If you have ever worked with us before, you may already know that we are not the type of studio that keeps a number of props on hand for sessions; our view is that props should be truly personal, not something impersonal that is used for dozens of sessions.
On the other hand, props can add interest, depth and an extra flair to your pictures. Get your children to hold coordinating flowers for a spring or summer shoot. Love sports? Then use baseball bats in your next family portrait to bring out your passion. Here are a few tips for ways to incorporate props in your next portrait session.
Avoid trends. While you might have recently seen a few portraits that incorporate a specific prop, try not to use something that will not look really dated in 20 years’ time. Classic is definitely better and there are many fun options to choose from.
Be realistic. It’s easy to go wild when thinking of a theme for your portrait session. You should decide on one that you can actually find props for. For example, if you want to use seasonal props, try and source them in that season as they’ll be easier to find and before you decide to remake your favorite movie scene, think twice about whether you’ll be able to find suitable outfits for everyone in the image.
Size matters. There are some larger props that work really well in portrait sessions such as using your grandpa's farm tractor as a background piece. However, there are some larger props that can take away from the beauty of the photograph altogether. Make sure that your prop enhances the image and doesn't detract from it.
Make it meaningful. If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or if you have a musical instrument that you treasure, try and incorporate it into your portraits. This way your images will have more meaning to you and your family.
Use what you have. Make the current season work to your advantage by using what’s available. Leaves in the fall make for amazing props in portraits and don’t cost a thing.
Remember, using props can be the perfect addition to your portrait session but make sure that they don’t become the main focus.
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