Photography, Photography Tips and Tricks

February 23, 2018

All About Props!

Today, as the title of this post suggests, I’m talking about props!  Truth be told, I love when clients integrate props into their photos!  Today I’ll share why bringing props to your session can be a good thing.  I’ll also share some examples of my favorite props from past sessions!

Why they are great…

The first reason I love props, is that it adds a personal touch to your photos.  When I shoot weddings, I use the details to tell the behind-the-scenes story of the day.  At a regular portrait session, however, we only have a couple of hours to tell the whole story of your family!  Props help fill in the details, share more about your personalities, and help round out who you are!  Most of the time, if a client brings a personal item to the session, it’s because it holds special meaning to them. 

Props are also great because they help break up the session.  This is especially true for family sessions where kids can become tired or need a break.  Bringing a favorite toy or lovey can help relax the kids or give them something to do, and makes for great candid photos!  I use this trick all the time with my own daughter!  Her two-year-old photos almost all have her holding her special baby doll.  Having the doll there made her so much more cooperative and, since she never went anywhere without that baby, it made the images more representative of that stage of her life.  

What to bring…

The type of prop you bring is dependent on your family and they type of session you’re having.  Here are a few ideas of items you could include for various sessions:

Maternity Session:

  • Onsie
  • Ultrasound photo
  • Baby shoes
  • Baby hat
  • Book (Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, and Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman are favorites)

Props, Samantha Ludlow Photography, Syracuse photographer, maternity photos, maternity photographer, Syracuse maternity photographer, CNY photographer

Family Session

  • Matching shirts or jerseys (makes an easy outfit change, too!)
  • Favorite toy or lovey for kids
  • Bubbles!!!
  • Baseball or football (Great for relaxing in between shots and for candid images…  I tend to save the intense playing for the end of the session to decrease the risk of grass stains!)
  • Costume jewelry 
Props, Samantha Ludlow Photography, family photos, family session, family photography, Syracuse photographer, Syracuse photography, Syracuse family photographer, CNY photographer

Liz loved playing with her pearl necklace and hair bow at her family session!

Newborn Session

  • Baby hat
  • Stuffed animal
  • Hospital bracelet
  • Swaddle blanket
Props, Samantha Ludlow Photography, newborn photographer, newborn photography, fresh 48 session, newborn session, Syracuse newborn photographer, Syracuse fresh 48 photographer, CNY photographer

Gracie’s parents brought coordinating swaddle blankets to the hospital, which gave a more cohesive look to the images! They also brought a variety of bows and hats! Newborn sessions are one of my favorite times to use the letter board as well!

In addition to bringing your own items, I also have a few props that I bring with me to each session.  These include:

  • Letter board:  I’ve used this for everything from “Save the Dates” to birth announcements!
  • Wooden letter blocks
  • Guess How Much I Love You book
  • Bubbles
Props, Samantha Ludlow Photography, children's photography, Syracuse photographer, Syracuse photography, CNY photographer

There’s the baby doll I mentioned!

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