Thrifting for Photography

This weekend, my friend and I decided to go thrift shopping. She was on the lookout for a desk, and I was on the lookout for anything I could craft with, or anything to help improve my photography. I take a lot of pictures of food, and although our table is vintage and has recently come back into style so it makes a cute background, our plates are just old. Seriously, whenever I post a food picture, someone has to comment about how their grandma used to use those plates.


This is the plate we most often use for meals. It was my grandparents’ plate, and as far as I know, they’ve had it for longer than I’m alive.

That’s why I was so excited to see a deal at the thrift store we went to. You could get three coffee mugs for 99 cents- an awesome deal since I collect coffee mugs- or three plates, bowls, or saucers for $1.99.


This was the first thing I spotted. After this green bowl came into my view, I knew I was going to have to buy it. J makes a lot of soups, chilis, and stews in the winter. The bowls we have now are awesome to eat out of, and pretty nostalgic, but they photograph horribly. So this was calling my name.


Next, I spotted this striped plate hidden under a pile of other plates. It’s pretty and graphic, and I really think food will pop on it.


Finally, I grabbed this tiny white saucer. It’s a lot like the ones we used at my wedding, so half my love for it was sentimental, but seriously, it was cute and I could spare a few cents on it.


Since cute dinnerware is half the battle of good food photography, I’m pretty impressed with what I got for two dollars. I wish I had found a cute mug, but alas, I think I’m stuck with my kitty mug for now.


You know what? Actually, I think I’m okay with that.



Today, my mom and I headed south to Birmingham, Alabama to hit up some of my mom’s favorite thrift stores. But this wasn’t just any shopping trip! Today, we were on a hunt to find glassware and decorations for my upcoming wedding. With the deadline looming (June 7, in case you were wondering), we still have a lot to do and little time to get it all done. Today’s mission: find glassware, mason jars, and serving trays.

The wedding is being held in front of my uncle’s barn, which was built by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930’s. Combined with my retro style dress, our theme was decided for us. We hit the road with “rustic vintage” in mind, and those two words guided our shopping decisions. Well, most of them anyway. 

When I was younger, I had a nasty phobia of wearing pre-worn clothes. No amount of washing, drying, and ironing could make those clothes feel like “mine.” I’ve since outgrown that phobia, and now when I’m in a thrift store, I can’t help but look around. Today wasn’t the best thrifting day I’ve ever had, but I still managed to pick up two shirts, an Old Navy sweater dress, and a pair of brand new men’s shoes for my fiance for less than $15. I was pretty impressed with myself.

Image It was late by the time we got home, so I wasn’t able to take the best pictures. But here’s the gist of my purchase. The first shirt is a Samford University shirt that doubles as a breast cancer awareness shirt, picked up for only 99 cents! The second shirt is a dolman top with lace detail on the back, coming in at $2.98. I have plenty of outfits planned for this, so it was a pretty decent purchase. 

I almost didn’t purchase the grey sweater dress from Old Navy, which was a whopping $4.98. However, I had been eyeing a similar dress all this past winter, and when mom asked me if I would be sad if I passed it up, I wound up grabbing it. After trying it on, I’m glad that I did. It’s totally flattering, comfy, and warm!

The shoes were kind of a necessity. J has a bad habit of wearing his non-work shoes to his job in a meat market, and the floor cleaner and water he walks through repeatedly wind up ruining the shoes. I can’t even tell you how many pairs he’s gone through in the past three months alone. J had been debating a pair like this at Rugged Wearhouse, so when I saw this pair for $5, with original tags still intact, I knew I should pick them up. 

The total purchase, from three separate thrift stores, came to roughly $14 since one of the thrift stores we visited doesn’t charge sales tax. Considering that the pair of shoes was originally $16 plus tax, I’m pretty proud of myself.

My mom is much more of a veteran of thrift shopping than I am, so she got some better deals than I did. But hey, I’m learning, right?