The Budget Friendly Approach: 7 Unique Places to Get Photography Props

vintage kitchen tools
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As a photographer, do you ever get tired of the old props you have in your collection?

We all have our go to pieces, but sometimes we want something new to play with!

Do you have a big budget for props? I don’t.

So where do you get photography props that won’t break the budget?

vintage scale with strawberries

Here are my go to places for budget friendly photography props:

1. Home Decor Stores

I can already hear what you are saying: “Home decor stores aren’t budget friendly!” But hear me out. My favorite home decor store is Hobby Lobby. They always have different parts of the store marked off atleast 50%. Also, they always have clearance items from the last holiday marked off more than that.

So when I say home decor stores, I am referring to the clearance isle at these stores. This could be end caps at Target, the back row at Pier One Imports, or great deals at TJ Maxx or Home Goods.

Wherever you like to shop, check out the clearance and sale items. Just like I did for kids clothes when my boys were little, I look ahead to buy for the next year.

So when a holiday or season has passed, get the good deal and hold on to it for next year. Not only is it cheaper this way, but you will be ready to post those holiday pictures early because you already have fun props to play with from your stash.

2. Antique Shops

I love going to antique shops. There is just something so nostalgic and fun to look through all of the old things and dream about how people used these things in their everyday lives.

I have gotten most of my vintage camera collection at antique stores. It is also a great place to get fun dishes, old games and toys, and even furniture. Depending on the shop, they should have some leeway on the price, so don’t forget to haggle for something you want.

3. Flea Markets

The great thing about flea markets is that so many different people come to sell things at the same place, so there is much more variety in styles and price.

I don’t get to go to flea markets very often, but when I do I always find something I “need”. I would suggest you come with a wishlist so you don’t get overwhelmed with everything that is available.

4. Thrift Stores

You can find little gems in thrift stores, but you may have to go back a couple of times before you find what you want. The great thing about thrift stores is that they are cheap so you don’t feel like you have to get something that has multiple uses.

For food bloggers, you only need one bowl, not the whole set. This is an advantage at thrift stores because they probably don’t have the whole set available!

5. Garage Sales

In the summer time, it is fun to go to garage sales just to see what you can find. You never know what will be there but when you find something it will probably be a great price.

Go early and often. Try to find estate sales because they usually have more to choose from. I used to go to garage sales with my grandparents and they found some amazing stuff, but not every time. It is a treasure hunt for sure.

6. Grandma’s House

My grandpa died a couple of years ago and my grandmother started giving things away to clean out the house. I got some old cameras, furniture, vintage toys and other things.

They were collectors and loved vintage things. Your grandma might not be getting rid of things, but it never hurts to ask. Some things she gave me would have been pretty expensive at the antique shop, so I was glad to have it.

You can use vintage and sentimental items in your photos to bring character and charm to your pictures.

7. Your House

The last place to look (or maybe the first) is your own house. What could you use that you already own? Do you have any collections you could showcase?

I love to take pictures of my vintage camera collection and my Hobby Lobby finds. Do you heirloom pieces that have been passed down to you from previous generations? These make great props in photos.

Action Steps:

  1. Access your prop needs and make a wish list.
  2. Look around your house to see if you have those things already.
  3. Go out and shop the places above to find great deals on fun props for the future!

Photography props can come from anywhere and sometimes you may not use things the way they were intended. But that is what makes photography fun and interesting.

I love to mix and match the new and old in my photos to get a fun feel. I like to share my personality through my collections. Props can help you tell your story in your photos.

So no matter where you are, keep your eyes open for fun, new props for your next photo shoot. A new prop can make a boring shoot interesting again!

photography props pin

Where do you find your photography props? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share. Thanks!

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