A successful photographer will always try to change and improve. There are however many ways to do this and some are very expensive especially when you are investing in props, however sometimes the solutions can be very simple and best of all very cheap. Today some information on cheap solutions to create more mood and swing to your shoots.
The best props are the cheap ones
The best props you can get are often the ones you normally don’t think about. When I talk to my students a lot of them invest in furniture etc. only to find out that they invest a lot of money and in reality often only use the piece a few times and than it’s part of their studio inventory and is actually standing in the way. I faced the same problem of course but decided at one point it would be better to invest less money and change the props quicker or invest in props that could be used over and over again.
Second hand stores
Every city has some form of second hand store, visit them and talk to the owner.
Often you can make some kind of deal in which you can buy/loan/rent the materials they have for a better price. Also remember that for most photoshoots I think the stuff nobody wants is interesting, I love chairs that are totally broken down with the filling coming out, in most cases these are thrown away by the stores and having acces to their “junk” is a gold mine to get props very cheap (often for free), and when you’re done with them just throw them back in the pile again (however I have to admit that I’m often not throwing things away because I always think they can be used some time again. One of these examples is the chair you see in the opening post. I’ve used this one several times and is always a great addition for the shoot. The chair cost me…… nothing… well ok I had to shoot one model in it for the owner with a red dress, so I gave him a nice poster from this shot.
Something not that recognizable
A chair is fun of course, but sometimes you just want something that you can use over and over again without people saying “there is that xxxx again”, and it would be fun if the model can also use it to pose against ? Well in that case you can invest in a posing stool (which are often expensive) or you can go the DIY way and just build some very simple cubes yourself, make some more and you can add them together to create a scene, make different sizes/colors and you can use them in a lot of different ways. In our studio we have several different cubes ranging from standard white ones to gray longer ones that can alle be added together. All cubes costs less than 40.00 euros per piece and are easy to build (or buy from ebay).
But it doesn’t stop there of course, you can add curtains to your studio blinds etc. the sky really is the limit, more on those in the next post.
Do you have some great props that are cheap/free etc. feel free to add your tips here.