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Saturday, July 28, 2012

31 Days of Photo Fun: Day 28... Idea: Use Props


Day 28 of our Month of Photo Fun brings an idea that is quite simple, but can be very helpful for your subject. Consider adding simple props to your images.

Often times, we find our subjects in front of our camera, feeing awkward and unsure how to stand or pose, or what to do particularly with their hands. Simple solution? Give them a prop!

Sometimes a prop can be as simple as a hat or scarf or a balloon. It's not necessarily special or unique to your client, but adds a little something to your photograph, or gives your subject something to do with her hands.

I love how Bonnie's super fun hat added class and sophistication to her portrait. Putting it on changed the mood and expressions for sure!


A prop can also give us some insight into who our subject is. Encourage your subject to bring some of her favorite props. A simple soccer ball adds a natural, sport feel to the portrait of Courtney.


A prop can also be a fun way to add something new to your portraits and also helps give your subject something to do in the photo. I love this fun portrait of Kailey. A portrait within a portrait, it also speaks to her love of music, but in a fresh, unique way.


Having Georgia sit with her sketch pad while I photographed her benefitted us in a few ways. It gave her something to do with her hands (a common challenge), it helped her retreat into something she loved and got her to forget a little bit about the camera on her, and it gave us a peek into what makes her unique and special.


A prop that is personal to your subject can be a tremendous source of comfort to her when she is being photographed. Many of us feel a little anxious and nervous in front of a camera, and having something with us can be a great way to relax a little bit.


So ask your subjects to bring their favorite props with them into the photos. You'll never know what you're going to get. I LOVE that Alec included his favorite magazine into our session. It created a very relaxed look to his photos, and helped him feel more like himself. This turned out to be one of his favorite images, as it's so "him"!


Some simple props can really add to the story you are trying to tell too. Remember to consider the location when thinking about props. The baton in her back pocket, and basketball on her hip would have surely implied the love of sports that my niece has, but taking a few minutes to drive her to the track on which she competes added that much more to the story. So worth the extra few minutes to take her there.


Have fun with your subjects and encourage them to bring their favorite props to "photo time". Or have a few of your own handy. Little hats are adorable on our babies, and a handful of balloons can light up the face of most any child. An ice cream cone, mess and all, can make for some adorable photos too!

Brainstorm some props that you can incorporate into your photos. Then be sure to share them with the rest of us here, as we can all benefit from having a few prop ideas in our bag of tricks!

Keep shooting!


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