Posts in Sunday Prop Shop
#Prop Shop • Plate Love • Featuring Out There Interiors

I have a love affair with props.

I love how they can add atmosphere to a photograph and tell a story. I am so happy when I am styling up a little photo for inspiration, lost in my own little world!

I have wanted to bring back my Sunday Prop Shop feature for a while, but my obsession with props is too great to restrict to a Sunday! So from now on I will be sharing my collections with you under #PropShop. Over the last few months it's been brilliant to see so many bloggers take a little more effort over their photos and style them in their own ways, with new backgrounds and colourful accessories. What are your go to props for photographs? I'd love to know!

When it comes to props I adore plates. Nothing makes me happier than a table of mis matched crockery and serving dishes, making a routine, mid week meal come alive. There is something about the pops of colour that just make the food taste nicer! All in the mind!

My collection of wonderful plates means I can create unique photography for food clients and I have curated a collection of different styles and eras to ensure I can style a vast range of imagery. I have banned myself from buying anymore blue and white china at the moment as I have enough to host a banquet with! But the temptation is hard to resist when I spy a plate for 50p at a charity shop!

My "props" have become part of our daily life and we use almost everything you see in this post on rotation. I never wanted to have a cupboard that looked like a sad returns department of a homeware store, I want to be surrounded by things that make me smile and inspire a creative idea.

I have lusted after a wooden plate rack for as long as I can remember so I was thrilled when I was sent this beautiful turquoise number from Out There Interiors. I can't wait to find a house to buy so it can adorn our new kitchen wall! Or I might be tempted to have it in my office - wouldn't it be wonderful for scrap book papers, well loved and saved magazines and my absolute favourite plates that inspire so many ideas?

The colour is so rich and at 100cm wide it can display a huge number of plates. Layer your smaller plates in front of dinner plates and really show off your lovely china.

Plate Rack

I think the vibrant colour would refresh any kitchen and the distressed finish adds character and charm.

Plate Rack

I am all for pops of colour so this would look brilliant with an all white display too.

Plate Rack

It gave me the chance to show you some of my plates that I have collected over the years. 

I always search for metal chargers in charity shops and car boot sales. They make fab props because they have depth and texture but are not shiny! Remember - you don't want to see your reflection in a photograph!

Woods are excellent too - chopping boards make perfect backgrounds for small objects and I cannot resist picking up a wooden plate when I see one. The surfaces are often smooth but not too reflective and you can use them on crisp sheets of white paper or card for a clean look or take them outside on the garden bench for a more earthy and Autumnal feel. They are great for kids craft posts too as they can be used for your craft materials without the worry of smashing like china. 

Wood and metal plates
Wood and metal plates
Wood and metal plates

Plastic can be fantastic too! Dig out your picnic plates and raid the kids melamine - they often have great prints which can add fun to a photo but be careful when shooting outside. On a sunny day plastic will show up big light patches so take your plate into the shade, in even light where the colours won't distort.

Plastic plates

Paper plates are ideal props too and I was giddy when I opened these alphabet plates for Mother's Day. I use them all the time in my Instagram feed and paper plates are cheaper to buy than china. So save one from a next birthday party - I am sure it will inspire an idea.

paper plates

I source a lot of my individual plates from charity shops. I head straight to the crockery section and more often than not I spot a bargain. I am currently hunting for the green cabbage leaf plates although they don't seen to come up that often. 

Platters are wonderful for big family meals. It might just be me, but bringing to the table a feast on a pretty platter just makes more of an occasion of meal times.

plate rack.jpg
plate rack.jpg
pretty plates

But these have to be my favourite. Quite a few of them were birthday and Christmas presents and although they could be saved for best, we don't, we use them everyday and get such lovely compliments from visitors. 

plate rack
plate rack 16.jpg
anthropologie plates
food photography props

And if you fancy having a play with some of my props then make sure you get a ticket for Blog On on the 4th May 2014. Along with 3 other bloggers I will be hosting the props and styling part of the photography session and will be encouraging you all to create beautiful vignettes for your social media feeds as well as sharing lots of tips and advice for styling your blog photos at home. I'll be showing you my behind the scenes shots and let you into lots of my little secrets to get "studio" look photos at home. 

I will be bringing suitcases and apple crates full of all sorts of styles so there will be something for everyone to get creative with.

Plus we get to play! 

Do you suffer from plate love syndrome too? I'd love to see how you style your photos with lovely plates! 

