As with my food photography, I love hunting for props and backgrounds to put in my images for still life photography and I really like a variety of items.

I still adore using color, but I tend to tone down my color palette for still life, using more soft muted colors. My love of dark and moody or soft and dreamy and an overall vintage feel to my images.

There are a few key pieces that I use all the time. You do not need a whole room full, just a few special pieces, some you may already have. So let’s delve into my own personal prop stash for my top ten favorites (in no particular order).

Timber crates

I love old timber crates. These are fabulous for adding depth or creating shadows — you can set your scene on them, in them or use as a background. The more aged the better the patina, that weathered rustic look. I also have newer ones for a cleaner feel. I have two very old crates, one, in particular, I use ALL the time. These are great for storing items when not in use as well.


Adore adding fabric to my images, it softens hard lines. White and neutral colored linen, including dishtowels, tablecloths and napkins, random strips of muslin, chiffon and cotton work beautifully too. I am partial to grays and off whites when it comes to my linens. I also adore cheesecloth and hessian for a very natural feel.

Old books

I have a small collection of old books that I love to use in my images. Often stacked and tied together with string, they can tell part of the story, add some height or create a sense of timeless elegance. They can also be used under fabric to create layers and different heights.


A bit like crates, I have a small collection of baskets, from vintage-looking wire baskets to woven baskets, twigs and timber ones as well. These are great for displaying fruit and flowers, even small toys or collectibles. I have then in different sizes, colors and shapes.

Next time I will cover some more of my favorites …