Using props or having a theme for a shoot isn’t for every photographer or client.  But when it’s done with taste and creativity, it can add a unique, interesting, and highly personalized aspect to the photographs. When my clients express interest in incorporating props in their session, I ask them to bring what is special to them so the session becomes theirs.

The couple above wanted to bring Sprinkles cupcakes to their session because it was special to them.

Tips for Incorporating Props into Photography Sessions:

  1. Ask your clients to bring anything meaningful to them. For example, a couple brought a football because when they first met, he had nervously played with it the entire time.
  2. If there’s a vision, such as a theme or a location to be showcased, then collectively think of what you can each bring to make it come to life.  The more you assist with the props, the more you have control over the creativity and the final product.  You can have the shoot revolve around an activity they enjoy doing together – drinking wine on a picnic blanket or riding beach cruisers.
  3. If you aren’t crafty or your time is limited, enlist the help of an event designer and incorporate her vision (and fee) into your pricing.
  4. If you happen to own the prop and want to reuse it for multiple shoots, avoid recognition by spray painting it, cutting it, or shredding it so it looks different for each session.
  5. If you own the prop, consider recouping some costs by sell it on Facebook photography prop exchange groups, Craigslist, or yard sales.
  6. If you can, borrow them so there is no cost to you.
For example, here is a ladder in it’s original purchased (pink) state:

Here it is again with some spray paint and turned into a ladder Christmas tree:


We’re all photographers because we love it and we have fun with it. This extends beyond personal satisfaction, as our job is to make our clients feel the same way about the entire experience. Bringing in props can help with this process and the results can be great.