I was kindly sent the plate rack from Out There Interiors and I love it.

My week in food

This week I was in heaven. Work heaven.

Here is a sneak peek. My favourites from 48 hours at Leon.

Who's hungry?!

leon restaurants
Leon Restaurants
Leon Restaurants
Leon Restaurants
Leon Restaurants
Leon Restaurants
Leon Restaurants
Leon Restaurants
Leon Restaurants
Leon Restaurants
Leon Spitalfields
Leon Restaurants
Leon Restaurants
Leon Spitalfields
Leon Restaurants

One of my favourite moments was catching this woman completely by surprise. I turned to one end of the restaurant and saw her smile.

Leon Restaurants

But this was my absolute favourite moment. If ever you are near Victoria Underground Station you NEED to meet this team! 

You cannot manufacture the magic that makes a Leon team.

If only there was a Leon near Bristol.

I'll be sharing some of these images for #SundayPropShop. Leon let me have complete freedom to style the shots as I liked. Luckily I had 2 assistants (my brother in law and friend who happen to work and live in London) for the close up images! I'd love to see how you have styled up your photography lately.

Link me to or tweet me you photos - have you thought more about the props you've used, taken an extra few minutes to cut into the cake you made to blog? Show me - I'd love to share them on this blog.

Happy days everyone.

Linking up with My Week that was captured 

Sunday Prop Shop Part 6 • Something old, Something new, Something borrowed, Something blue

Welcome back to Sunday Prop Shop! Thank you to everyone who joined in last week. 

This week I am feeling blue. But in a good way.

blue inspiration.jpg

Buying bargain props has become a little obsession.

I can't resist an odd plate here, something that could make a good background there, especially when I start to see a little collection forming in my cupboard outside.

blue inspiration.jpg

One of my favourite things to do is admire them all together and then you can see any gaps in your hoarding. 

blue inspiration.jpg

Kitchenalia is an easy thing to hoard and an easy thing to get carried away with. Storing lots of serving dishes and bits that get relegated to the back of the cupboard and aren't seen again unless they are packed in a box for a house move!

I know, I am at a point with my blue food props that I have everything I could need! Different styles, different patterns, different eras.

Blue and white.jpg

So when I am in a charity shop or at a boot sale my eyes are less drawn to the blue and more to the greens and reds. It's time to get festive! Only 6 weeks until C-day after all.

Blue is often tricky to photograph, especially in Winter. As the lower sun in the sky and the darker afternoons can make the whole photo look grey. Whites look dull and I often rely on the power of my Canon and editing program. 

blue flowers.jpg

My tip would be to take those pictures around 10am on a nice overcast day, in the garden, when the natural light is at it's most even. 

If that's not possible, like this week I have been on the road a lot working, I end up photographing a number of blog posts on a Saturday or Sunday morning, then take the following week to edit the photos ready to post.

Which is your favourite?

I adore the Bonjour painted side plate I won from Little Birdy Crafts and the Octopus plate I had for my birthday from Anthropologie

Blue plates.jpg

Whilst there is a tiny chip in the blue cabbage leaf, I still grabbed it off the charity shop shelf and paid £2, because it has a new life as a prop!

blue plates.jpg

All the blue and white china I have bought from boot sales and charity shops for around 50p - £1 each. I use all of them in our everyday life too and they were perfect serving dishes for a buffet I hosted at a Nautical baby shower for a best friend recently!


I don't believe in having beautiful (even if not necessarily expensive) things that never get used. I love mis matching plates at dinner time and they all go through the dishwasher!

I love that they have history and they add interest to photographs. But I also love picking up little new accessories, like this snack bowl from Waitrose for a couple of pounds. A cute vase for a hydrangea head.

blue hydrangea.jpg

I brought a set of these mason jars from a local supermarket, home in my suitcase from America in the Summer and they make perfect cocktail glasses ready to be served on a little tray I found at a Christmas Market this week from Vintage Von.

blue mason jars.jpg

On my ultimate wish list thought is an old fashioned wooden plate rack for the wall, so I could see al my plates in all their glory all year round!

Have you given anything a new lease of life as a prop? I'd love to share your photos. Link them up here and join in Sunday Prop Shop. I can't wait to be inspired.

I am so pleased when people take the time to link up. It's lovely to see everyone's posts every fortnight.

If you've gone to lots of effort with your photography lately, this is the place to show it off!


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