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Props in Portraits

Props in portrait photography

We at Chennai portrait photography, focus more on subjects than the props and other peripherals. We also appropriate the use of props and backgrounds which complement the subject and not to dominate them.

Props (properties) need to be just props. We believe that they cannot take the importance away from the person in the photo. Showing a colourful prop like an umbrella in full could steal attention on to it. Props should be less attention seeking and can be shown cropped. It is not again mandatory to use props for all portraits.

Props are sometimes used for a comfortable pose – when you don’t know what to do with your hands in a photo, you can hold something like flowers, toys, balloons, mobile phones, a feather and so on.

Props are also used to communicate with the person indirectly – a photographer can hold a camera, a musician a guitar, a doctor a stethoscope, a biker a helmet and so on.

Props are used to enhance the beauty of the picture composition. They may be used to fill a space of the frame – a chair or a part of a table or a Roman pillar could make a picture look balanced.

Props need to gel with the concept, gender, age, status of the person in the portrait and also the purpose of the photograph. For example, a portrait of a kid can have balloons and bubbles but in a couple of shoots.

Props neither should occupy a larger area in the picture nor be used in the foreground with a clear focus. A relatively out of focus property in the background with a crop could be interesting.

The bottom line is; we are shooting a portrait where props can only be a part of the image. We make it a point as not show a prop big and bold with the subject insignificantly small.