My Top Ten Styling Props for ANY Kind of Brand
As an Instagram Stylist & Instagram coach, I get a lot of questions about props.
Where do I get props? What kind of props should I be using? Do I need props? Can you have too many props?
So I'm going to be doing a small but in-depth series here on the blog all about PROPS ( as well as a twitter or Periscope chat! ) First up on the list, let's talk about my favorite types of props that ANY brand can use.
This may seem like a "duh" but I promise that it's something that a lot of my Styling students & clients have looked over because it's so easy. A few of my favorite ideas include wall or wrapping papers ( I snagged mine from Paper Source!), clothes or fabric pieces (so that sparkly dress you love or even the rug by your desk), foam boards from any office supply store.
My favorite thing to do with backgrounds? Layer them up! I'll have a white board, then a pretty fabric OR maybe I'll use my bedspread and then place a pretty white tray over it. Play with your backgrounds and have fun!
2. A CLUTCH OR HANDBAG
Or a wallet. I've never met a person that didn't carry something with them at some point. Maybe you're going to a meeting, or shopping for something, whatever. Typically, you have some kind of purse, handbag, clutch, wallet, etc. This can be easily used as a prop.
Want to show some kind of behind the scenes post about what your evening commute looks like? Why not show a photo of your clutch, your train ticket & the book you're reading (or the headphones you're using to listen to a podcast, etc.)?
Or you can always show us what's in that bag. You get the picture.
3. POST IT NOTES
I don't care if you are the type of person who only uses their phone to take notes, plan, etc. at some point, you've written something on a post it note. And if you're like me, you write a lot of somethings on post it notes.
Either way, with things like the Target Dollar Spot's amazingly cute (and super cheap!) post it notes, it's a great prop for us all. Maybe you write a list of something you want your viewers to know (like three new features you've incorporated in your updated product or service!) or maybe they just have quotes you like & are shown on your desk. Whatever. It works.
4. A SMALL, DECORATIVE DISH
These are great for showing off other things you have! Beauty bloggers can use them to showcase their current favorite lipsticks or their morning beauty routine. Foodies can use them to show off a dish they created and a stationery shop can show off their favorite paper tapes.
5. YOUR HAND
Did you know there's a community building on Instagram all around having your hand in the photo? A couple cool hashtags to check out: #thingsIhold & #handinframe. So show your readers something cool about your brand by holding it up or sliding your hand in.
6. SOMETHING TO DRINK
You've seen the coffee shop photos. But you can also always have a class of water, your favorite morning smoothie, a glass of wine or a tumbler of whiskey in the photo. It doesn't have to be the focus of your image, nor does the caption have to have anything to do with the drink. But it does help set the time of day and the mood of the photo.
7. SOMETHING ALIVE
Plants! Flowers! Your pet! A human! Whatever! Typically, my photos that have something alive or something moving (like the running water filling up my bath tub) do much better than those without. But even if that weren't true, it's fun to mix in some seasonal flowers or show off your awesome succulent garden. And don't get me started on how perfect and cute having your cat or dog or whatever running across a photo! LOVE.
8. SOMETHING TECHNICAL
This might be your computer or your phone or your tablet, whatever. More often then not, I'll introduce one of these types of devices into a styled photo instead of showing a screenshot of my new blog post or website or whatever.
But you could also show the notes app on your phone or the game you're playing. Or if you run a shop, maybe show a photo of what your shop looks like on a mobile device and let people know that they can easily shop that way! Anything.
9. TOOLS OF YOUR TRADE
This is a little more vague. For me, as an illustrator and graphic designer, my tools are pencils, pens, my computer, my iPad, etc. For you, that might be a butcher block, a vintage measuring cup and a whisk. Or it might be a calculator, or some kind of textbook or even lipstick. Whatever it is that you use daily in your line of work, show that.
10. STORAGE OPTIONS
I'm addicted to boxes. Especially pretty hatboxes and the like. You, however, might have an adorable filing cabinet. Or you might have acrylic storage for your makeup and beauty supplies. You might collect your cooking supplies in vintage soup cans. Whatever. Storage options make for an excellent bit of visual interest, while letting us see more about your brand and your space.
There are literally thousands of ideas for different types of props you could use, but these are some of my favorite ones for any kind of brand.
Do you have a prop you like to use regularly? Tell us in the comments or use #DarlingInstaBabes on Instagram for a chance to be featured!
Need some personalized help with figuring out which props work best for you and your brand?
I have an entire one on one coaching service dedicated to helping you get your Instagram exactly where you want it to be with SPECIFIC tasks and tips from me FOR YOU.
You'll even get an hour long call with me to help answer every single question you have. Let's chat!