Generally speaking, I like to keep it simple – solid colors, basic backdrops – so the focus of your portrait is YOU. However, sometimes telling your story in photographs might be enhanced by a well-selected prop or two.
In theater and film, a prop is any item on the set of a production other than the costumes and scenery. It especially refers to an object handled or used by actors during their performance.
For example, when I get new headshots, I like to include my camera to show that I’m a photographer. Ruth is an artist, so we photographed her with paintbrushes. Jan is a business consultant, so we photographed her with her laptop. What are the tools of your trade?
Props work for other portrait sessions, too – not just business. Aaron was photographed with his 1966 Ford Mustang (I’m first on the call list if he ever decides to sell it). Alaynna picked a pinwheel and a fake ice cream cone for her shoot. Hannah’s included Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses (the purple coordinated with the lavender stripe of her dress). Caitlin picked an umbrella (her artist handle is @pluviophon – literally translated to “sound of rain”)… and a wild daisy. What do you like?
Combining personal and professional, I recently did a branding shoot for a small business and asked each employee to bring something personal for “getting to know you” pix for their website About page and social media posts. They brought game controllers, headphones, cell phones, computer keyboards, painted pieces, pix of cakes, Bibles, kitchen tools…. Now they can create points of connection with current and potential clients – and deepen relationships that might not have otherwise been more than surface level.
I ask high school seniors to bring props not only related to their interests now – sports equipment, books, musical instruments – but their favorite childhood toy… and a photograph of themselves as a baby (yes, mom – I’m going to play that up). These props help create a connection to the past as they look to the future at this special point in their life journey.
What props might help show your story? Need someone to brainstorm with you? I’m happy to help.
Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here.