Natalie Care Food Styling

The Prop Hunt

Whether it’s searching for some inflatable bananas or hunting down a jojoba plant – when it comes to prop sourcing we’ve done it all!

A variety of our photography and video production projects this year have required a good old prop hunt, meaning we’ve collated quite a lot of favourite shops over time and with this have gained experience in where to go for what, even the most random of things. We have lots of clients who like to do their own prop sourcing, but aren’t sure where to even begin, so we’ve collated a list of helpful places, as styling isn’t always as easy as it could be…

Flying Tiger
Now this one is a no-brainer, everyone loves a bit of Flying Tiger, mainly for their randomness! Every trip here, I find myself finding things I never knew I needed. Items from this store always add an element of quirkiness to every shoot and if you’re looking for something quite particular yet random, this is the place to go. We’ve found this very useful for finding miniature objects such as mini deckchairs for products to sit in to mini dinosaurs because, why not?!

H&M Home
A lot of stores now have a home section, but H&M is one of our favourites for prop sourcing. H&M is great for all things foodie with a range of kitchenware and fabrics. We’ve purchased kitchenware from this store for all kinds of projects ranging from marshmallows to jollof sauce! There’s plenty of styles to explore within the store suiting all kinds of needs.

Lastly, if you’re prop sourcing on a tight budget there’s a great tip to saving money here. We’ve often bought pillow cases for food shoots as they have the same style pillow cases as they do table cloths, however they’re much cheaper and often you don’t need something as big as a table cloth!

The Range
The Range has been a life-saver for us this year – often being a place of last-minute rushing. This store has become useful for prop sourcing due to its convenience but also its pricing, it’s a great place to go when working on a tight budget!

We’ve found it great for fake flowers, as we all know that these can be pricey in higher end stores, if you’re looking for some background colour and aren’t going to be focusing on them too closely, these work brilliantly. The arts and crafts section is also fun if you’re looking to get creative 🙂

When it comes to prop sourcing backgrounds have always been a tough one for us, as they can be quite expensive, chunky and a pain in the bum! When shooting food/product photography, we usually need a background colour or texture that isn’t going to take up the whole room, or weigh more than we can carry. Paperchase have a colourful range of cards that are all different sizes and that work wonderfully for adding some depth to your shots.

We’ve purchased backgrounds for Moroccan recipes to frozen chocolate bananas (although that did get a little messy!)

Capture By Lucy
We came across this gem when a client of ours recommended them and we’ve used them for prop sourcing purposes on multiple projects since. Capture By Lucy have a range of backgrounds on their site at a really good price, they are vinyl and have a protective coating making it suitable for food! The great thing about these is that they’re easy to carry around as they come in a tube, but they give the effect of the real deal! They’re also a lot more durable than using the everyday card as of course these get ruined quite easily.

These are suitable for all things food, beauty, product and more!

Photography Backdrop Club
Another great background solution we have found is Photography Backdrop Club. We have found that backgrounds have become more and more important to the final imagery and we’ve made an effort this year to ensure we purchase the right backgrounds for the right projects.

Photography Backdrop Club have super trendy backdrops and include vinyls for woods, textured slates and so on. We have been super happy with the quality of these and would recommend them to all clients as they’re a great solution to what can sometimes be a difficult job of finding backdrops.

So next time a prop sourcing job has you on the back foot, hopefully this will help!

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