The Best Places To Buy Props for Stock Photos

Anyone who knows me, knows full well that I am frugal. Now, not “crazy frugal” like someone who reuses Ziplock bags or anything (not judging you if you do that), but I am the kind of frugal that will rarely pay full price for anything. I buy almost everything when it’s on sale. Crazy? Maybe a little.

I’m not sure why I’m like that, I certainly didn’t grow up in a situation in which we had to be like that. Maybe it came about when I got my first job and learned the value of a dollar. I had to work hard for that money and wanted it to go as far as it possibly could.

When it comes to my stock photography/mockup business, I’m no different.

The best places where I find props for my stock photos:

1. Michael’s
Yes, this crafter’s paradise is just the place to buy all kinds of props and it’s where I buy most of the faux flowers that I use. They have scores of super fun stationery items and in fact, I went there today and scored some super cute notebooks, and doo-dads all in the clearance section. I’m talking about items that were marked down to $1. (yeeeehawwww!)

2. Dollar store
I live in Eastern Canada and so the only real dollar store that we have is called Dollarama, no Dollar Tree here yet. I find all kinds of treasures here, ranging from flowers, notebooks, stationery, and even dishes that make appearances in my photos. This is probably the only store in which I shop that doesn’t have clearance or sale sections. But the fact that’s a dollar store is enough for me to feel like I’m not paying full price.

3. Marshalls
I LOVE their food and their stationery sections. I have often found marked down notebooks, cookies, candies, and pens. I love that they are also into trendy designs that are perfect for styled stock photos.

4. Winners
Again, this is a Canadian retailer that is a sister store to Marshall’s and belongs to the American family of TJ Maxx. Basically, it’s the same thing. So again, I scour the food section, housewares, home decor and stationery section.

5. Chapters/Indigo
The American equivalency to this store (I think) would be Barnes and Noble. I find the regular priced items (notebooks, stationery, and giftware) to be rather pricey, at least for what I use it for, so I typically just shop the clearance racks. Last week I found a pack of super cute metallic pens for $3, marked down from $15. (score!)

Naturally, this is not a definitive list of places because I have been to many stores where I just happen to stumble upon something super cute and perfect for stock photos. And sometimes I find things in stores where I was shopping for something completely different, like the time I got a super cute makeup bag in the gift section of a local pharmacy when picking up cough drops. Go figure.

Happy prop hunting!



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