Sep 2 • 2021
Ya know what I love? Saving money. And brownies (obviously)…and poolside margaritas…and tiny puppy dogs…BUT also saving money. 😉
However, sometimes photography can get expensive. 😬
Luckily for you, you happen to be besties with a gal who knows aaaaall about finding super cheap props (it’s me!!!).
Because there are actually gazoodles of budget-friendly props out there! You just need to know where to find them. And I’ve compiled a list of my 10 absolute favorite props for under $10. MIND. BLOWN.
1. Crate & Barrel Linen Napkins ($8) – I use these napkins ALL THE TIME in my photography. They are cheap ($5-10 each), the texture is stunning, and they come in a variety of muted neutral colors that work well for food photography. Linens are a low-cost way to instantly add texture to food photos without taking away from your subject!
2. Tin Sifter ($6) – A tin sifter is a must-have for any prop collection! I use my tin sifter to add movement to my photographs. Just add some powder sugar, sift it on top of your subject, et voila! Capturing something that should be in motion in a still frame strengthens your composition and creates a more dynamic, vibrant photo.
3. Elmer’s ½” Foam Board ($5-10) – I always (and I mean always!) use white foam core boards when I’m shooting. They make amazing, lightweight, inexpensive bounce boards. I get 3’x4’ boards and they’re perf! This link is from Amazon, but it technically breaks that $10 threshold. You can find them cheaper at any craft store!
4. Crate & Barrel Coffee Mug ($3.99) – Mugs are the perfect pie, cookie or muffin companion. They are the perfect addition to the background of a scene to help create a story. These neutral two-toned mugs from Crate & Barrel are to die for! I’ve used them in my photography for years!
5. Cookie Cooling Rack ($9) – If you’re baking and shooting cookies, you 100% need a cookie rack. ‘Nuf said.
6. Parchment Paper ($3) – My most versatile and most used prop just so happens to also be the cheapest! Crinkle it up and use it under bars, salads, cookies, brownies, pies, bars—the possibilities are endless with parchment paper!
7. Glass Milk Bottles ($9.99) – I adore these glass milk bottles, and use them all the time when I’m shooting cakes, cookies, and brownies. Add them to your scene to create height!
8. Grey Stone Ceramic Appetizer Plates ($4.95) – If I had to marry a plate…it would be these bad boys. They’re the perfect size & matte finish. In food photography, it helps to use dessert or app size plates because it makes the food look bigger than it actually is! Smaller plates and bowls are also great for cultivating a full scene in a small amount of space. Plus, having a matte finish reduces those harsh shines on your backgrounds/props!
9. Antique Forks, Knives, and Spoons ($2-10 each) – The price here totally depends on where you get them, but Etsy is a great resource. I also scour antique shops (when I’m not quarantined, of course!).
10. Low Bowls ($5.95) – Perfect for shooting pastas, salads, and soups! You don’t want deep bowls for food photography because you end up needing to fill them so much more. These bowls are just right!
PROPS 🙌 FOR 🙌 DAYS 🙌
Now get out there and take those flawless photos you’ve been dreaming about.
P.S. Looking for recommendations to upgrade your backdrop game? We got you! You can read all about our favorite food photography backdrops in this blog post.
P.P.S. This post contains affiliate links!