Wisdom Wednesday – Using Props In Portrait Photography

In this week’s Wisdom Wednesday we will be covering how to properly implement Props into your portrait photography!

Props are the bane of many photographers’ existence! What were once a staple to portrait photography, props are now seen as a cheesy distraction for most. The days of the varsity football player throwing his letterman over his shoulder or the businessman flaunting his briefcase may be over, but we assure you that props still have a place in professional contemporary photography!

The objects used in a picture should be very convincing for the viewer in understanding the meaning for which it was used either by the subject or the Photographer. There has to be a reason for the object to appear in the frame.

From the Words of Art Ketchum, “Shooting a portrait is easy when you plan how you will shoot the person you intend to photograph. I find using props keeps your creativity fresh and exciting.”

Let’s go over some of our top tips for making the best use of your props.

1Use Props to add color:

Using props can be a fantastic way of controlling the colors of your photography!

You can use a prop that is a contrasting color to your background in order to draw more focus into your subject. You can also use a prop that has a similar color to the background as a way of tying everything in the photo together.

So be sure to take the color of the prop into consideration when deciding if it will be a good addition to your photograph!


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Backdrop: Baseball Field

2Make Sure the Prop is Natural:

There is nothing worse in photography than a forced prop!

When envisioning your final vision of a shot, be sure that the prop you are thinking of using feels natural and makes sense to the scene.


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3Use Props to Enhance the Character:

Every subject you shoot will have their own persona, and a great way to embrace this is to give them a prop that enhances this fact.

These objects can allow the viewer to understand the subject’s personality and mood in a subtle way. I say subtle because long gone are the days of your subject performing their hobby/job in a boisterous photograph.

These character developing props should really be a simple homage to who they are as a person!


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4Use a Personal Prop:

It is awesome as a photographer to have props at the ready for your clients, but sometimes it can work best if they bring their own!

Try asking your client if they would like bringing something personal and meaning to the shoot. Perhaps a wedding ring, favorite book, or childhood stuffed animal.

These personal objects will make the subject feel at ease as well as showcasing something that they love.

Be sure to focus on how these objects are related to the person and emphasize their loving connection.


5Keep it Simple:

Adding a prop to the equation can make an already busy photo even worse.

If you are going to use a prop, be sure to keep everything else pretty simple in order to not overwhelm the eye. You can also consider making the prop itself a muted color as to not take away from the subject.




Now that We have gone over some key tips for using props i your photography, lets look at some of the props that we offer!

Newborn/Baby Props:

Seating Props:

Senior Props:


As always, we hope this installment of Wisdom Wednesdays was insightful and can propel your photography career to new heights! So get out there and don’t be afraid to take advantage of props in your next shoot!

We look forward to hearing your feedback so don’t be afraid to comment off to the right!


Until Next Time

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