I’m not going to sit here with my Big Bang Theory repeat episode, cup of coffee and comfy af Primark trackie bottoms and pretend that my blog photography is more on fleek than Kylie Jenner’s contour, because let’s face it, it’s not.
But I do like to think that my skills have y’know, slightly improved since I first started blogging way back in the olden times. And by olden times I mean like three years ago, obvs.
Investing in an Olympus Pen camera and learning to use the 45mm lens to get the babin’ blurred background definitely helped, but I’ve also taken more time to think about composition and making the most of props.
I started a blog photography board over on Pinterest a few months ago, and alright, there’s not all that much pinned on there right now, but it’s really helped me get ideas and inspo both for Instagram flat lay snaps AND photos for posts.
So I thought I’d list a few of my fave props, the things which instantly transform a photo into lol look some beauty products and sandals in an ugly pile on my floor into HEY, this is kinda cute.
Hope it helps!
1. WHITE CARD
Yes, it’s an obvious one, but it’s a game changer for an effective flat lay and I use it for almost every beauty product photo shoot. I also use my white bed sheets for a more impromptu Instagram flat lay that looks like hey look I just threw a few things on my bed but lol jk it actually took half an hour to put together.
I’ve also just snapped up a pale pink sheet of card to mix things up and next on my list is lilac. I know it sounds hideously gross, but think about which colours work best with your Instagram (I hate me too right now).
2. FLOOR SAMPLES
Similar to above, if you don’t actually have a rustic wooden dining table or authentic wooden floors in your shared rented flat – then fake it with some flooring samples from B&Q. Especially great if you want to take food snaps <3
3. MAGAZINES AND COOKBOOKS
It’s great to create a mixture of colours and patterns in a photo and this is where an open mag or cookbook can come in. I’m not much of a mag reader mysef, so I always feel like I’d be lying to myself and to you guys if I included a sexy copy of Vogue in a snap, so instead I use a copy of Bloggersphere and the issue of Marie Claire that I was in earlier this year.
I also use my Hummingbird Bakery recipe book because cute lavender cupcakes are absolutely the one.
4. BLANKETS AND FAUX FUR RUGS
Because oh man who doesn’t love a bit of snuggly texture creeping into a photo? I have a cream mini faux fur rug from IKEA that snakes its way into a lot of my photos because it just sasses up a plain white background, y’know?
I blooming love me a little pendant necklace draped across a magazine, or a stack of bangles and rings lazing cutely next to a notebook and hand cream. OH or a watch. Ah man, I’m basic.
But it’s an easy way to break up a product-heavy shot and add a bit of summin’ summin’.
Just like a sneaky glossy mag, these babies help break up the colour and dimensions of a photo a bit. My two current go-tos are a pale pink blog planner, and a leaf print notebook from Sainsbury’s (which FYI is an absolute bargain stationery gold-mine).
Printed plates were half made to eat cake off (because cake <3<3<3) and half made to be cute places to lay beauty products for photos. Yuh huh.
H&M home is amazing for this, they have a monochrome leopard print one at the moment that has been killing my insides with pure joy. I also love a good mug in a snap, sometimes filled with coffee, or, in a post the other day I even put make-up products inside the up. I A OUT OF CONTROL, SOMEONE STOP ME.
Obvious but oh man they can take a photo from meh and flat to hellooooo good-looking.
I find I weirdly get more likes on a photo of a flat lay if there’s a pretty bunch of blooms in the shot or a couple of strategically placed rose stems. Oh and ALSO a blurred flower petal in the foreground of a product shot is bae af.
My faves for photos are roses, peonies and hydrangeas. But cactus and succulents work pretty well too.
9. LETTER LIGHT BOX
I actually got one of these as part of a press day package from Next, but it’s been super handy at adding a bit of personality and fun to product shots.
It’s also a cute living room addition (although I’m still struggling to get Chris to see this even though HELLO, WE CAN CHANGE THE WORDS, THIS IS AMAZING).
You can snap them up from about £14.99 online, just sayin’.
I mean, don’t go emptying a box of McDonald’s chicken nuggets on top of your new eye shadow palette and fave lip shades, because those babies need to go straight in your mouth, but something pretty like macarons or Biscuiteers biscuits will absolutely look sweet as in photo. Plus, you get to eat them afterwards, soooo?
Sunglasses are obvs a cute touch, but I also love including my reading glasses in photos too. Just y’know, not on my face.
Mine are from the men’s super duper cheap range at Specsavers for anyone wondering. I like to actually lay mine upside down with the arms crossed over in a flat lay every now and then, mostly because I think it makes me look like I’ve just popped them down to make a cup of tea whilst devouring a book. When actually lol no I was watching Teen Mom again.
I’m a big fan of the slogan post cards at Paperchase for adding a punch of colour to a photo and also, I like that they often say something borderline motivational which somehow turns a photo into a subtle pep talk.
Have you got any fave blog or Instagram photo props?