I'll be the first to admit, I have a slight prop addiction. With the development of COVID-19 and responsibility as a newborn photographer, I decided to "close" down the studio for a couple days to deep clean my props and space. Because I work with a variety of materials and textures, while I deep clean the studio this week end, I want to make sure I handle the props carefully. In an effort to ensure I do a thorough job, I reached out to some of my vendors, and asked for their advice in disinfecting, sanitizing and handling their beautiful pieces. I'm including their suggestions, and links to their products, so you can check them out yourself.
Sandra Love- up-cycled creative pieces
I've been working with Sandra for several years now. She has a knack for getting just the right look to those creative pieces I have like the Big Bird hat and Dinosaur outfit. Sandra said
Sewn items with no glued on embellishments may be washed on cold and air dried, make sure all strings and things that could come undone or get lost are secured. Hot glued things cannot be washed so Lysol would be my best suggestion
Puddy Pad Designs- Felted wigs, lovies, and pieces
One of my most frequented vendors is Puddy Pad Designs. Chelsie has helped me create all of my bad baby villain projects. I love the texture felted pieces offer. In regards to cleaning her items she said
Wool is naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial. This is why it’s a good choice for socks, shoes, and gloves. It is also naturally water resistant and inflammable! That being said, I do think it is a good idea to occasionally disinfect the stuffies especially using a quick disinfectant spray. I would use something natural (Mrs Meyers maybe?) and be careful of scents. This is something really good to think about right now
The hats could definitely take more intense measures (aside from the wigs or hats with a lot of added embellishments). You could soak them in a warm bath of soapy water, rinse them, squeeze out the excess water, and allow them to air dry. I think I’d stick with a quick spritz.
I was introduced to No. 2 Willow lane by my good friend Carrie Carpunky Photography in Alton, IL. They create adorable newborn and sitter props. My personal collection includes a frequently used army hat and baseball uniform. Amy and Jen said
Hand wash (or gentle cycle) as usual - but adding in 1 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle (or process if hand washing) to kill bacteria. Lay flat to dry.
Darling Desirae- photo prop shop- custom outfits and pieces
Laury Kay has been a great creative to work with. She makes the most adorable custom pieces for my sessions. She said
With fabrics, there are a couple of ways to sterilize them, there are sterilizing fabric detergents that the clothes could be soaked in and then hand washed and laid flat to dry. You could spray the piece with lysol, or the way that I recommend is a shot of steam, steam will sanitize the piece up to 99.8%!
3 Strands Photography props- outfits, wraps, bows, caps, and layers
Berta is a talented creative who specializing in unique hand made props for photographers. I love the vintage and unique looks her props offer. My personal favorite pieces are her rompers like the buffalo plaid one in the images. She said
For clothing pieces and layers hand-wash or machine wash in a mesh bag on delicate cycle. For stuffies or head-wear, disinfecting spray and dryer in a mesh bag on high heat to kill germs
The Golden Stitch Prop Shoppe- Wraps, headbands, and bows
Michelle offers a variety of wraps, headbands, hats, and other items for photographers. My personal favorite is the matching teal and dark magenta wraps I used for a twin image. She said
All of my fabrics can be machine washed. Headbands are a little more difficult to sanitize. I think I’d test Lysol on one to see if it affects the color or materials before doing it on all. I think proper hand washing prior to handling (which obviously happens before handling baby) is the safest route.