Let’s start this week with going behind the scenes of an interior photoshoot, shall we?
If you are at the beginning of your adventure as an interior or prop stylist (professionally or you just like to play with pretty things to post your arrangements on Instagram) you might be wondering – where all those beautiful props we see in the styled images, come from?
Do stylists buy them? Rent them? Collect them? And what is the process of getting into it? When I got my first styling job few years back, I didn’t have a clue where to look, so I thought I would share what I learned along the way, to give you an idea.
Anyone wondering what props are and why do we need them?
Most of the styling jobs involve a client, a subject/theme and a professional team (art director, stylists, photographers) responsible for creating a scene. This might be either product shoot, editorials or home tours we see in the magazines. A part of stylist’s job is to research and source all the items that will be needed for the set – so-called props. In some cases, you will be using client’s products, in other you can get creative and get them from your ‘secret’ sources, as long as they fit the budget. That’s where the fun begins! But (but, but, but, but…) the budgets are never big enough so knowing where to look can save you hours, often days!
Here are 10 places to consider when looking for photography props:
1.Prop rental companies – in every big city, you will find prop rental shops – where you can rent vintage and design pieces – furniture, carpets, tableware anything you might need. You can usually find them by searching for ‘props’ in your location. Some of my favourites in Milan include Rent Design, A15, 100fa. It’s very comfy to rent all the pieces from the same place so you have them delivered (all together) to the shooting location.
2.Flea markets and secondhand shops – here we have two options. The prices are usually much lower than in the shops so you can either buy or rent the props, depending on your needs. I absolutely love visiting flea markets and collecting unique pieces. Often I buy small pieces and keep in my studio for the upcoming photoshoots.
3.Stylists / Bloggers sales – most of the stylists and bloggers do have their private prop collections – it’s a weird obsession that comes with the job. Some stylists sell used props through instagram, other (like such as Emily Henderson) have an online ‘flea’ with their finds.
4. Outdoors – you can find beautiful and free props right outside your doors – branches, fresh greenery, moss, and other goodies, depending on what you might need.
5. Vintage fairs – such as Vintage Market in Milan happening on the last Sunday of each month, where you can meet and chat with the shop owners – some of them are willing to rent their furniture, you can always negotiate!
8. Backgrounds for product shoots – use painted boards, different textiles, aged surfaces for interesting results.
9. Plants – you can rent them too from your garden stores!
10. Your family and friends – if you are looking for a specific prop and you know your friend owns it, try renting it from them. Most of the people I know are excited to see their belongings in the photo shoot!
Where do you like to get your props from? Any interesting places you would add to the list?
Have a good start of the week!
Styling & photos : Agata Dimmich