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Should you bring props to your portrait or branding session?

My goal as a photographer is to capture you and your personality on camera. This can be done through encouraging genuine emotion throughout the session, but I also find it is fun and sometimes necessary to incorporate props to fully capture all of you and your unique vision.

Beyond telling a story, props can help create a mood or theme within a series of photographs. They are also great for branding sessions, especially if you want to highlight a product or your profession through imagery! Some common props are sunglasses, a laptop, notebook, your pet, or any tools you want to highlight for your business. They can also include a blanket to sit on, sentimental items, and more. Flowers all welcome on all photo shoots!


Family Session with baby's favorite book
Family Session with baby's favorite book

While props are not the main focus of photos, it can be helpful if young children have favorite items to play with during the session and highlight important childhood or family items. Feel free to bring a coordinating blanket & any favorites your kiddos might have. (Leave any favorite items hidden in a bag to pull out later in the session!) Consider doing an activity together for part of the session – play a game, drink Starbucks, eat ice cream, read books, have a picnic, blow bubbles or something that you love doing together.

 

What Kind of Props Should I Bring?

Different props are great for different types of sessions.

Senior Portrait Session with Golf Club
Senior Portrait Session with Golf Club
 

For a couple's session, including engagement, anniversary or even a wedding, here are a few of my favorite ideas. Think of things that add meaning to the situation, but are eye catching in the photos.

  • Do you enjoy listening to music together, reading books aloud, hiking, movies? Think about mutual interests and bring something that fits along those lines. A guitar or other musical instrument, books that you enjoy, your dogs or other pets.

  • Romance, think of things like the first gift from your significant other, the bottle of wine you shared on your first date that you saved, love letters that you wrote, sweet text messages you saved.

  • Get Creative, check out Michaels or Joanns and pick up wooden letters for your names, or spell out your last name, a small chalkboard that you can write on the wedding date, or Mr and Mrs, or last name, photo frames that you can use for a unique pose, a photo of your families to add to the photo that is being taken of you two. Sidewalk chalk is always fun.

Wedding Elopement Session at Summit Hotel
Wedding Elopement Session at Summit Hotel

For the Family photo session, props can be a bit trickier, but almost more meaningful in some ways because you know exactly what the child does love and that can be included into the photo.

  • Bring your child's lovey. Always a favorite, always classic and a great memory, the child will always remember their lovey for a lifetime and its great to have some photos memorializing that. Plus, a lovey always makes a child more comfortable.

  • Blankets and anything from the child's room, quilts or chairs or books. All great for a prop.

  • Wagons or bikes, anything that is fun for the child to play with will produce great pics. The trick is getting the child to play with the toy and look up at the camera. Sidewalk Chalk to write names, ages, dates, etc.

Toddler Portrait Session with Bubbles
Toddler Portrait Session with Bubbles
 

TIPS FOR USING PROPS IN YOUR NEXT PHOTO SHOOT


There are so many great props to include into your photo shoot. Having your children holding coordinating flowers for a Spring or Summer shoot can really set off a photo! Love sports?


Here are a few tips for ways to incorporate props in your next photo session to make your images really shine!

 

Clothing: Scarves, Hats, Blankets, T-shirts (i.e. sports team or school logo), Jewelry (heir looms, engagement ring, etc.), Cap & gown

Senior Portrait Session at Eden Park
Senior Portrait Session at Eden Park

Florals: Bouquet, Boutonniere, Floral accents

Senior smelling flowers during session
Senior smelling flowers during session

Food: Wine/Champagne, Pizza, Picnic basket, Cake, Cookies, Ice cream, Cooking/baking items (i.e. indoor kitchen session)

Ring Shot during Engagement Session
Ring Shot during Engagement Session

Celebratory: Holiday Decorations (Christmas, Halloween, 4th Of July, etc.), Sparklers, Smoke bombs, Birthday Items, Balloons, Bubbles

Wedding Couple kissing in between fireworks
Wedding Couple kissing in between fireworks

Pets/animals:

Family Portrait Session with pets
Family Portrait Session with pets

Miscellaneous: Sports gear (i.e. soccer ball, lacrosse stick, tennis racket, etc.), Baby items (i.e. stuffed animal, pacifier, etc.), Vehicles (i.e. car, truck, antique vehicle), Books, Stethoscope, Camera, Paints, musical instrument

Senior Session with Piano
Senior Session with Piano

The session is about you. Props add a fun element to photos, but they shouldn’t be distracting. Whether you visit our Houston or New York photography studio, our highest priority is to capture photos of you that will last a lifetime. Props are a fun way to make you feel more comfortable and have more fun, but they’re not the most important part of the photo. You are!


Need help? Just ask:

I am here to help in any way that you may need, from helping with wardrobe choices, or deciding between whether or not to bring your child's lovey. I want to make this session awesome for you, and I love getting involved in all the details. So if you have a question about anything, please don't hesitate to ask. Interested in booking a portrait session? Click on the image below to be redirected to my website to learn more about my simplified process or to book and get started!




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