Shopping around Antique markets for props to create book covers – Part II

If you recall, at the height of summer 2021, I picked up some antique goodies at Madrid’s famous Sunday market known as “El Rastro” with the ultimate aim to create book cover props – see the original blog post.

60 Euros worth of Investment, was it worth it?

In the end I invested only about 60 euros (of which 30 Euros was just from the antique table placement mat), which may seem like a lot but as you read on you’ll see I’ve made good use of the investment (and I’m not done yet). Seven months on, in this post, I’ll discuss some further uses I’ve put towards the props and which have been accepted at Arcangel’s premium collection.

I’m also excited to share with you my latest three accepted that I created just last week. Let’s get started!

Recap – what I picked up back in Summer 2021

Total investment = 60 euros

Concepts created and accepted from the above set

From the above, the above have been accepted as of today, with the book being picked up regularly – see slideshow:

Latest batch at the fireplace

Since the pics don’t have so much use anymore, with due respect to the persons, I decided to burn them on a fireplace, which was quite dramatic as you can see below. I only had one chance for each pic so I had to make sure I got my settings and composition perfect!

Settled on settings around these

As for composition, using a tripod, placing the camera vertically I ensured there would always be enough copy space. I started with the pics of men, with the following three being accepted just yesterday.

What do you think of the final result?

What about the women?

Yes, I’ll burn them too! But I’m thinking of adding an object next to them. I have a few keys, or perhaps something else more sentimental like a necklace or ring (not sure yet), I’ll think about it…perhaps I’ll even burn the book, to be continued!

Update: Submitted this one on January 19th…

I’ll just make sure not to burn down my house 🙂

About Alex

I’m an eccentric guy, currently based in Madrid, Spain, on a quest to visit all corners of the world and capture stock images & footage, when things go back to relative normal (Spring 2022??). I’ve devoted eight years to making it as a travel photographer / videographer and freelance writer (however, had recently go back into full-time office work to make ends meet, although happy to report that it’s coming to an end soon). I hope to inspire others by showing an unique insight into a fascinating business model.

I’m proud to have written a book about my adventures which includes tips on making it as a stock travel photographer – Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography


  1. How very creative! I especially love the fire idea. – I spend a lot of time at estate sales and have lots of photos, letters and small/old items which I’ve always meant to photograph. You’ve inspired me to get back into the studio.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love what you have created Alex with the photos and the fire.
    It’s good because it’s symbolic and I notice that Arc likes symbolism.
    Paintings over the centuries have used a lot of symbolism.
    Adding objects a great idea too..keys might work well or lace with the women.


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