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Props and stuff

April 28, 2011

As a couple, you always want to define yourselves in a certain way. Most couples want some classic photos during their engagement and wedding photo shoots. They also want something to make them stand apart from every other engagement/wedding photo shoot. This is where props come in.

I personally love when couples want to be creative. I have always been drawn to engagement photos with the bride-to-be in a pretty dress and the groom-to-be in a suit and tie with a hat on. It gives the photos a little attitude. It also sets the tone for the part of the photo shoot in those clothes. It tends to be a little less classic and more CD cover.

Some couples chose to go with a theme. For example, if some of the photos are taken on a boat, they’ll go a little more nautical with their clothing choices. Now that doesn’t mean a sailor suit, but they may incorporate a lot of whites and navy blues.

Still other like to use props. I am always looking for new props to use. I recently created three “&” signs for a bride and groom to hold during some of their posed wedding photos. One was white, one was black and the last was red. I chose to give them the red “&” to hold. This was something they had never seen. I had a few people who were there comment on how creative it was. I like to use the “&” signs in engagement and wedding photos because most other photogs don’t use something like that.

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I also like props that define my subjects. I like to get to know my subjects before had so I know what they are like. That way I can prepare some of my props before hand. For example, if I have a little baby boy coming for portraits I’ll pull out a baseball and glove. If they are small I’ll get out a tiny blue chair. If I have a little girl I will pull out tutus and fairy wings. If I know a bride-to-be loves the ocean, I might bring a big sea shell for her to hold up to her ear while he groom stands on the other side talking to her through it. If a groom-to-be likes cars I may see about borrowing some classic car to take photos by. If a bride-to-be loves a vintage feel, she may put on vintage looking clothing and we’ll set up some vintage sets to pose them by. If a couples first date was at a movie theater, popcorn and clapboards are sure to be involved. If they met at camp, you can certainly believe cabins will be in the background, photos in canoes will be taken and fishing poles may be involved.

Props can add so much character to photos. Props are not always used in photos though. Each prop is usually posed with two or three times and then we move on to another pose. Just because you want something in your photos does not mean it will be in each and every one. This also means you can use a ton of different props.

I encourage each of my couple to bring their own props (of course let me know what you would like to bring first so I can plan accordingly and there are no surprises) The more the better. We probably won’t end up using everything your bring, but if you don’t bring it, we can’t use it. So chose wisely.

I encourage you to talk with your photographer. We often have props we can use. We’re also very good at helping you come up with ideas for props and themes for your photo session. I often make my own props, so if you can’t get your hands on something you’d like, I may be able to find it or make it myself.

Just because you want a prop and you don’t have it does not mean your photog must go out and buy it, that is not their responsibility, so don’t be disappointed if you can’t have a certain prop. If you want it, you have to be the one to find it.

On the prop finding note-summer is coming and yard sales are prop heaven. Keep an eye out for things you see that would make great photo props. Also check ebay and amazon. I often find good prop ideas online.

I tend to be a creative person and I have creative people in my family so we often bounce ideas off of each other and come up with props and themes we wouldn’t normally think of. Which also means I can help come up with great ideas for my clients. If they have even the smallest idea of something they may like, we can create it into something they didn’t even know they wanted but is exactly what they were looking for.

Props can add life and character to any photo shoot. Props can bring out the personality of the couple. It can set the couple apart from others. Spend some time thinking about what is important to you as a couple, what makes you stand out, what makes you unique, and what styles you like. Talk with your photog to plan your perfect shoot. They may have ideas you would never think of. The more creative you can get the better-remember, just because you use something in your photos does not mean you have to use those photos if you don’t like how it worked out. It can’t hurt to try something new or different, but if you don’t try you will never know.

My favorite clients are the ones who are willing to be creative and try things, even if they are unsure of it or don’t feel like it comes off pretty. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. If it doesn’t, that’s okay but at least you tried. Be willing to try things that seem strange, often those are the best photos. Props add a whole new dimension to your photos that would otherwise be the same as everyone elses. Creativity is one of the best thing you can bring to a photo shoot!

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