bargain props for your fun, summer photoshoots

Been seeing lots of awesome photos popping up in your feed or on your explore page and wondering how people just have these things "lying around"? Well, newsflash, they probably don't.

I mean, some of us do accumulate quite a collection of props over time, but you gotta start somewhere. My favorite thing to do is to check out the dollar section at Target. I also love buying "out-of-season" items because they're usually on super sale. This past Christmas, I went to Target, Walmart and Home Goods after the New Year, specifically to find some uber discounted items to use for Holiday 2019.

I've been getting some questions about some of my content lately, so I thought I'd curate a little list of some fun, cheap(ish) props you can stock up on and save for a day of shooting fun! Just a heads up, though, most of you probably already own a lot of these items, so be creative with the decor you have around your house!

Some of the easiest, cheapest (and tastiest) props: FOOD! 🍉

If you're planning on having a Summer BBQ, try to stock up on those Summer fruits and after you've used them for content, be sure to recycle them via your mouth. Some of the most photogenic fruits are: watermelons, cherries, pineapples, grapefruit and anything citrus!

This round, watermelon towel was $20 from Target! It's a much cheaper option than Sand Cloud and (I'd argue) just as cute.

A pretty obvious Summer favorite is a pool FLOATIE! 🦢

Some of them are upwards of $60 or $70, but if you keep an eye out and check your local Home Goods, you can find name-brand floats for under $20! Walmart also has some really cute, unique and affordable floats in their pool section. This year, we made out with a mermaid tail, a sprinkled donut, and a giant swan for under $40.

Donut float by INTEX: $5.99 at

Home Goods

Swan float by Floatie Kings LA: $19.99 at Home Goods (reg: $39.99)

Mermaid tail by Play Day $9.97 at Walmart

Some of my absolute favorite props (for any season, actually) are faux flowers and floral arrangements. These can* be pretty pricey, which is why these are always my go-to end-of-season lookout items. Best places to buy these: Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Target.

With Target's new home additions, which features brands like Opalhouse and Project 62, they have some of the cutest stemmed pieces, in my opinion. They've got a lot of boho-inspired items popping up, which means tons of cacti, mini succulents, eucalyptus and sunflowers (shown in photo below)! Each piece is usually around $6 or $7, but if you wait until the end of the season, you can usually find them for under $2 each.

I love the stemmed faux florals even more because of how easy they are to take with you. I usually leave a couple in one of the cars, as well as have some around the house for impromptu photos that need a little something extra.

We used a faux palm leaf to create the image below - just add sunshine and you've got yourself an artsy little shadow shot!

HATS make great, functional props that are also easy to take with you (aka you put it on your noggin for safe keeping).

My favorite hat (middle photo) is by Scotch & Soda, but honestly, I'd check your local Savers and/or Goodwill for some cool hats, especially if you're only planning on using them for props. The really large hat shown in the other 2 photos looks so ridiculous on me, but it was almost too perfect for the purpose is served as a prop. That hat came from Savers and cost only $3.50!

PAPER MAPS and/or atlases make awesome props for road trips. This map was $5.49 at Walmart (you can find it in the auto section). You can also order from Amazon (obviously)!

The contents of your purse and/or toiletry travel bag.

Featured Above:

Olio e Osso after-sun oil + lip/cheek balms

Sunglasses by Celine

Earrings by Forever 21

Clutch was thrifted (I cut the handle off to make it a clutch)

Some other fun props:




Small (vintage, or vintage-like) suitcases

Picnic baskets

Fun blankets (whatever suits your aesthetic)

Popsicles / Ice Cream

Film/instant cameras





Beach umbrellas

Sidewalk chalk

Desktop/vanity-sized mirrors

Fun cell-phone cases

If you have any questions about where to buy something, what you should use it for, or need some inspo, feel free to drop me a line on the contact page! xx

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thanks for

 stopping by!

Stepfanie Tyler is a Las Vegas-based entrepreneur who specializes in creative direction, content creation, photography and styling. Stepfanie also owns a boutique marketing agency, which specializes in digital branding and storytelling, social media management, graphic design, copywriting and much more. With a background in Women's Studies and Biology, issues affecting women and young girls remain at the forefront of her focus. When working with brands (personally, or professionally), she strives to support companies that are aligned with her personal goals and whose core philanthropies are rooted in sustainability and the advancement of women in the workplace.

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