Archive for props
Moulding that is light weight and moveable gives a background a seamless transition from a painted background to the floor.
I actually won this prop! I have used it more than I thought I would. It works great when I want to use the hard wood floor or if my background is too short to cover the floor.
The moulding I won came with brackets and magnets to stand it up but mine balances just fine. As long as the children are not too active, you don’t want it falling on them!
Just fold the canvas under and back, pull it as smooth as you can and bring it as close as possible to touch the moulding and it can look just like a wall.
Sorry, I can not tell you what company it came from. I just went and checked the back and it was not marked. But really, go to the local home store and buy an eight foot piece of big moulding and paint it or stain it any way you want. Do a few colors of wood. It is a fast way to change your look.
You don’t have to worry that you might not be a good painter or wood stainer. This moulding is not the focus of the photograph, the child is. You may shoot at a wider f-stop and not have the background in focus anyway so don’t be a perfectionist with your staining. Just get it done and get to photographing!
© 2012 Barb Gordon Photo Coach
This week a client brought in a bubble machine to use for part of the portrait session. This unit (from Target for about $10) really puts out the bubbles! I was so surprised with the volume of it could produce. I would recommend saving doing the bubbles as the grand finale of the photo session. Get some traditional portraits first then bring out the big fun. (Caution: when using indoors, bubbles do make the floor slippery.)
Who wouldn’t have fun throwing rose petals in the air? You can find all kinds of artificial rose petals in all sorts of colors in the wedding supply isle of a large hobby store. Invest in the more realistic ones. If you buy the cheap petals they photograph cheap. Since you can reuse them over and over, the price is worth it to get the more realistic kind. Picking up all of those petals is not my idea of fun but it is worth it. Fortunately this gal had a big sister to play photo assistant for me-she picked them up!
(c) 2012 Barb Gordon Photo Coach
Props should enhance the story you are telling about your subject, not take away any attention from them. Critiquing my own image here in the first photo, I would have to say that the white bear is too much. It pulls attention away from the little boy.
- Props should have texture, giving something for the light to skim over creating interest.
- Use props without a lot of strong color. Coordinate and blend colors so the image is harmonious and the subject remains the focal point of the image.
- The more simple the better. You know the saying “less is more,” it applies well to props as well.
- Make sure the prop doesn’t look cheap even if it is inexpensive. Your final photograph is only going to look as good as what you put into it. Wal-Mart quality flowers are going to make your image look like a Wal-Mart quality picture.
- Consider how many different ways can you use the prop. Is it a multi-tasker? The more use you can get out of a prop, the better your profits.
- It the propping going to look good to most people, especially your customer?
- Your budget.
Let’s discuss your budget a moment in a bit more detail. First of all don’t let any prop or background sales person convince you that their stuff will make you money. Props and backgrounds enhance an image, they can make it a successful image or not a very appealing image but the prop or background will not make you money. I have yet to have someone call me and say they are selecting me as their photographer because they want a certain background I have.
Set up a prop budget and stick to it. It is way too easy to blow your bottom line buying props and backgrounds. You are the only one who gets tired of your props because you see them all the time.
Invest wisely in quality pieces that are more timeless than trendy. Find items that will photograph really well. You will save money if the props work equally well for boys and girls.
Remember props can come from a variety of places, not only from photography prop catalogs. Create a unique look for yourself by rummaging through antique stores, garden centers, family attics, garage sales, and even the occasional dumpster diving works.
In this second photograph, the barn door piece was a free find, the antique box was a family item, and the rope was free.