Using some compositional technique is an essential part of successfully photographing your beauty products. It can be as simple or extensive as you want, and it should reflect your personal style and fit your liking. I'm also here to say that "the more products the better" is not necessarily true, nor is "less is more". It totally depends on the image itself and the subject matter. You definitely have to play around with placement, angles, and overall compositions, but props are a great way to add small accents to the images, reminding us that they were taken by you. They are a great way to add some organization to the photograph or make it look totally lived in. Props can set the vibe of an entire image. I'm going to lay out some of my favorites:

Candles - They range from small to big, so they can fill up as much space as you need them to. Not to mention, you can repurpose them when you're done for beautiful, photo-worthy storage. I like to use my empty candle jars to store q-tips, fragrance samples, and brushes. Diptyque candles are my favorite, but I also love Byredo and Maison Louis Marie (which is on the more affordable side).

The Gold Vanity Tray - I got mine on Etsy after searching and searching for the perfect one! I've seen them range from $45-$200, but you could easily get away with a lower cost one. Mine was about $60 if I remember correctly, and it's gorgeous. Plus it was from the 1960s, making it 30 years older than me! Gold accents are forever my favorite elements of my photographs. 

Jewelry - Styling jewelry actually really fun, first off. Depending on the way you lay out your pieces, they can add beautiful direction and movement to your photos, and really make them come alive. Best of all - you likely already have it sitting at home, no need to buy anything! My favorite pieces come from Mejuri and Bagatiba

Coffee Table books + Magazines - These types of props make the photos much more personal than the above listed. They can make a photo look lived in and casual and cozy. My favorites are Vogue, Unconditional Magazine, and the basic art series from Taschen. I've also used the inside pages from this Chanel coffee table book.

Acrilyic Drawers and Shelves - The Container Store is your best friend for this one. They've got tons of options and they are all ridiculously cheap, but the pieces themselves look far from cheap. I use to not be into them, but I think acrylic shelving and storage looks very put together and sleek. They're a great organizational investment, and they look great in photos! I own the Clarity 3-Drawer Stacking Box and Acrylic Risers

Art - Because duh. Choosing art is also a very personal element because it's something that you respond to enough to put in your home, and it reflects your personal style. Get a cute frame (I have this one from Target and a few from Joann Fabrics) and hop onto Society 6, Etsy, or a museum website to purchase your art! I'm a huge fan of the work of Matisse and Ellsworth Kelly. 

I hope these tips helped spark some inspiration with styling your photos using props! I'm hoping to continue sharing more tips on styling photos/how I do my setups/what equipment I use. Let me know if that's something you guys would be interested in! 

- L