My photo tips & prop list

Monday, 6 November 2017

I don't typically spend a lot of money on props, some of the things I use in photos I was going to be buy anyway, got as gifts or received in subscriptions boxes. I tend to horde anything I think might be photogenic and quite often pinch things from around my house, my mum always knows when I've been taking photos because ornaments have moved and theres burnt matches on every surface. 

I'm not an expert, this is just a guide for the things that I do because people have asked, I'd actually love some more tips and tricks for the future so if you have any advice then please, let me know in the comments! 

One of the first things I decided about my photos was that I liked having a consistent background, so I took a throw blanket from my living room and started piling things on top of it, sometimes you can barely see the blanket in photos, but it gives me a good base to work off of.

I like nature, my photos have progressed into being very woodsy because that's the sort of thing I like to look at, luckily other people do to or I wouldn't be writing this post. 

Sometimes to break up a lot of heavily staged photos I like to go to the woods near where I live and take photos in the stream (yes in it, I wade in with wellies) or amongst the trees -this is usually for bookish candles though as I don't want my books getting wet or covered in dirt. Some of my favourite photos are the ones that have no props at all. 

I take the majority of my blog photos on my phone, I use an iPhone 7 for reference, outdoor shots are taken on my Canon 600d. I very rarely get my camera out when I'm in the house because as long as you have natural light, my phone camera works. Depending on your phone you might not get as clear a shot, but your photos will look 10x better in natural light than staged lighting from my experience. 

If you do use your phone, when editing a photos (I use Snapseed) I'd recommend using the white balance tool to take off any yellowy light. You might think your photo has a white base but once you use that tool on a photo you'll be surprised. 

Having a backup Instagram account has saved me so much planning time in the past. There are other methods of scheduling your posts but I've found having a second account to plan captions (I never really do this I'm so lazy), tags and the order of your photos is so much easier. For someone who posts almost daily now, this is immensely helpful.

Taking photos in batches, not bulk. This is my method and way of making sure that photos look similar but not the same. I put a lot of time into my photos and I don't like them having the same backgrounds and arrangements, so when I swap out a book I change things just a little bit and once I've taken photos around five or six different books I stop, and reset completely. 

And that's pretty much it! I've never studied photography explicitly. I did media studies in high school and used a DSLR, but before that I taught myself watching YouTubers after they influenced me to buy my camera in the first place.

Now onto a quick eBay blogging prop list! I get the majority of my items from the wedding decoration section of eBay, so that's something for you to search if you need more ideas!

30cm x 30cm Tree trunk slice £9.99

 30 x small tree branch slices £2.97

10x Peacock feathers £2.29

100x Silk leaves £3.98

12x Butterflies (various colours available) 99p

100x Silk rose petals (various colours available) £1.99

Artificial Ivy vines (various style available) £1.95

Over the year I've spent just under £30 on props for my blog and Instagram, the most I spent in one eBay order was about £15, I know not everyone can justify it but I'll not be throwing anything away so it's an investment as well as anything else. I may do a photo starter kit giveaway in the future if people would be interested in the sort of stuff shown above. 

Other things I use in photos like pop vinyls, bookmarks, candles, I don't buy specifically for photos, I collect them over time and it just so happens they look great in a photo.  Free stuff too including pine cones, conkers and stones that I boil and dry in the sun for photos.

Thanks for reading!


  1. I love it, I wish I had the patience! Also knowing me I'd buy the props and then lose them. Not that I have done this before (I have).
    I love your insta feed :)
    Cora ❤

    1. Thank you so much hun! I will admit that some of my props aren't in as immaculate a condition as when I bought them.. But nothing a filter can't fix!
      Thank you xxx

  2. Ahh such cool tips!! And I really love the giveaway- you’ve included such cool things 😍

  3. Making the perfect pictures are having the right props are super important. Consistency is essential you are right and the background should not change all the time. Nature provides with the best props! xx corinne

  4. I love it! Your instagram always makes me envious as I wish I could take photos like that! But I just don't have the patience but I loved reading all your tips so maybe I might have to boost my insta game up a bit now! xx

  5. Can I just say how much I love this post? If I'm being honest bookstagram absolutely terrifies me because I feel like my photos look really boring but you've got some great ideas here for props and some handy hints! Thanks for sharing! x


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