Portraits - The Meaning of Props

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Props are items introduced into photographs that can either add something to the composition or tell us more about the person featured, perhaps providing information about a job or a hobby. Used successfully, props should enhance the picture without overpowering the person. In their simplest form props might be an addition to the clothes someone is wearing - a hat or a flower for instance. Sometimes a bunch of flowers placed in a vase near the subject will give a certain 'lift' to the shot. It could be that by placing people against a backdrop of their work the item they produce or create becomes a prop in itself.

In a working environment there are endless possibilities for adding available props to a shot. These may take the form of a background or may completely surround the subject. If the people featured are in an active position, do not pull back so far that they become insignificant. In situations like this it is possible that the prop can subtly convey the atmosphere rather than becoming a visually dominating part of the picture.

For instance, if a man is involved in working with molten metal, heated in a furnace, it would be the sensation of the intense heat rather than a prominent shot of the furnace that would say far more about the atmosphere. Going in close to the man and showing the heat reflected on his brow while keeping the furnace in the background, you could create an evocative composition.

As a photographer, always look for props in the immediate situation and employ them in the same way as an imported accessory.

Willis J. Watson is a freelance writer since 2006, living in United States and he writes about his great passion...digital photography for about 4 years. If you want to read more informations about Digital Sports Photography and also read more reviews about Youth Sports Photography, you can check out his websites.

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