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Are props a good idea?

Props can add a fun and personal touch to your photos. But it's important to choose them wisely, so they don't detract from the focus of the session; which is you and your loved ones.

I think props can also be a little overwhelming. You only need to jump onto Pinterest to see the huge array of items that can be used during sessions. Again, I have to come back to the same thing, as I do in so many of my blogs; this is about telling YOUR story. So only include things that are important, a great way to have fun (and not arguments) and things that you won't mind having in the photo for years to come.

Couples photography session, Kent.

Here are some props to consider bringing to your session:

  1. Blankets or throws - These are a great way to add a cosy bit of texture and colour to your photos. But more importantly, give us an excuse for everyone to get really close and create some beautiful love filled and intimate portraits.

  2. Books - Do you have a favourite book that has been read over and over and over again? Would this work during your session? Could we sit to have a read and change the tempo of our time together? Would a book be a good idea to get one of the children to read to the others? If there is a love of books and reading, this can be a really nice little part of your session.

  3. Toys - If you have young children, bringing along a few of their favourite toys can be a great way to keep them entertained and capture some innocent and candid moments. Although, this being said, if the little ones are too attached and would then be upset if they are put away for part of the shoot, then you may need to consider who comes along to play.

  4. Sports equipment - Depending on our location, it might be a great idea to bring along a ball or a frisbee. These are great for action shots and give us a great opportunity to get everyone really relaxed. There's nothing quite like a little competitive spirit to bring photos to life.

  5. Musical instruments - Again, depending on our location, if anyone plays a musical instrument, consider bringing it along for some unique and memorable photos. It maybe a great occasion for a little outdoor musical interlude and create moments unique to your families story.

  6. Pets - If you have a furry family member, don't forget to bring them along! Pets can add an extra layer of personality to your photos and they are definitely an important part of the family. Again please, consider the location and the behaviour of your dog/s. They will need to stick with us. We certainly don't want any family members going off on a hike to retrieve the dog from a far flung field.

My sessions tend to involve a lot of moving around and walking, and having to lug huge bags of props around disturbs the spontaneity of the session. If you have any ideas, drop me a line and we can discuss to make sure it fits within the overall plan for your session.

Remember, the focus should be on capturing the unique personalities and connections of your loved ones, so props should be used to enhance this rather than detract from it.

Family portrait in woodland den, Sussex.

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