Looking to spice up your photography and give your brand a more original look? Adding unique props to the scene can elevate your image from ordinary to amazing. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it!
Best Places for Inexpensive Photo Props: 15 ideas!
The ultimate place to find cheap photo props is just down the hall. Go shopping in your own home—the kitchen, your closet, the living room. I have used scarves, denim, fake plants, kitchen supplies, you name it—from my house in my photography.
Sometimes I’ll see something in my house that sparks a creative endeavor and I love shooting for fun and just to create. It’s good for the soul ;) Bottom line, you have inexpensive photo props right under your nose.
This is near the top of the list because it’s the least expensive (and probably the most obvious) place for photo props. Thrifting for unique props is seriously so fun. Because the prices are so low, it’s easy to get a little carried away, so we limit these hunting trips until we’re looking for some inspiration.
Accessory stores (Charming Charlie)
Charming Charlie is an inexpensive spot to find adorable, cute, current, and unique photo props. Especially if you’re in the lifestyle or fashion blogging industry. They have everything from jewelry, to mugs, to purses, to clothes! Plus, they’re organized by color in the store which makes it even easier to find items that work with your brand.
Every large mall has a store like Charming Charlie for you to go treasure hunting—there are always fun, original, and inexpensive photo props lining their walls!
Wal-Mart and Target Dollar Spot (duh)
Target’s dollar spot, now called “Bullseye Playground” (sorry Target, I don’t think that new name is going to stick LOL) is probably vying for the top most mentioned spots for finding cheap photo props. They have really cute stuff that is hard to pass up—even if you’re NOT looking for photo props.
Some days we have to literally shield our eyes from that spot as we walk in the store. Can you relate? Because $3 scarves add up!
Joann Fabric/Craft Store
Another dangerous spot for us is a good craft store. Michaels, Joann Fabric, and Hobby Lobby have so many little photo props and they are always stocked with seasonal items that work great in photos. I got all of these pieces (and more!) at craft stores.
Local Gift and Stationary Store
Most towns have a local gift shop/stationary store and it feels good to support local businesses. They’re great for unique notebooks, writing utensils, trinkets, and just overall cute photo props.
Whole Foods and OTher Grocery Stores
YES, please. Fresh produce and adorable kitchen wares are easy to find in grocery stores—especially higher end stores like Whole Foods. Also: seasonal plants and props like pumpkins are always at the ready. Sometimes I will go to Whole Foods just to get some color or topic inspiration.
Kitchen Store (William Sonoma)
Okay, so William Sonoma isn’t exactly an “inexpensive” place for photo props. But we like to look at it as purchasing investment pieces that can be used in photos across many genres. Almost all of the marble pieces in the above photo can be used for lifestyle, cooking, and even office photos.
Investing in a nice neutral will save you money in the long run. If you’re looking for gorgeous and classic looks for food and kitchen shots, this is the place for you.
Great and super cheap photo props abound from this online company. And if you’re planning ahead, like most photographers and fashion bloggers must do, Oriental Trading has props that most stores don’t have in stock (i.e. Christmas wrapping paper in June).
They basically have anything and everything. Definitely worth looking into for inexpensive props!
Okay, so antique stores can carry expensive items that you may swoon over, but that won’t give you a big bang for your buck. But you could also get lucky and score some timeless pieces that can serve as fantastic hero items, or in the background for not a lot of money. Think: old wood boxes, platters, silverware, old photographs, and office supplies.
Plus, a lot of shop owners expect you to ‘haggle’. I hate haggling, but it’s definitely a way to potentially stay within your budget. Speaking of budget: set one before you go in!
We checked out a local flea market last week and it was so fun! It’s easy to get carried away, so I told myself to focus on old silverware and we managed to pretty much stick to that. A few beautifully simple handkerchiefs made their way home, too. At $1 a piece, they were hard to pass up.
This is an area that we haven’t taken advantage of. There are treasures to be found, though. And if you’re up for the more personal experience of a garage sale, you’ll find some inexpensive and unique photo props, for sure.
Home Stores (IKEA, Home Goods, PIer 1, etc.)
Homes stores like Home Goods have awesome photo props on the cheap. Plus, you can usually use the items to decorate your home :) They have everything from fake plants, globes, decorative boxes, cute office supplies, throw pillows, baskets, and any number of random trinkets that can add spice and texture to your photos.
Garden Centers and Hardware Stores (Home Depot and Smaller Local Garden Centers)
We know this one is a little strange, but beyond the gorgeous greenery and flowers, most garden centers have pottery and other gifts that we have a hard time resisting. They aren’t the least expensive places in the world, but their unique offerings make for great photo props. This striped glazed vase is unique and has multiple uses—office, kitchen, etc.
When all else fails, search on Amazon and have the photo props delivered to you. They pretty much have everything. So maybe even start here? We were looking for unmarked, yet cute pencils and other props for travel posts.
We found pretty pencils, a cute umbrella, and a snazzy, yet neutral passport cover. Each of these were in expensive and we’ll be able to incorporate them into so many different types of photos.
Final Thoughts on Where to Find Cheap Photo Props
We hope this list got your creative juices flowing! Finding unique and inexpensive props for your flatlay photos or stock business photos isn’t hard when you know where to look. We listed 15 great places for photo props in this post. What did we miss—do you have a go-to inexpensive photo prop spot that we didn’t list?
Thanks for reading and if you need help with your business photography, check out our shop for styled stock photos, or email us for more information on personalized stock photos for your business: firstname.lastname@example.org