Sunday, January 16, 2011

Shutterbug Sunday: The Perfect Prop

The balloons in this pic are from Wegmans. I always grab a bunch for my photo
 shoots where the babies are turning 1 to celebrate the big event!

Who’s ready to talk props? At the end of this post I would love to hear some feedback from some of you other prop enthused savvy individuals!

So for me, a good prop should have 2 key ingredients. The first? It needs to be cost effective. I go prop shopping with a limited budget so I like to find things that are inexpensive, yet photo worthy. The second? I need to be able to multi-task with it. In other words, I want the prop to work for more than just one photo shoot. If it doesn't, I feel it was a waste. When choosing a prop to use with babies for example, I like something that has enough room for them to sit comfortably in all their different stages, that will also play well in different settings. For instance, the bucket you see in these pictures was used for a tiny newborn, a one year old, and some other ages in between. It also worked well for multiple looks and locations. With babies, first and foremost, always remember to keep safety in mind when choosing your props. For this bucket, I used blankets to provide comfort and support which also added a little more visual interest.

 When finding a good prop, a couple of things to keep in mind are...know what you are looking for and give yourself time. As my fall season was approaching this past year I knew I wanted something I could use for babies that had some fall flare to it. I wanted to be able to somewhat contain them considering the ground is not always great that time of year. I also knew I would have a variety of ages that it would need to be good for. I started looking in August and came across this great little apple tub at the Christmas Tree Shop. I had seen other things similar to it at some craft stores, but they were all coming in at around $50.00. To my surprise when I checked the price on this one it was only $12.99! You can imagine I was ecstatic! It was exactly what I was looking for and the grand total was less than half of my budget!

Those funky oversized ornaments that you see were also
from the Christmas Tree Shop. They were an inexpensive way to
add some Christmas flare. 

Not all of my prop endeavors have been as successful as this one was. It takes a good amount of patience, and experimenting but eventually you will find your nook and the process of finding something great gets a lot easier. Some places that have had great finds for me are EBay, the Christmas Tree Shop, Hobby Lobby, and other craft stores. A lot of times the craft stores will have their 50% off sales which will usually lend a good opportunity. Also keep an eye out for their coupons for additional savings. I do also recommend doing some browsing through Esty. They have some incredibly unique things that can be very reasonable! Lastly, if there is some hard-to-find item that you just can’t seem to get your fingers on, make a Facebook post about it. I just inherited an old vintage chair that worked out amazingly for kids' Christmas pictures and it cost me absolutely nothing! A very nice person had it sitting in storage and they didn’t want it anymore!

So whether your just a hobbyist that enjoys photographing babies and kids or more of a pro, a little patience and perseverance can go a long way to help to find the perfect prop! Happy prop hunting everyone!

Thank You Crafty Life and Style for having me as your guest blogger today! :)

The floor/background you see in this was is a piece of fadeless paper that I ordered from Mardel. It cost $7.99 and has worked great so far!

Thank you Mary.  See more of Mary's lovely work on her website:


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