When taking photos of products, you know how challenging it can be to catch the attention of your client and audience. Props are essential to add visual interest to the frame and make the subject stand out. Below, we will show you several creative props to use for an eye-catching product image.
The best props for product photography are those that complement the subject. These include backdrops, foam blocks, plants, and natural rocks, among many others.
But adding props in the frame is not as simple as many photographers think. You must also consider the background and lighting. In this article, we will teach you how to use props effectively for the best product photos.
15 Creative Props for Product Photography
These product photography props can showcase the intended use and key features of the subject.
A backdrop can add color and visual interest to your product photos. You can stick with simple backdrops like paper or cloth with a single shade. Or you can go for different textures like fabric, wood, or metal to enhance the object within the frame.
Overall, using a backdrop as a product photography prop can help your images look more professional and realistic.
Foam Blocks and Shapes
You can use geometric blocks and shapes to add dimensions to your product images. For instance, place a small perfume bottle on the foam block and another one next to it to showcase the height difference.
You will ultimately find many uses for these blocks and shapes as they are highly versatile. You can also paint them to place on different product photography shoots.
Transparent Acrylic Props
Acrylic blocks are among the best product photography prop ideas. They are available in different shapes and sizes, which gives you flexibility.
For instance, these transparent acrylic props can act as pedestals to showcase your product. They also let you place them in different positions for more creative composition. Some items, such as an acrylic splash tray, can hold the item and other props.
Plus, they create shadows to add visual interest to your product photos. And since they are clear, they do not clash with the colors of your product.
Plants and Leaves
Greenery and leaves are must-have props for product photography. They are versatile and can fit almost every scene, especially in lifestyle and organic brand shoots.
You can place the potted plant behind or next to the product. You can also use the greenery leaf props to create dramatic shadows in your product images. Simply position these creative props near the light source, whether natural light or not. The closer they are to the light, the more defined the shadow is. Bring them further away from the light if you prefer a more diffused effect.
Vases and Planters
If you are not a fan of greenery leaf props in your product photos, you can always use the vases the plants came with. Add planters of various shapes and sizes for a more dynamic composition.
However, keep the vase pattern and colors minimal because they might draw attention away from the product.
Natural Rocks and Pebbles
Stones and pebbles are popular props among product photographers. They add texture and intrigue to the scene. They are also easy and versatile to work with.
For instance, you can stack natural rocks on top of each other and create a background with them. You can also place the product above the stones.
You can shop for different rocks at garden and hardware stores. Or, if you want budget-friendly product shots, you can select any pebble from your backyard.
Flowers and Petals
Natural or dried flowers are also great prop ideas for product photography. They introduce a feminine touch to the photo, making them ideal for fashion and craft product shoots.
You can put flowers in a small vase and use them as a background. Or you can add petals to a flat-lay photo shoot. Use them to frame your subject and draw attention toward the product.
Fabrics and Textiles
Fabrics and linens are among the best props for flat-lay product photography. They can be placed at the edge of the frame to add intrigue. Or they can fall over the product for effortless draping.
Fabrics and textiles are available in various colors at any home decor store. Feel free to buy several sheets for different product photos, such as beauty items and luxury goods.
Books and Magazines
A stack of books and magazines offers height and background interest to any product photography shoot.
For example, a stylish magazine cover can change the perceived value of the product and make it more high-end. It is ideal for lifestyle and fashion photography shoots.
Meanwhile, an open page next to the subject naturally acts as the leading lines. As their name suggests, they can lead the audience and client’s eyes to the focal point of the shot.
Fairy or twinkle lights are inexpensive product photography prop ideas. They can make the scene look cozier and, sometimes, magical. They are ideal for Christmas or wedding-themed product shoots.
Fairy lights are also easy to use—simply wrap them around items or put them inside a jar. Plus, they come in handy when you need additional light for your photos.
