There are so many great photography props out there. If you don’t know where to start you can end up spending LOTS of money without much reward. I recommend starting simple. Here are a few inexpensive props that can add a nice flair to your photos.
Find a small chalk board that will fit into your camera bag and keep it there for all your photo session! One of my favorite things to do is to pull out the chalk board mid-session and ask my subjects to write something. People always come up with something meaningful to write. I’ve had people write everything from their last name, Merry Christmas, wedding date, expressive phrases, and I even had a little guy draw me a turkey (it was a few days before Thanksgiving). During almost all of my engagement and family sessions I do a series of photos where my subjects write on the board and hold up their works of art. I purchased my chalk board from my local Goodwill, but there are also tons of variations available on Etsy.
Every little kid loves bubbles! If you are having trouble getting the little ones to warm up to you, pull out a can of bubbles (or even better, a bubble gun) and there is a good chance you will get at least one real smile. I’ve also learned that some dogs like bubbles even more then children.
For some reason, putting on a pair of sun glasses gives people a little more confidence. Go to your local dollar store and purchase a half dozen of them and put them in your photo bag. I like to give my stubborn non-smiling groomsmen (yes grown men) sun glasses for the first few shots and this tends to loosen them us. They also come in handy when you have a great shot/location but everyone is squinting because they are staring into the sun.
So the whole picture frame thing may be a little overdone. However, it is so fun and if people are having fun, you get to see real similes! Just about any size picture frame will do (I bet you have some stashed around your house that you can use). Plop large frames on the ground and let the little ones crawl in and out, or have a couple hold the frame and make funny faces at each other. The sky is the limit here.
There are so many ways you can use scrabble pieces – have your subjects hold up the letters, lay them flat without any people in the photos, have your subjects blurry in the background with the letters standing up in focus, etc. So go and raid or your game closet or pick up a set from Amazon and start taking pictures!
Kristeen is an Indianapolis, IN Photographer who loves ice tea, the color purple, technology, and small children. She loves many other things in life that, though there are not many that she loves more then photography. She loves life and wants to capture every bit of it using her camera.