I'm a huge lover of hacks. I love anything that will make me see things with a new perspective and/or help me save time and money. I mean, who doesn't love finding ways to save time or money, right?
Today, I'm sharing with you a few of my favorite prop styling hacks. Will they blow your mind? Well, you'll have to be the judge of that. I'm hoping that at least one will make you insane with inspiration! So read on, my dear, and let me know your thoughts about these prop styling hacks in the comments below.
1 | USE PAINT
Can't find the perfect pair of gold scissors that won't cost you your first born child? I've come across this dilemma more times than I can count. If it's not an expensive prop, it's the right prop in the wrong color! *insert crazy frustrated expletive* So you know what I recommend? Grab a can of gold spray paint from the home improvement store and spray paint a regular pair of scissors. Done.
2 | NEVER IRON AGAIN
Have a fabric background you love to use? Do you store it by folding it and storing it on your shelves under a pile of other fabrics? Hate having to pull it out to iron EVERY TIME you need to style with it? Maybe you don't even wanna use it anymore because of all the work that goes into prepping it?
Hey, I've been there. And I feel stupid I didn't think of these hacks sooner:
- Wrap it around a foam board or plywood and you'll never have to busily iron out wrinkles before a photo shoot again.
- For wider width fabrics, store your fabric by rolling them around long cardboard tubes. Mailing tubes work great or you can ask your fabric store for any empty tubes they're getting rid of.
Was I the only who didn't think to do this with their fabrics??
3 | SET IT AND FORGET IT
In the world of commercial food styling, picture perfect food is created using materials that you could never eat. You know, using glue as milk in a cereal bowl; that sorta thing. If you've created the perfect amount of "condensation" on a drinking glass using cornstarch, you would save this glass for the next photo styling project. Set it and forget it! I mean, why bother recreating this prop again when it's perfect?
Well, easy enough for commercial food styling where the food is never eaten after being photographed, but how can you use these tips in the blogging world? Here are a few ideas for you:
- Tape or glue down a perfectly messy flat lay.
- Glue or sew an artfully arranged napkin
- Leave a necktie/bowtie tied up
- Don't undo an interestingly wrapped scarf
Just set up these props once and you can reuse them without having to make it up every time. What props would you set up once and reuse again?
4 | FAKE IT
If you can't find the real thing, why not fake it? Here are a couple of examples from my experience when I've faked it:
- I bought a bunch of vintage spools for my prop library, but they were all empty. When I need "functional" spools, I wrap a yard of ribbon around them. This also allows me to use whatever color I need.
- I needed a few sprigs of rosemary to set the mood of some place settings. As I didn't have time to run out to the grocery store, I snipped a few pine branches off a nearby tree. Everyone thought they really were rosemary!
5 | GET PRICEY LINENS FOR CHEAP
Ever wonder how to get beautiful linens for your food shots? Well, I'll tell ya!
Don't buy expensive napkins or tablecloths. Go directly to your local fabric store and buy 1/4 or 1/2 yard of their linen textiles off the bolt. I recommend linen because it's a naturally wrinkly fabric that looks beautiful on camera. Plus, the natural fraying effect is everything. You can use this to lay a beautifully crumpled napkin next to a plate of cookies or lay it flat for a soft backdrop.
Mic drop. Peace out.