Photography is a very versatile art form. You can play with different aspects like light, angle, timing and shades to present a totally different picture of the same subject. So, if you know how to manipulate these elements, there is nothing that can stop you from creating exceptional work through pictures.
But, while some aspects can effortlessly enhance your captures, others can be a tricky nut to crack. One such element is – Props.
Props can be anything. From a bouquet of flowers to your toothbrush to a coconut. Yes, anything. Feeling blanked out? Don’t worry, you are not alone.
This is why, I’m here to help you out with some wonderful ideas that will inspire you to use props in unique and creative ways.
Build a context
Every picture has a story to tell. And a photographer can create it. How? By using a speck of his imagination on some props. One of the many ways is by making a collage. Use two different but complementing photographs of props and turn them into one by adjusting their opacity. Or use many different objects and tie them up with a common theme. For example a laptop, diary, suitcase and passport in a picture can present a story of a travel blogger.
Props can also be a source of information in photographs. As they hold some amount of relatability to certain places, occupation, culture etc. Use this characteristic to be informative or specific with your photographs. All you have to do is find objects that connect on some level. This technique can be very helpful with landscape and product photography.
Add feelings with spontaneity
How do you feel after looking at a picture of a girl near an ice cream truck? Do you sense excitement and happiness? That’s how associations of a subject with props can evoke specific emotions. Nowadays, several models who are new in business use an online portfolio builder to make professional digital resumes. So, go online and choose a subject for your shoot. Once you are done deciding, let your model use a product without any instructions. It’s hit and trial but can lead to amazing results. You can also be natural with your spontaneous feeling. Capture an everyday worker with his tools, a child blowing bubbles and a dog playing with a ball.
Or, aim for a specific emotion. Use candles and roses to show romance and exaggerated differences between props to convey humor.
How about a contrast?
Props can be a great way of creating an effect of harmony as well as oddity. One the best way to give words to your pictures is by creating a contrast.
Masks can be very helpful in this aspect. For example a man wearing a mask in a crowd of people can speak volumes on a symbolic level. Similarly, a lollipop can be used to create a contrast with an old man.
You don’t necessarily have to remain on a symbolic level. Add diversity and variation to pictures with colorful props. Like balloons, confetti or cupcakes.
Let nature be an inspiration
You don’t have to be confined with your prop selection. Widen your horizon and use nature as a prop.
Water can be used as props in various ways. Employ it as a mirror to create a concept, put it in a sprayer to add a dewy effect or just make it rain, artificially.
Similarly, a beautiful rainbow as a backdrop of a portrait can add a wow factor to your photos.
Leaves are also a beautiful way to add a green effect. Also, flowers and other foliage can prove to be an excellent way of adorning your subject.
Get abstract with props
Picasso’s popularity was partly because of his abstract paintings. Take him as your inspiration and try your hand at abstract photographs. Use your props as a subject and let the camera be your paint brush. Use colorful lights, smoke or flowers and add an abstract touch by playing with camera movements, focus and exposure.
You can make it more interesting by zooming in on objects like petals, fruits, water etc. to click an amazing picture.
Change your vantage point
A very common practice in photography is to use props as a vantage point and different perspectives. And believe me they deliver amazing results.
You can click photos through props like a net railing or a colored plastic. It will give your captures a unique quality.
Also, play with perspectives by shooting from a low angle or adding depth by using a pavement or a wall as a foreground.
These are just some of the many ways in which you can mould your props. Begin your creative journey with these ideas. And then slowly progress by using your own imagination. Eventually, you will be able to use even the everyday objects for amazing photographs.
So, get your camera and start clicking.