Behind The Scenes Look of an Instagram Photoshoot

The idea for the blog post came from some questions I get from time to time about my photos on Instagram, or more, what's in my photos. I love using flowers, leaves and other nature-y props in my shoots to add color or texture and sometimes I get comments along the lines of "Oh, wow you must have such a beautiful garden!" or "Where do you find blue leaves??". I always respond to those comments telling them where and how I get those strangely colored plants but today, I'm going to show you ALL (or a good amount of them) the props I use for my photos, where I got them and how much $$$ was spent on them (hint: not much because Japan is AMAZING).

Props I Use

I have quite a few baskets/bowls that I use in my shoots to hold balls of yarn or to put the flowery stuff in.  These were thrift, discount or $1  (or in some cases $3) store finds. $1 stores in Japan are extremely well stocked with attractive items of pretty good quality and don't hold the same social stigma as $1 stores would in the States. And they're very fun in to shop in to, very bright and cheery. Some baskets are old flower pot holders! 

The big basket at the bottom was a $3 bargain!

The big basket at the bottom was a $3 bargain!

What about the background? Those are also from the $1 store and are actually sewing fabric!

It is destined to be a background prop forever and not a pretty top.

It is destined to be a background prop forever and not a pretty top.

I think this post is more about how awesome thrift shops are in Japan.

As for the white background in the shots above? That was slightly more expensive as it came from a general crafts store. It's just a white flexible board that I use for my DIY lightbox.

First function: make images pretty. Second function: make the room smell AMAZING.

First function: make images pretty. Second function: make the room smell AMAZING.

Now for my ultimate secret... my flowers! They're just dried up leaves and flowers that are primarily used to scent up a room! Also from the $1 store, I use the crap out of these things (as you probably see). Not pictured are two or three extra bags of this stuff because it's cheap and it smells amazing, can you blame me?

Sally sells seashells by the seashore.

Sally sells seashells by the seashore.

Same with the seashells that pop up time to time in my pictures. $1 bargain.

How a Shoot Usually Goes

Yesterday a new yarn shipment came in from Papiput Yarn (thank you Amelia!) and obviously I had to take photos of it to show it off on my social media accounts. Here's how I go about setting up my photo shoots.

First, get your iPhone, cracked screen and all. Because I'm too lazy to get it fixed.

First, get your iPhone, cracked screen and all. Because I'm too lazy to get it fixed.

I lay out my background and today I'm going with my plain white one. I get my elements together and just slap them on there. They're be arranged and shifted around more as I take photos.

I wasn't digging the yarn in the basket so I pulled out another $1 store find that I'll be using for the first time! It was rolling up like whoa at the back so I took my baskets to help flatten it out.

I shifted things around so that the light would hit the objects in such a way that the shadows wouldn't be too distracting. And another yarn bowl was added to hold down the textured backdrop.

I was satisfied with this layout so I took several photos at different angles and distances. Once I found an image I really liked, I edited it on my phone (you can watch my free mini e-course on how to edit photos for IG on your phone here) and voila! Photo ready to be uploaded!

Final image!

Final image!

So that is how a typical photoshoot goes for my Instagram feed. The materials I use are from thrift stores and I don't think I've spent more than $20-$30 on all the props. So take an adventure to your local craft, thrift or discount store and see what treasures you can dig up!