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 recently wrote a post about the first four of my favorite props for still life. Here are a few more!
These are not just for food — they can make really good stands and backgrounds to add interest. I love a good timber cutting board, but marble or slate can be very effective as well. I have a collection of different sizes and tones that I use. One good one is a great place to start.
Scissors and twine
These are perfect for adding just a little something, scissors with fresh cut flowers in a vase or basket. Twine for all sorts of things, just casually looped to give a flow to your image, leading the eye through your photo.
Scissors can also help add a personal touch as you have just put them down and will be back in a minute. I personally like to leave my scissors slightly open and always pointed away from the camera.
Teacups and saucers
Who doesn’t love a pretty teacup and saucer or something a little more rustic in a still life? I really like to color coordinate my flowers with patterns and colors on my teacups. I also have a few teapots as well. A more rustic enamelware mug is great too. It can help make an image feel warm and cozy and inviting. Be warned collecting these can become a habit.
Vases, bottles and Mason jars
I have a rather large collection of vases, bottles and jars, in clear and colored glass and plain white, but have started adding a couple of hand-painted ceramic ones as well. I have a muted blue and a green one that seems to keep popping into my images these days.
Be warned it can be a slippery slope and you can end up with quite a collection, but start with one or two good pieces you may already have is a good place to start.
Don’t overwhelm your hero or the viewer. Take out stuff you don’t need. Take out things from the scene that are distracting and pair down to just one main focal point. If the scene is too cluttered you will lose the viewer’s interest.
When first starting out try to limit items in the scene to perhaps three props or layers which will convey depth and story. Try to keep props simple, whether it is vases, books, teacups, crates, baskets and don’t forget flowers — flowers are fantastic.