Using a mirror in a product photography shoot gives you a creative image composition. You can place it behind or beneath the product to create an interesting reflection. You can also use mirrors to achieve a soft and diffused natural light effect. Simply put them next to the product at an angle so that it illuminates the item.
Similar to mirrors, water as a product photography prop can give you another view of the subject. It ultimately adds texture and visual interest to the scene.
However, working with water can be tricky. If you are a beginner, start by adding water droplets in the background. Then, move to a more challenging setup, such as a reflection of rippling water, once you get the hang of it.
Ribbons and Streamers
Ribbon streamers add a fun and fancy element to your product photos. They can represent a celebration or any party scene.
Use these product photography props to make a plain item, such as a wine bottle, more exciting. You can also put ribbons and streamers on a flat-lay photo to achieve a subtle decoration.
Paint is one of the most versatile product photography props you can buy.
You can use the actual paint can to showcase art products. Or you can brush the paint on a canvas or surface to add color to the scene. You can also use paint strokes for a rustic feel when taking photos of home products.
Kitchen Tools and Equipment
Kitchen utensils and tools are popular for product and food photography. They can help you highlight the subject better and draw attention to the main product.
Besides food-related items, kitchen tools are also great additions to beauty and lifestyle photoshoots. For instance, decorative dishes allow you to showcase jewelry to potential customers and save money on the next shoot.
5 Tips for Better Product Photography Styling
Finding the best props for product photography is one thing; styling them is another. Below are some tips on how to use props for eye-catching product images.
Know the Brand and Product
Before taking photos or shopping for props, you first need to know the brand and its product.
You can figure this out once you have had a conversation with a client. You can also request a creative brief to help you understand their desired results.
You will want to include the following questions to ensure that you and the client are on the same page.
- How would you describe your brand?
- How would you like to be perceived by the public?
- Where would you use the images?
- What kind of mood or aesthetic do you want to achieve?
- Do you have a mood board or pegs for references?
Do not be afraid to ask several questions. The more information you have about the client and their brand, the greater the chances of delivering satisfying results.
Research the Target Market
After knowing the brand and product, it is time to familiarize yourself with the target audience. You can ask the client directly or conduct your own market research before shopping for product photography props.
Does the brand target a mixed demographic? Or does it appeal to young adult women? Understanding the audience can help you showcase the product the right way.
Note that the target market of the product may not be the end user. For instance, some products are marketed to men but are used by women. So, in this case, you have to style the scene for males rather than females.
Focus on the Product
The whole point of product photography is to highlight the item.
So while it is important to get the background and props right, avoid focusing on them too much.
You can showcase a product in many different ways. You can take a photo from above and shoot beautiful flat lays. Or you can place the item in various settings, such as outdoors or underwater. You can even hire a model to focus on the product uses and features.
Pick the Right Background
Think of where you want to use the product when selecting the background or shoot location.
For instance, bath products are intended for bathroom use, so a tile or marble background makes the most sense. But when selling jewelry or luxury items, you want to pick an elegant setting. If you dabble in both product and food photography, you can rely on simple backdrops to work in most situations.
Regardless of the product you are working with, pick a background that carries the same aesthetic and message as the item.
Use Props in Creative Ways
The props you choose are just as important as the background in a product photography shoot. They give you context about the product. So make sure to use them in creative ways to highlight the item’s key features.
For instance, a client wants you to capture their liquid soap. Taking photos of the main product from different angles is already a given. But you can also place a loofah, mirror, or water droplets on the scene for added visual interest. You can even use plants and leaves if the soap is made with natural ingredients.
Overall, you want to draw attention to the product and help the client sell it to their target consumers.
Product photography props are essential to catch the attention of your client’s intended target audience. These props must complement the subject to help it stand out in the frame.
You can use different backdrops, geometric shapes, and acrylic blocks for starters. You can also refer to our full list of creative props above to achieve more interesting compositions.
Did this article help you find a new prop to use for your next product photography shoots? Let us know by dropping by our contact us page!