Often, yes. Sometimes it’s a bit like putting on a hat or a mask, it helps you get into character. Sometimes it can be the whole reason for a portrait session. Just because you are doing a nude or boudoir session does not mean it cannot be propped.
After 32 years of photography we have some cool things to play with. Some very unusual, so it’s always fun to watch what happens when a client seizes on one.
A prop like our life-size Champagne glass can dominate the image but still leaves room to be playful, remaining just a supporting character to our main subject.
If your image is being created as a gift, having a prop that has meaning to the recipient always adds depth.
For example, we had one client whose husband loved power ties. She brought all of them along. We draped her body from neck to thigh in them, combined with a wicked smile, and it’s the perfect gift.
A prop like a hat can be pulled down to reveal just the lips in a seductive smile. Wearing nothing but the hat, your image becomes a mystery.
Props can ignite the fun and playfulness of the woman in the image. We just bought a big steampunk gun. Eyes light up when it’s seen by girls that love it, and it transforms the energy of the session.
One girl, just engaged, brought along printouts of all her fiancé’s love letters, which we scattered about her as she sat, nude, typing up a love letter herself.
So props become something to engage with while you pose, and perhaps forget about the camera. It becomes something to interact with and enhance your personality.
What do you think? Do you have something that would be a perfect prop for a session? Do you think a prop could add more depth to your images? Make your session easier to do? Let me know, I am curious.