15 Household Items That Make Perfect Props For Photographing People

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When you want a little pop of creativity into a your photography, a fun way to do that is by including a prop or two into the composition. Rather than investing a bunch of money into props you may only use once or twice, start by looking around your own hose for interesting things that might work for your next shoot.

Here’s some examples to give you a little inspiration.

1. Windows

Not only are windows great for lighting, they can also be incorporated into the composition to make the portrait even stronger.
Look! There's an angel near the window!

2. Stuffed Animals

You may want to ask your client’s parents if they could bring along their child’s favorite stuffed animal or have a few nicer ones handy to use during your shoot. Plus, if you’re just meeting the child for the first time and they’re a little on the shy side, having their beloved stuffed animal with them can make them feel more comfortable and relaxed while having their portrait taken.

Manon 2 : A little girl's story 1

3. Chalkboards

Children playing at a chalkboard can help get you some great candid shots. You can also use chalkboards to include handwritten messages in the portrait–a trend that’s pretty popularity among engagement shoots and baby announcements.
babies at the blackboard

4. Furniture

If you happen to have an interesting piece of furniture in your house, use it in your photography!


5. Photos

Being a photographer, it’s not unlikely you have some framed (or unframed) prints laying around and countless ways to incorporate them into a portrait.


6. Headphones

If you have a music lover, hand them a pair of headphones–or have them bring in a pair of their own.

The Composer

7. Musical Instrument

Guitar, piano, saxophone, harmonica, any kind of gear will do! Just keep in mind that it’s usually best to have something that signifies your subject’s interests when possible.


8. Mirror

Everyone has a mirror in their house and they can be great when you want to offer a different perspective or give your photo a “behind the scenes” feel to it.

Day 81

9. Camera Gear

Whether you have a vintage camera collection or a modest dslr kit, put it in front of the lens. You can use it in the background as a prop or have your subject interact with it for some creative photography inspired photos.

10. Books

Books are one of those props you can never have too many of…
For the love of books

11. Bubbles

Bubbles can make fun children and infant portraits.

12. Pets

People love their pets, why not photograph them together?
17/52 scarleth and her dog (benji)

13. Balloons

Balloons can be incorporated into portraits of people of just about all ages, just be careful when you’re bringing them around young children–if one were to pop it could startle them and put an end to the photoshoot.
Take me Away

14. Suitcases

Especially vintage suitcases with lots of character and charm…

15. Really, Just About Anything

If you’re creative enough, everything you have in your house has prop potential. Give yourself a photography challenge by having a friend pick something completely random in your house and find a way to use it as a prop!
Shadow Portraits

Again, if you’re doing a portrait session, feel free to ask your clients if they happen to have anything they might want to include in their portraits. But, don’t be afraid to give them some suggestions either–after all, you’re not just a portrait photographer, you’re a director too.

Or, if you’re doing a creative photoshoot and the set design is completely in your hands, try incoprorating props that will help you tell a story or set a certain mood.

When it comes to props, we’re only limited by our own creativity!

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Published Monday, June 20th, 2016 Pin It

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About the Author: Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is an adventure and fine art photographer based in Hawaii. When she's not climbing volcanoes or swimming with sharks, you could probably find her relaxing in a hammock with a book somewhere near the ocean.