Pixels #14

The Joy of Props

You’ll hear a lot of photographers talk about the importance of planning.  And I’m not going to argue.  There are many times when I’ve planned through the photo I want to take to get the result I wanted.   When I’ve worked with models I always have a few ideas in my head and know what it is I’m going after.  It is important to plan these kind of shoots.

Obviously there are some shoots you can’t plan, anything that involves children or animals typically, also even with a plan of shots at a wedding there is nearly always something unexpected that happens and you have to be ready  – eyes and ears everywhere so don’t miss opportunity.  Sometimes these are the photos that make the set that little bit more special and personal.

When I work with a model I’ll often stray from the path.  In my last blog I spoke about my love of props.    From hats to bits of material, musical instruments to kitchen implements – nothing is out of bounds when it comes to props.  As I work through the set ideas it’s always fun to throw a few props over to the person on the other side and say “lets see what happens”.

tom gribby

Sometimes it works and sometimes you’ll look at the end result and just think “What the hell was I thinking?”, but more often than not there’s a shot in there that strikes you as something a bit more special than the others, or at the very least just a bit more fun than others.

As i say, nothing is out of bounds.  If it can be picked up and moved, held, sat on, worn, eaten etc, it can be used in a photo.

So, here’s a few examples that include a whistle, an umbrella, a vase of flowers,

I’ve used foil, bubble-wrap, bits of paper, trivets, plastic spoons – anything I can find I’ll try and use in some way.

The photo of the man with the whistle was a portrait of friend.  He didn’t want his face shown in all of the photos, and this is something to remember.  A portrait of someone doesn’t have to show their face.  There are other ways of telling people something about someone.

Don’t be scared to just try something, what’s the worst thing that can happen?  You might not get a photo you like?  Well, try again with something else.  Exhaust every possibility you can think of for using an item, you’ll probably get something.  Something a bit different to other photos and then you’ll realise it was worth the effort and the time and the hours of fun.Richard Glen IMG_4198 small

Paul IMG_2213 small

Trust me, once you start you’ll be looking at objects around you in different ways and you’ll realise everything has the chance to open up a whole new world of photos to you.

Have fun! x


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