How To Choose Props For Your Photo Session

February 5, 2022

Have you ever thought about adding props to your photo sessions? Props can add interest, depth and an extra flair to your pictures, and if used correctly, can be a timeless addition to your session.

However, it is important to be careful when choosing props for your session, especially for sessions that are not done in your own home. Here are a few tips for ways to incorporate props in your next session.

While you might have recently seen a few photos that incorporate a specific prop, try not to use something that will not look really dated in 20 years’ time. Classic is definitely better and there are many fun options to choose from. When you look back on your photo session, will you really want to see that trendy hipster accessory? Our couple below brought along love letters that they wrote to each other and had calligraphed by an artist. We love this romantic touch to their session, and we know that they will treasure those letters years from now as well!

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Be realistic

It’s easy to go wild when thinking of a theme or props that will go with it for your photo session. One tip that can help you avoid this is to actually incorporate every day items that you use or that inspire you. For example, if your child has a signature baby blanket or something their grandparents handed down to them, bring that along. Do you and your fiancé or spouse love going to the farmer’s market to pick out fresh vegetables and flowers? Then incorporate a florist-arranged bouquet or pack a picnic for your session. Before you decide to remake your favorite movie scene, think twice about how realistic it is for you to be in those outfits and acting something out. Remember, we’re not here to create a dream life for you — we’re here to document your real one! 

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Size matters

There are some larger props that work really well in photo sessions. For example, if you love going on road trips and want to incorporate a vintage car or you absolutely love horses and want those in your session, that makes sense because as we stated above, that’s realistic. It’s a part of your real life. However, there are some larger props that can take away from the beauty of the photograph altogether. Make sure that your prop enhances the photo and doesn’t detract from it. One of our sweet families brought along the stuffed fox above that ended up being their son’s favorite: it made an appearance at their maternity and newborn sessions as well! It was easy to pack and a family favorite! On the other hand, this vintage car below became our couple’s getaway car — it belongs to the bride’s grandfather!

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Make it meaningful

If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or if you have a musical instrument that you treasure, try and incorporate it into your photos. This way your pictures will have more meaning to you and your family. On the other hand, do not overload your photos with “cute objects” that you saw on Pinterest. You absolutely do not have to go out and buy all of those props that you saw in that one photo while you were scrolling at midnight (and we recommend that you don’t!). In the photo below, one of our couples incorporated blocks that their baby shower guests wrote on for their daughter. This is a wonderful example of a meaningful prop that made the perfect addition to their newborn session!

Use what you have

Make the current season work to your advantage by using what’s available. Leaves in the fall make for amazing props in photos and don’t cost a thing. In the photo below, our bride-to-be used a jar of matchbooks that her grandparents collected on travels to style their bar cart. Adding this brought a feeling of legacy in a simple object, one that is true to them (and one that probably won’t ever be replicated — not even on Pinterest)! 

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Remember, using props can be the perfect addition to your photos but make sure that they don’t become the main focus! These photos are about you, not your props! 

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