Ideas for Photo Props

Written by kristy barkan
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Ideas for Photo Props
Photo props can infuse an image with meaning. (girl taking spring flower image by Vasiliy Koval from

Incorporating interesting props into your photos can make the difference between lacklustre images and really special portraits. Professional and hobbyist photographers alike consider props an important element in composing appealing photographs. Be aware of the types of accessories you can work into your photos; having ready ideas for props will help ensure that your images are always compelling.

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Picket Fencing

If you have access to whitewashed or rustic-looking picket fencing, it can serve as a versatile photo prop. Your subjects can be instructed to climb it, sit on it or simply lean up against it. If you have multiple people in one photo, having them sitting or standing at different levels will result in a more interesting composition.

Ideas for Photo Props
fence (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Uncommon Seats

Providing an interesting object for your subject to sit or lean on can add visual interest to a photo. Some ideas for unique seat props include bar stools, logs, picnic benches, hammocks, beanbag chairs, concrete blocks, a climbing rope or jungle gym, a soft rug, toy vehicles, a sandy area or sandbox, wicker baskets or a laundry basket.

Ideas for Photo Props
seat (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)


Incorporating costumes can inject a bit of fun into your photos. Holiday-themed costumes are certainly an option during the holiday season, but historical or fantasy costumes can be used as well. You can add to the drama of the photo by placing your subject with related props or scenery such as old books, weapons or a forest backdrop.

Ideas for Photo Props
props (Richard Lewisohn/Digital Vision/Getty Images)


Adding fresh flowers to your photos can infuse them with romance. They can be placed in vases, woven through fencing, held by your photo subject, tucked into your subject's hair, splayed out on the floor or broken up into petals and strewn across a person or an area of the ground. If you instruct your subject to hold the flowers, there are a variety of ways for them to interact with the bouquet: they could sniff the flowers, gaze at them, peer out from over them or pull out the petals.

Ideas for Photo Props
photos (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)


Using water in your photo shoot adds a dynamic element. If you have access to a pool, pond, river, fountain or waterfall, you can pose your subjects in front of or in the water. You can also use water as a photo prop by having your subject splash or play in a small container of water. Two or more people in a photograph can splash each other or have a water-balloon fight.

Ideas for Photo Props
water (Darrin Klimek/Lifesize/Getty Images)

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