I steal souls; then sell them back at a profit.
Prop houses will supply you with standard boudoir photography props we all know and love, many classics include acrylic ice cubes so you don’t have to worry about melting, faux snow that can be used in July, & that cute over stuffed bunny that every Sears Photo Studio seems to use each spring.
I try to have a more creative approach that allows my images to be truly unique.
Changing of seasons is a great time to clean out your boudoir photography prop closet and spice up your studio. Clear out the old clutter, steam your vintage hats, buy a few new purple feathers.
I love to create, part of the reason I enjoy boudoir photography so much is the concept that I get to go shopping for unique & beautiful items that are used to decorate my boudoir photography sets. I get my boudoir photography props from everywhere, I go to local thrift stores, craft stores, I buy flowers from farmers markets. I spend time at my local hardware store with paints, stains, canvas. I have picked up a few things from estate sales & sidewalk sales. I own several burlap potato sacks donated to me from behind the local Fish & Chip; someday I will know what to do with them… Buying from local shops and other artisans helps the local economy as well, Also it gives you as a photographer a chance to hand out your card. Making friends with the antique dealer downtown may result in great deals on a spiffy claw foot bathtub or chaise lounge.
Trading with other photographers is a great way to collaborate on set ideas and network. Host a prop swap day call your artist friends and get together to trade off all your props. Each person reacts in their own way to their environment so each person will see the same mannequin and use it in a different way. Encourage each other to expand creativity. Trading saves money as well as closet space, after all how many times do you NEED to photograph the same blow up bubble chair? Have a prop swap and trade it to another photographer for a shiny new red bead curtain.
I organize my photography props in labeled bins & buckets by theme, The “Ocean Theme” bin is filled with starfish, rubber duckies, shells, leis, cargo netting & takes just moments to take down from the shelves & use to decorate a set. I have a clear box filled with Disco themed items: Disco balls of several sizes, silver glitter, tiny crystal trinkets, and mini disco decorations. Here is a partial ever changing list of the many boudoir photography props and set decorations I have in my studio this month:
My favorite local places to buy props:
I have several East Bay Oakland area places that I love to source props from, they are also great places to wander for inspiration when you’re not sure what you need, but you will know it when you see it.
Urban Ore is a salvage yard that carries everything from pink toilets to bins of buttons to vintage records. You can spend hours meandering through the maze of furniture/building supplies/craft supplies/& random electronics. Yes they even have a few mannequins for sale.
Paganos Hardware is a maze of hardware and housewares, they always have great “oops paint” colors for sale at 10.00 a gallon & if you are in a hurry and don’t wish to spend an hour wandering through the store, employees are amazing at locating exactly what you need in a hurry. Hint: The Drain-O is in a tiny closet behind the something else…
Pixies & Peony is where I go when I need cute housewares or anything that needs to be finished and ready to shoot. I love their selection of country furniture, cute housewares accessories & fun colors.
East Bay Depot For Creative Reuse is a mouthful to say and just as packed with amazing craft style odds & ends, this is the place where you find huge dark purple satin tablecloths that make great backdrops, 200 yes 200 tiny little bottles, they recently had a sale that involved boxes and boxes of slides. It was all I could do to stay away. They sometimes carry fabric on the bolt but not often. Think school supplies if Dr. Suess was your art teacher.