5 Budget-Friendly Pet Photography Props

We’ve reached that time of year. When the summer is fast approaching and the bank account needs to fund a holiday but I’ve also seen some amazing photography props I want… We can do this, I keep telling my bank account!

Minnie at Carterton Show | Pet Photography Props

Props? What Props?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to props in photography: Yes and No!

For the Yesses:

Some photography props can really bring a photo to life, be it a fancy chair, an old suitcase, even a silly hat. Props can give a great “theme” to an image.

For the Nos:

Photography props are cheesy, they take away from the subject (pets, in my case) and mean photos can only be displayed at certain times of the year.

Personally, I’m in the middle when it comes to photography props. I like them, but I don’t go mad on them. Have I used them? Sure! Would I use any more of them? Maybe.

Pet Photography Props (for the budget conscious!)

I’ve been quite fortunate recently that I’ve been able to go a few local shows. I take with me a big antique trunk, it makes an excellent prop as well as a fantastic place to store all of my stuff in the car. It was expensive though!

Here are five budget-friendly photography props anyone can use.

1. Presents

I’ve been saving these for my Christmas shoots, but I’ve wrapped a few old parcel boxes with brown paper and tied a bow around them to look like presents.

The cost was next to nothing, I always have brown paper hanging around as it’s so useful, and I think I got the ribbons from Hobbycraft for about £1 a reel. The boxes were free!

Come nearer to Christmas I’ll be getting a Winter themed backdrop so everyone can get those special family Christmas-card photos with their pets!

Of course, it’s not only for Christmas, but you could also wrap the boxes in birthday paper too for a cake-smash themed photoshoot… now there’s an idea!

2. Bow ties, flowers, tutus and hats

nucky wearing a hat pet photography prop

I have to say Nucky doesn’t look too happy to be sporting a new hat just here!

I always keep an eye out in places like Poundland and Aldi, doggy costumes and accessories are always popping up (especially around Christmas and Halloween!).

While I’m not a huge fan of dressing dogs up all the time (although Finlay always wore a jumper in the winter), a little bow tie or a flower on the collar can really add that extra bit of “aww” to a shoot!

3. A chalk board

Yaz and Benji | pet Photography Props

I have to say, I love this one! I was really lucky to get to photograph my friend Yasmine and her adorable English Bulldog cross, Benji. Benji was very excited because, as you can see, he was about to become a big brother!

Using a chalkboard like this is really easy, it’s light enough for medium and large dogs to have on their collars for a few minutes while we shoot, and we can prop it up next to smaller dogs. Great for things like maternity, engagement and even gender-reveal photoshoots!

4. An old suitcase

I said earlier about my big antique trunk that I take to events with me, well I’ve also been fortunate enough to get this fab little vintage suitcase from an auction! House clearance auctions are a great place to pick up gems like this and, after a good wash over with antibacterial wash, it makes a great prop!

This sort of size is only really good for smaller dogs, Chihuahuas, Schnauzers, etc. The antique trunk I’ve used with little dogs and big dogs though!

5. Bathroom baskets

Lily in a basket | Pet Photography Props

This one is a bit of a cheat! When photographing little Lily here, I realised she would fit perfectly in a basket I use in my bathroom for shampoos and soap etc. She did and she looked rather adorable (even if she only stayed there for a few seconds!).

These baskets are really budget-friendly from places like B&M and Home Bargains. Add in things like soft pillows and cushions and we have the perfect little newborn set-up!

Give me those props!

Loving the props? Or maybe you’re a purist who wants just the studio and nothing else? Let me know what you like in the comments!

If you’d like some beautiful photos of your pets (with or without props!) we can have a chat! Pop over to my contact page or my bookings page to start the conversation!