Cheap Photography Props for Fun Photos

Props can add great value to your photography work. Depending on how the props are used, they add a sense of fun, drama, or even mystery. But you don’t need to spend a fortune to get started. COOPH shows you how you can take great photos with some cheap everyday objects you can find at home:

Colored Plastic

Don’t have a multiple light setup and colored gels? No worries. Simply use household lamps to surround your subject and tape colored cellophane over those lamps. Also be sure to light the background. You can use this technique to get some moody and colorful looking images.

colorful light using cellophane


You don’t need a smoke machine to create smoke for your budget photography. Simply use a vape pen and blow some smoke over your subject. You can use use the smoke to make the image look creepy or mysterious.

smoke portrait using vape pen

Steel Wool

Caution: Since the following tips involve working with fire, be sure to be very cautious.

There are immense possibilities for using steel wool in your photography. To take a dramatic image of your props falling into the abyss, here’s what you can do:

  • take a rotating plate and place a shiny fireproof surface on it
  • spread some steel wool on the fireproof surface
  • suspend your props over the setup and light up the steel wool uniformly
  • gently rotate the plate and take a long exposure photo

using steel wool as a prop in photography

You can also hold burning steel wool above your prop and shoot a long exposure to make it look like it’s raining fire.

rain of fire using steel wool prop


Take a mirror on location and use it to creatively interfere with your composition. How you use it entirely depends on your creativity. Just be sure to control any distracting reflections.

mirror used as a prop for photography


Dark surroundings, burning sparklers, and long exposure photography are perfect ingredients for some great photography.

  • insert the tip of a sparkler into the drill and bend it
  • using tape, stick a small light on the drill pointing toward the sparkler
  • fire the sparkler up, use the drill on the slowest setting and walk around while the camera is shooting in long exposure

vortex created using sparkler as a prop

If that sounds complicated, simply use the sparkler to write some words on the air and capture it using a long exposure.

long exposure with sparkler

Do you have any other prop ideas that you like to use? We’d love to hear.

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current: