some A+ props. I was asked to do a “how to take the perfect flatlay” type post a few days ago so that should be coming your way in a couple of weeks, too!

Let me know if I’ve missed out any of your favourite photo props in the comments!

S H O P   T H E   P O S T

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  • I’m obsessed with mugs, jewelry and plants in my photos. Magazines are such a great idea too!

    Sharni xo
    A Girl & Grey

  • I love this post so much! I’m still trying to find my “niche” when it comes to taking blog photos and when I try and think of props to use.. I end up completely bewildered. So this was super helpful!

    Laura ¦ http://www.laurahasablog.co.uk

  • Meghan Baxter

    Yessssss!
    Buying blog props is my new favorite hobby!

    Meghan|The Lipstick Philosopher

  • I love this post it’s so helpful!

  • I feel like I need to up my instagram game so I will be taking a lot from this post! I love that journal too…

    Kizzi May x
    kizzimay.co.uk

  • pop sri

    This is so helpful! As a new blogger, this is exactly what i needed. thxx <3

    http://poppyslittleworld.blogspot.com/

  • Rosie Ireland

    Your photos are literally such goals! Defo gonna invest in some different coloured card to up my game!

  • Beccah

    Thanks for sharing these ideas! I’m pretty new to blogging and Instagram but I’ve been wanting to make my pictures a bit more pretty and interesting and now I have some ideas of where to start.

    Beccah xx
    thehonestolive.com

  • Although I’m most probably won’t do this, I really like these ideas and the whole post. Maybe I’ll use some ideas? :D

    xo Honey – blog Royal LifestyleTwitterInstagram

  • Absolutely love the camera, it’s so cute! I love shopping in Tiger and New Look for props, I also persuaded my boyfriend to buy me some for my birthday last year (a little trinket dish and other bits!) x
    Holly ∣ Closingwinter

  • Henriette Moono Chikampa

    This post has really been helpful.
    http://www.blackroz.com

  • Melissa Marshall

    This is really helpful thank you, I always find doing flat lays really hard. I definitely think a trip to Homesense is needed!
    Melissa (www.thegirlanthetreadmill.co.uk)

  • Leigh-Anne

    This has been so helpful thank you!

    lilyboxes.wordpress.com

  • Henriette Moono Chikampa

    This post has really helped me
    http://Www.blackroz.com

  • Pollypoptart

    Your pictures are so pretty; you definitely know what you’re talking about!

    Paula http://insertmyblognamehere.blogspot.com

  • This is SO helpful, thank you! And I never would have thought that they were fake flowers!? Frankie x

    http://www.joieandthevivre.com

  • This was super helpful! I always strg For with the fact that my photos looks like the “before” shots prior to people learning how to properly flat lay, haha. My biggest problem is not knowing what to use to fill my space!

  • Oh, my! Rhianna you absolute babe! This post has helped so much. I’m always looking out for props to make my blog (and insta) photos more interesting and you’ve mentioned so many things I hadn’t even thought about but seem so damn obvious. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Can’t wait to read your “how to take the perfect flatlay” post <3

    Jess
    http://www.whos-that-girl.co.uk

  • I really need to start buying myself more props for blog photography – these are such good ideas!

    Lucy | Forever September

  • Amazing tips!! Few months ago I myself bought few props for photography and it totally changed everything for me! I love how the items you listed are easy to access and inexpensive! <3
    Kinga xx
    http://rockthisrunway.com/

  • Stephanie Hartley

    My collection of blog props is so tiny, but I know I could do loads more with it if I really tried. My photo taking space is tiny, so I feel like I can never do these awesome large flatlays. I need to get my butt down to Hobbycraft for some big sheets of card. Do you use soft lights at all?

    Steph – http://www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

  • Love your ideas! They’re so helpful. Props really do help bring photos to life and it can be so fun to experiment with different things. Homesense looks so good for blog props. There needs to be one near me!!!xx

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.blogspot.co.uk

  • This post is so helpful! Will be going out and getting some of these props now.
    Love Alicia xx
    http://bambidreaming.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Lea H

    That’s exactly what happened to me too. Never would I have thought that I’m choosing my candles, mugs and cards according to would they be great photo props or solely buying a thing to just use it in pictures. I try to keep a good balance and buy things that I can use outside from shootings but sometimes you just gotta buy that one thing for just pictures, Love the suggestions you have and I just recently got myself some fake leaves to up my photo game.
    Truly a great post and your pictures always excite me.
    Lea, xx
    http://www.asnippteoflife.com

  • megan farrow

    Love this post! What do you do in terms of lighting? Do you try and take your pics when there is a lot of natural light or do you just use artificial light and then edit your images? :) xo

    • Thanks Megan! I always just use natural light! Although I am very lucky – our living room has two walls of HUGE windows, so during the day it’s always very light and the light that comes in is very even so never really casts harsh shadows. If I lived somewhere with less light I’d definitely consider getting some softbox lighting or something similar! I also edit all my photos on Adobe Lightroom just to give them that extra pop xx

      • megan farrow

        Ahh thank you! We have patio doors in our living room and the house is south facing so I may give it a try there if the dull Manchester weather ever decides to disappear! Haha xo

  • Thanks for sharing some really great tips

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  • I aspire to be able to create an amazing flat lay like yours!

  • These photos look gorgeous, but I have to ask, did you have to stand on a chair to get them? I don’t know if I’m just too short but I never seem to be able to fit everything in the frame!

    • I don’t, no! I have to sometimes, but it depends on which lens I use. E.g. my 45mm lens is fixed zoom, so I have to be miles away from the subject to get a decent photo. But my kit pancake lens is really great (I have the Olympus EPL-7 just for reference). I stand up on the floor but I never have a need to stand on a chair :) xxx

  • Sammy | cityofsimplicity.co.uk

    Flat laying is one of the things that I really need to work on! You’ve got some really pretty things to put in your pics!

    Sammy x | http://www.cityofsimplicity.co.uk

  • I do love your photos. Great insight into your props. I’m forever struggling to composition objects for a photo and its always just satisfactory. I shall do better in the future.

  • I love this post! I’m always looking at ways to improve my photography, I haven’t a creative bone in my body so it’s good to get some inspo!

    Neelam | http://www.neelamjayna.co.uk xx

  • This is a wonderful post – extremely helpful! Thank you!

    http://www.likecubed.co.uk

  • Defo going shopping for all these props now! Great post Rhianna x

    Everything But The Kitchen

  • This is so helpful! x

    http://www.erinazmir.com