Photo Props


     Posted on April 29th, 2012 by admin

A photo is enhanced with elements like Photoshop and Paint, but to get a truly authentic look to the photo, the clever and smart use of photo props does the trick.  Props, backgrounds, and stages have been used in photography for years. It sets a mood, bolsters the amazing pics, and best of all, it allows photographers and those in the picture to “let loose”.  Taking photos doesn’t have to be a drab process. It should be fun for everyone involved. There are many things that can be used as photo props – and under any scenario.

Why Photo Props

While there are still natural backdrops those can’t be relied on to be a long-term solution. Props add an extra creative touch to the photo and it allows photographers to have other options has far as snapping photos.  The natural setting only goes so far but that doesn’t mean photographers can’t use props in those settings Props do not have to be manmade or bought from the store.  Props are everywhere – it just takes the creative mind to decide what can be used as a prop.

What Can Be Used as Photo Props

Just about anything that comes to mind.  There are painted boxes, drapes, curtains, doors, old cars and trucks, fire hydrants – just about anything anyone can think of.  Props come in all sizes and shapes.  A good photographer can blend aspects of natural scenery with props and not give the illusion that a manmade prop is in use.  It takes years of practice for this to happen, however.  Some seasoned photographers may not even get the concept down.

Backdrops of any kind can be used as photo props but those are typically reserved for fun shoots.  Backgrounds can consist of mountains, castles, etc. The cleanliness of the props is an important part of the prop as well.

Additions with Photoshops

Photographs were meant to be manipulated on the one sense – and on the other sense – to be captured in its natural life.  For those photographs that are meant to be captured in a natural life they should not be manipulated or transformed to fit any agenda. It should be left alone as is.  Photographs that are meant to be fun should be made to have as much fun as possible. This is why software like Photoshop was made available. This in its own right can be seen as a prop.  Make it fun and special – in your own way.  The one lasting element people have in their homes are photographs. They capture something that would otherwise be gone. In this regard, have fun with it!

Props and Backgrounds

     Posted on March 1st, 2012 by admin

Props and backgrounds have a symbiotic relationship with the environment and other equipment that surrounds them.  Preferably, a room at least 20 feet long and 10 feet wide is desired.  High ceilings and low external lighting also make all the difference in the world.  If you are wondering, this outfit is what you will find in most residential basements.  Square your room off as well as covering any fireplaces, alcoves, book nooks and the like.  Finally, a plain white paint that is non-reflective works best with lighting that you will be using.

After choosing an area, it will be time to bring in the props.  Those wont be the only things though.  One must take into account that there is a wide range of equipment involved to bring the scene and props to life.  Some props will require electrical sources as well as the lighting as battery chargers.  A room designed with staggered outlets for power provides the most opportunity for a change of scenery if needed.  Consultation with an electrician may be in order to avoid any potential overloads and subsequent safety hazards.

Finally, a few words on handmade props are in order.  Anyone with any skill in crafts and arts might consider making there own props as this will save quite a bit of money.  A knack for carpentry can be especially handy as you might decide to build your own furniture or create your own backdrops.  Your old children’s toys could easily be refurbished into suitable props.  Any work that you might put in developing a prop for a single use is not time wasted as long as you adhere to the concept of creating items that are reusable.  Remember too that items picked up from the hobby store or old items that have been overused are easily spruced up to allow them a whole new life in your studio.

Shopping for Props

     Posted on February 5th, 2012 by admin

When venturing out into the secondhand or homemade markets, a few things are important to keep in consideration.  Safety is a big concern to many people, and parents are at the top of the list.  Toys and furniture, backdrops and other props must all be safe and tailored to the individual in the pose.  For instance, furniture should be child sized if an infant or toddler is involved.  A child should be able to put both feet securely on a support for a prop such as a table is used.  Backdrops must be secured to keep wandering children from pulling them down, causing a safety hazard.

Cleanliness and condition are important as well.  Unless a shot calls for something different, it is best to make sure props are purchased and maintained in a clean and usable condition.  Any issue with the state of repair should be resolved immediately.  Painted props usually require a touch up once a year and furry items such as clothes and stuffed animals should stay clean and free of moths, dirt, and dander.

After taking care of collecting the majority of your foreground props and floor props, the completion of the studio, be it home or business, requires a selection of nice backdrops.  Most professionals recommend at least one or two good backdrops to start with, and then supplementing with cheaper ones made of single color fabrics.  The creative photographer might opt to take a plain white cloth and paint it with different designs to serve different needs.  Remember again, space is a consideration so try to collect those backdrops that will have a wide range of application and call for frequent use.

Props for All Ages

     Posted on January 2nd, 2012 by admin

A very important tool for any successful photography business is its collection of props.  Props may consist of any equipment including backgrounds, furniture, toys, and the like that are used to create a theme in a portrait or pose.  Initial investments in photography props can be substantial and the purchase of enough equipment to outfit an entire studio can be extremely expensive.  Entry-level photographers often choose to use handmade props.  Secondhand and Goodwill stores, as well as yard sales are good places to find items in a condition that are quite photogenic.  Uniqueness and beauty are just the beginning of what makes an excellent prop.

Props used in photographs tend to not only add variety and spark to a dull shot, but also help the photographer nurture and support their creative side while arranging props to complete the final scene.  It seems that there are no limits to what can be used as props, though as few guidelines will follow.  Something as simple as a cactus or living room vase may make the scene truly stunning.  The point is that you may use whatever is available to you as long as the prop supports the theme and vision you are trying to express.

A wide variety of props are a necessity to any photographer.  Especially in dealing with children, it is important to keep many different types of toy props in order to deal with children who have different interests.  In consideration of portraits, it is important to have props that are suitable for children and adults, families, props specific to gender or age, and props that tend towards neutrality.  Specialty photos such as those for the holidays may call for certain props while an engagement photo would call for others.  Some props cross boundaries and have a wide range of appeal regardless of the theme.  The simple garden column is a great example of this.

The column is not only a great generic piece, but it also saves space.  Most studios are very limited on space available and the home or private photographer even more so.  A prop that is appropriate for use in many situations and does not take up much space is a perfect tool.  In choice of props, one should focus on items that will be used very frequently with requiring storage facility rental.  A few of the more common props that every photographer and studio have are items such as benches and chairs, some floral arrangements, and a few items to add color to a shot and make the objects stand out.