I’m sometimes asked by potential clients about what props that I include in a session, or if there are any props that they should bring. That’s kind of a complicated question and for me, depends on how you define “props.”
My gut response is that I don’t do props. But to me, a prop is something fake or staged for a photo. So what I mean when I say that I don’t include props in a session, is that I don’t show up with a wagon full of cutesy stuff to include in your family photos. I don’t create an elaborate scene of decor or other items. I prefer, generally, for people to be the main focus of a photo, and even for my studio type work (like Santa sessions) I prefer the backdrop to be simple and minimal.
However, I do love to include YOUR stuff in photos. The end result may be the same to someone who just looks at the photos as an outsider, but to me, this is a very important distinction.
One question I ask clients when they book a family session with me, is for them to tell me about some things that are valuable to their family. The reason I ask this is that I like to include MEANINGFUL objects in family session photos. Nothing that I bring is going to be meaningful to you. I could buy a bunch of brand new cute stuffed animals. But I’d rather include your daughters well loved ones. I love including books in photos, but only if they are books important to your family. I do bring some quilts to each session to use if we need them, but if you have one that grandma made, I’d much rather use that.
I fell in love with this family right away. I mean, they had me at Harry Potter. I do believe I could have just shot the entire session while these kids happily read their books. And I loved that they lived right next to Henry Horton Park. What an amazing back yard!! This is the place where they take lots of walks together as a family, so it means so much more to look at these photos of them together, because it captures their lives as they really are. What about you? What are the things (or places) that are really important to your family? Have you ever thought about including them in photos, either your personal photos that you take or ones you’ve hired a professional to take?