7 Places To Find Cheap Photography Props.
Whether you are a product photographer or a newborn photographer, props can often make a big difference in your photographs; however a quick look through a photography supply website will have your wallet crying out in pain!
While there are some props that are worth spending more on, and others that you can’t find outside of prop shops, there are alternatives. By finding props that aren’t as expensive, you can either save some cash, or pick up more items for more variety to your shots. So where are these seemingly mythical places that offer cheap photography props?
Here are eight places to find cheap photography props.
Arts & Craft Shops
These shops are great places to pick up props. Fabric by the meter works great for adding texture and colour to a newborn photo shoot, or even as a small backdrop for a single person or small products. Baskets and bins are easy to find here, as well as chalkboard signs. Flowers, burlap, and headbands are also easy to find for a good price.
While props from theses places may require some assembly, you can save quite a bit by checking here first. Wood paneling, the kind that’s sometimes used on walls, can work as a faux floor in a pinch. Reflective white plexi makes a great backdrop for product photography. Don’t have a backdrop stand? You could even make one from plastic piping. Walk through a few aisles, you may be surprised but what things offer great prop inspiration.
Car Boot Sales
Many people start to throw out items when the paint starts to peel, and yet photographers are paying big money for a rustic-looking prop. Car boot sales are great places to find props. While scouting car boot sales requires a much bigger time commitment, you can find great props for just a few pound. Old suitcases, chairs and glassware are often common props you can find at car boot sales, though of course that varies based on where you are, so treat it like a treasure hunt and have fun.
Consider charity shops like year-round car boot sale. While you may head to a charity shop and come away with nothing, you could also find some gems for just a few quid. Household items that double as props, like baskets and vases, are often easily found here. And of course, many charity shops are owned by non-profit organisations, so you can both find props and help out a good cause at the same time.
Markets are great for finding props, and they don’t require as much time as stopping to multiple car boot sales. Older items are often found in abundance at flea markets. Crates, suitcases, chairs and more are often pretty easily found at Markets at a fraction of the price.
If you are looking for something specific, you could waste a lot of time scouting car boot sales and charity shops with no luck. Online sites like Freecycle are searchable, so it’s easier to use to look for something specific. If you don’t find it, you’ve only wasted a few minutes instead of an hour. Of course, you can also browse through postings searching for prop ideas, or post a wanted ad for exactly what you are looking for and IT'S FREE!
Want a DIY prop, but have no time to actually do it yourself? Etsy is a good place to shop for props, and many Etsy stores are dedicated prop stores catering specifically to photographers. While Etsy may be more expensive than shopping car boot sales, it’s often still cheaper than big prop companies. Most items on Etsy are handmade, so it’s a good place to find crocheted hats for newborn photography, woodwork items, rustic tabletops for food photography and more. Since it’s searchable, it’s also a faster method of shopping for a specific prop.
Props can make a big difference in many types of photographs, but they’re often expensive. To find inexpensive photography props, try searching arts and craft shops, DIY shops, car boot sales, charity shops, market places, freecycle or Etsy.