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From the author of Props


I consider a prop to be anything that adds to the photograph. Your model may hold, sit on, be surrounded by, or look at props. Props aren't the main subject of the image, but they should add to the photograph. They set the stage, solidify the surroundings, add color to the scene—props can also give your model (if a person) something to interact with during the shoot. Using props can help people to act much more natural during a photo session. For example, giving a little girl her favorite doll might create smiles and help focus her attention to bring out and portray her true self in the photo.

Props don't have to be complicated, and you don't want them to take away from or compromise the concept of the image you're trying to achieve. In general, your props don't need to be fancy or expensive—sometimes the simple addition of a single flower can add life and color to an otherwise average photo, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4 The sunflower in this little girl's hand added a colorful element to this photo, and it gave her something to hold and interact with during the shoot.

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