It's been a while since I touched on my Posing for Photos tutorial. Earlier posts:
Part 1: Some Introductory Thoughts
Part 2: Arch Your Back
Part 3: Keeping Your Chin Level
For this part, I will discuss prop use.
A lot of people bring props for their engagement shoots, which is a really great thing. Sometimes, though, it seems like the people getting their photos taken get lost behind the prop itself, like the photo becomes about the prop and not the people. This is certainly ok, but if if you find that you're constantly hiding behind your props, it's time to change how you're using them.
For example, if a lot of your photos are you holding out items in front of you while you're kissing or using a balloon to do cute things to get you through the shoot, you may be relying too heavily on your props. It's easy to get get caught up in the artsy engagement-blog shoot idea, but you and your families will want to see how great YOU looked at the end of the day.
Instead, bring something important to you or the message you’re trying to convey. For our engagement shoot, Dr. Light and I went to a pumpkin patch/corn field, and that really set the tone.
We held pumpkins in a few of our shots, and love the way it turned out. It’s an automatic scene-setter, and can help you interact more comfortably with your environment. The pumpkins didn't take the place of the most important part of the shoot - the couple - but they did give us something to help get in the photo shoot mood.
You can even consider a prop of a glass of wine if you’re doing a picnic shoot, or get a broom for the lady and a cigar for the man if you’re doing a retro Mad Men-esque type photo. (And let's face it, drinking a glass of wine can help relax you immensely!) If you get nervous in front of a camera, a small prop can sometimes be enough to help you “hide” behind something without it covering you up.
I had props for a few photoshoots that I feel made the idea come alive.
Instead of creeping around a wall looking scared, the fake rifle makes my character look aggressive!
The chance to play with the sword prop added a sense of whimsy to what could have just be a picture of two people in costume.
In a somewhat boudoir-esque shoot, the chance to play with texture from various fabrics and jewelry gave tattoo pics a life of their own.
1. Bring a prop for comfort, but not to remove YOU from the equation.
2. Let your props instill some emotion in the shoot or help you get into the scene.
As always, do you have any thoughts? Opinions? Other words of advice or ideas that worked to help you get more comfortable in front of the camera? Share them here!