I generally like to avoid props in photo shoots. They can look really corny and dated. There are a few exceptions. Newborns. I think it’s the cutest thing ever if we put a tiny teddy bear or other little stuffed animal in the baby’s hand. I’m also OK with measuring tapes, chalkboard for the weight, wooden numbers for the year, etc. I mean, it’s a baby. They look precious no matter what. I photographed a newborn whose dad is a huge Cubs fan. So this little one had on a headband with a Cubs florette and assorted other fan gear on and around her. And it was so stinking cute. I wouldn’t want to do that with an 8-year-old. Then it’s hokey. I like to stick with upscale.

My other exception is Senior Portraits. I definitely keep props to a minimum, however, I DO want to tell the story of the graduate’s passions at that point in time. If the senior plays the ukulele (see adorable girl in photo), then I find a way to incorporate it into the shoot. It should only be the most important obsessions and not something they do occasionally or just discovered. These portraits should be about the high school years.

If you are planning a shoot of your own, think about the overall ambiance of the image and don’t clutter it up. A portrait should be in a clean environment with minimal stufff. Keep it classy, my friends.

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© Copyright Tracy Whiteside, St. Charles, IL 630-234-9506