Props to the props…………..
What are the things that I covet the most in making my images? The latest camera bodies? Lenses? 600W lights?
I don’t lust after the latest gear (one thousand apologies to the camera companies).
I was walking around The Photography Show at the NEC last year thinking this place is desperately missing a theatrical prop stand! It would make an absolute killing.
Don’t get me wrong now………there is a certain amount of gear necessary to make the kind of images I create, but I’ll tell you now that I spend infinitely more time researching and tracking down props and styling items to use in my shoots than I do salivating over fast (expensive) glass for example.
Okay let me break it down.
I’ve got some gear. It’s been accrued over a period of about 10 years. You might be surprised to learn though that some of the most useful gear I own comes in the shape of a C stand with a boom arm and even cheap £5 cables that allow me to tether my camera to the computer during shoots. Owning the very best camera body and lenses is not a magic ticket to making better images………..
So what about props?
First and foremost, props feed my creative psyche and really help in establishing my concept and mood for the shoot. Even from an early stage, a prop might give me a title for the set and even ideas on how I’m going to edit the final images. Sometimes before I’ve even sourced a model to help bring it to life!
It really helps me to immerse myself in the theme.
If you don’t already use it then I’d recommend Pinterest as a great free resource for shoot planning and creating moodboards.
This ruff collar I’ve used in a few shoots to date. My mum made it! Just a few pounds to buy the ribbon and I’m sure you’ll agree it looks fantastic. Those gloves, £25 off eBay have been worth their weight in gold.
Would you agree that Eloise (above) looks like she’s fully engaged and in character? Something I noticed from a very early stage in photographing portraits is that a prop can truly help your model to embrace and own the theme. It’s a total no brainer for me.
Don’t move or the cuddly toy (from my Daughter’s room) get’s it……………….The rather dangerous looking weapon belonged to her Great Grandad. See where I’m going with this? Great props are readily available and with a little imagination you can easily incorporate them into your shoots.
Props help to tell a story……..to sell a concept.
I found that chain in a car park!
Hopefully you all have a new found appreciation for the humble prop……………..
Thanks for reading.