HOW TO GATHER & LAYER PROPS

HOW TO BUILD & LAYER PROPS

My bar cart is full of props. It hasn't always been that way though. I remember when I first started creating photos for my blog and it was tough, so tough. I would walk around our apartment looking for items to gather and style together. Let's take a stroll down memory lane shall we? :)  Below you'll see one of my very first styled photos, I made no-bake cookies... Not too bad, right? ;) But I thought they were the best photos ever, ha!

The photos below were all taken in 2013 and 2014. I love looking back on old photos, it always takes me back to exactly where I was in my journey. Something else that I'm always reminded of is that no matter how far I get in my journey, if I quit practicing my craft, then I'll lose it.

DEVELOP YOUR STYLE

When starting to work with props for the first time I think the most important thing to remember is that your craft and style will develop over time. Developing your style means studying styles that you are visually drawn too. Go through photos that you really like and ask yourself why you like them. When you are able to determine the aspects of the photography styles you like, you'll be able to start creating your own visions.

Style also comes through with the type of props you gather as well. You can experiment with different styles but over time you will begin to develop a style that is unique to you, your audience, and your clientele. I haven't always been able to articulate my style until just recently. I would describe my style as vintage minimalism. 

HOW TO BUILD & LAYER PROPS

LAYER, LAYER, LAYER

Have you ever gathered props for a photo shoot, got started, and things just didn't seem right? I remember finding something that I thought would be absolutely beautiful as a prop. I got everything set up, placed my beautiful prop in front of my camera, heard the shutter click, and then ... disappointment. I looked at my camera's display monitor and it just didn't look right.

Some props can photograph beautifully alone. However, it's when you begin to layer that things really come together. Above you'll see a handful of props all photographed alone. I put little effort into styling the props together. Stopping with the above photos leave things feeling kind of empty.

Below, you'll see a series of photos where I layered a lot of the props together to create a finished photo. The first thing I needed to do was pick an item to highlight. For this particular photo I wanted to highlight the vintage spools. Once I knew which item I was going to highlight or be the "subject" I could start layering in other props to create depth.

You'll see that I started with the vintage spools, then added some flowers, then added the twine and scissors, and finished with one last flower bouquet. Based on the items that I included, I added foreground, background, and height to the photo.

And peak behind the scenes. ;)

Remember that gathering and layering props is a journey. Things don't happen over night and your style will develop over time. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try different styles too. Have any photography questions? I would love to hear them. xoxo. Samantha