Bookstagram Tutorials: Props

Next up in my Bookstagram Tips and Tricks series, we’re talking all about photo props! In this post, we’ll go over what to use as props, where to find them, how to store them, and some quick tips for arranging them in photos!

What to Use as Props

Like I mentioned in my Themes and Aesthetics blog post, the best props are ones you have just lying around your house and that fit your own aesthetic.

You can use the same props every time to create a cohesive look to your photos, or you can vary up your props based on the subject of your post! I’ve done both and enjoy both. My only warning is that varying your props leads to a lot of props, which can be difficult to store.

This is probably the biggest reason why I switched to using the same props every time. I live in a tiny apartment and I just didn’t have the space.

My go-to decor items are a skull, a flower garland, book pages, various candles , a gray fur rug I got from amazon, various rocks I’ve found over the years, and other home decor items, including a mini pirate ship, a blue glass mason jar, a glass covered candle holder, geometric tealight candle holders, and empty candle jars that I cleaned out.

In addition to serving their purpose in my photos, these props all live double lives as home decor!

Where to Get Props

My main shopping go to for props is Michael’s. I love florals for my props, so I hit up their end of season sales to get good deals. I also love their Halloween decor and spend way too much money during that time of the year.

As I mentioned in my Themes and Aesthetic posts, these are things I have out all year long, so they serve a dual purpose as props and actual home decor.

I also go to Walmart and Target a lot and just browse their home decor sections for anything that strikes my fancy. Amazon is another good one, but it’s a bit more difficult as you have to know what to search for to find what you’re looking for.

Finally, local thrift shops have some good vintage/creepy decor you can use if your vibe is anything like mine! I’ve gotten old frames and candle holders from thrift stores that I adore.

Really, just look at stores you normally shop at, and think creatively! Anything can be a photo prop if you stage it the right way!

Related Post: How to Choose and Rock a Theme or Aesthetic

How to Store Props

Storage is a personal choice, but let me talk through how I store mine and give you some ideas. Like I mentioned before, a lot of my stuff, I keep out in my home all year round and then gather it all together for photo taking days, and put it back out when I’m done.

With props I don’t keep out, like my flower garland, I store in a tote bin that I keep in a closet, so it’s easily accessible but out of the way.

You can store your props however you want, but if you have pets who are anything like mine (nosey), I’d recommend keeping them up and out of reach. My cat personally loves to chew on flowers, real or fake, so I don’t keep those out, they stay in the tote when they’re not in use.

Additionally, I know some people who are lucky enough to have a library and keep their props all out in there for photos. You can do this however you want!

Quick Tips for Arranging Props

Arranging props in your photos can be difficult, but here’s a few quick tips for you.

  1. Vary the heights of your props. You don’t want all of your props to be the same height, it will look monotone and boring. By playing up the height of objects, you move the eye through your picture.

  2. Play with angles. Maybe a prop looks really cool from the front, but from the side, there’s a huge chip in it. Angle your photo and your positioning to make it work!

  3. Vary textures and colors. Again, if everything looks the same, it’s boring to the eye. Play things up and mix and match bright colors and muted colors, smooth and rough textures.

I love props, so if you have questions or want to share some tips, let me know!