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How to Choose Props for Your Photography Shoot

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

Props can make or break a photoshoot. If you are planning on taking some pics, they will provide a unique vibe that takes your pictures to the next level.

But how do you determine which props are best? Here are some helpful tips.

Think of What Feels Natural

Once you know what type of shoot you are going for, it will get you headed in the right direction when it comes to the props you need.

For example, if you are photographing a baby, you may want to bring along toys, a blanket, cuddly stuffed animals, and other things that will make your subject feel happy and comfortable.

If you are doing a food shoot, you may want to have some utensils, bowls, and the food's packaging on the set.

If you are doing portrait photography, think about the subject you are shooting. Do they have any hobbies? If so, you may want to bring in props that make them feel at home such as a guitar, a book, or knitting tools.

Note, these objects will also give them something to do with their hands, so they don’t look awkward in photos.

A spooky shoot may require Halloween decorations and other props that conjure a haunting image.

Avoid Trends

It’s likely that your picture may look dated in a couple of years, but you don’t want to speed up the aging process. Therefore, you should stay away from integrating anything too trendy.

Take, for example, the hacky sack. Not sure what that is? Well, there’s a reason for that. These bean bag-like pieces of sports equipment had their day in the late ’80s and quickly fell off the face of the earth.

If you had taken a picture of a group of people kicking around a hacky sack, it may have looked modern for a few months but following that time period, it would just look dated. You are better off going for a classic vibe.

Size Matters

Size is an important factor in photos. For example, if you are doing mini photography, a life-size element will show how small the subjects actually are. If you are trying to show how large your subject is, putting it next to other objects will produce the effect you are going for.

You should also be aware that a larger object can overwhelm a photo and take away some of its beauty. You always want to use an object that will add to the picture and not detract from it.

Use What You Have

As a photographer, you won’t want to spend tons of money getting props for each shoot. Look around your house and in your closet to see what will come in handy.

You can also collect props bit by bit as you go. For instance, if you see something cool at the dollar store that has the potential to work in a shoot, pick it up. Eventually, you will start a collection that ensures you always have the perfect prop on hand.

You should also look at what’s around you as you shoot. A leaf, a flower, a tree, a spoon, a cufflink… anything can be integrated to take your shots to the next level.

Props can make photoshoots more fun and put your subjects at ease. Now that you know how to find the ones that work best, you are ready to get some terrific shots. Which will you be using the next time you shoot?

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