The Importance of Using Props in Photography

You might agree with this: props in photography can either enhance or destroy the beauty of a photo. Well, that depends on the types of props and how they are used so other people can appreciate the photo. A lot of photographers – both amateurs and professionals- know that accessories can be utilized to bring out the beauty of a subject in a photograph.


Why Use Props?

Typically, the main role of the props in photography is to add character, drama, interest to a photo, and highlight a context to the subject’s story. For instance, conceptual photography -which is a kind of photography- can’t be successful without props, because they are required to turn an abstract concept into an enticing image. The use of props offers a lot of advantages. For example, if you’re making portraits for a group of people, you can add a fantastic amount of energy, passion, and life into the image with the help of props.

Studying carefully what your subject will be is to be able to finalize what kind of props will be useful for the photo. With props, you can produce fun photos, be fanciful, be formal, or be serious – all with the selected props. You can also use a perfect location to add great effects and evoke feelings to the photo. You can capture your subject with the beauty of a landscape, wildlife, a meadow or garden, and other locations.


Various Props for Specific Photography Choices

As previously mentioned, the kind of props that you can use will depend on the type of photography and subject that you will be focusing on.

Props for Portrait Photography. Do you want to make exciting portraits using props? There are actually a lot of things that can be added in a portrait. Any object with which you can interact to make your photos more inline to what you want to communicate can be a prop. It is important to remember that props are objects that are not the main subject of the photo but they rather complement the principal subject in the composition.

Another advantage of props is that they can help the models to feel more comfortable in front of the camera because they have something to interact with. This is very helpful, especially in portraiture.

Props in Landscape Photography. Props can also be found in landscape photography to highlight interest to the foreground. For instance, you can add a little tent in a campsite. The starry sky will also make the entire photo more expressive.


What Should You Look For When Using Props?

Although props can be very helpful in creating a photographic masterpiece, still others are hesitant to use them. This is because today’s technology offers various editing tools and software that can automatically add effects and props to the photo. However, it’s still best for every photographer to apply their creative skills and imagination with the help of some props.

Discussed below are some tips on how you can be creative with some props to be used for your images.

#1 Go with classic props, but some fresh ideas. Do know that old film cameras can be one of the various classic props in photography? Get a perfect setup with the classic props and after the first shot, experiment more with poses, or you can also infuse other excellent props during the photo shoot.

#2 Craft or build your own props. You can also use your creativity and craftsmanship by building your own props. This will, for sure come up with uniqueness and fresh ideas. Let’s say you wanted to highlight your kid’s adventures, you can use balloons or origami of various things and toys. If you’re interested in making origami or other crafts, you can refer to the countless video tutorials online.

#3 Get inspiration for your props in the movies. Do you have a favourite film and saw something significant from it? For instance, you can get some creative ideas and inspiration from the movies ‘Up’ and ‘Inside Out”. Balloons, coloured and glistening balls, fields, and bowties are just some you can try including as props in photography. They will surely add colours, meaning, and beauty to the photos. It will also be better if you can choose and use props that are long-lasting, affordable, and colourful.

#4 Prep your props. Prepping some classic props can create an original effect. For example, books can be used for a still life scene to get a more dramatic photo. To make props more interesting, you can sprinkle a bit of powder on the pages of a book and have the subject or the model to blow off the dust. Capturing that moment will surely create an amazing effect. As a photographer, you can also experiment with some other techniques with the props.

#5 Be imaginative and crazy using a conceptual photograph. As for most photographers, conceptual photography is one of the most amazing channels to learn to get creative with props. In conceptual photography, your main subject will be your concept, and the main goal is to turn amazing photographs using your props.

When doing conceptual photography, do not just focus on the photography factor itself, instead allow your ideas and insights to naturally apply them in your daily living.

#5 Never get tired of looking for your props. Aside from getting creative with the props to be used, you also need to be smart in seeking and finding interesting props. You can go to places such as flea markets or shops offering craft supplies, clothes,  kitchen items, and others. Once you have your props, use them in an unconventional and new way.


Taking photographs is not as simple as clicking the shutter of your camera or having the subject seen in its lens; it’s about capturing the beauty in every shot and make the photos paint a thousand words.