To prop or not to prop?

I would definitely say that I have adopted a more candid style of photography as my personal style.  I really enjoy and prefer the authenticity and genuine expressions captured when children (and adults) are acting as though they’re not standing in front of a camera.  There is something about walking into a room with a large camera that makes people big and small behave just a little less natural.  They suddenly become a little stiff, very aware of their bodies and maybe even a little nervous.  This slight change in behavior can sometimes make the resulting photos look a little contrived.  Now add flashes, props, tripods and backdrops to the mix and it can be pretty intimidating to some.  

However, there are times, especially with newborns and toddlers, when styling, posing and props can really work well.  I admit it, I am a real sucker for a photo of an adorable little girl playing “dress up” with her mommy’s pearls and her chubby little feet tucked into a pair of heels, or a sweet little diaper wearing baby boy with a football jersey and a football.  These types of photos can be lots of fun and crazy cute too, even if they aren’t natural in setting.  

My home, as I’m sure you can imagine, is adorned with tons of photos of my family – 90% of which are candid, but I wouldn’t rule out those precious prop-styled photos either.  Although I love candid shots where my children are the only focus, I figure I might as well throw in a few props now while they are still small.  I’m guessing that same cute photo of the little baby boy in a diaper with a football I mentioned earlier, would not have the same appeal at age 10 – ha!

One of the many reasons I love photography so much is that it truly allows you to be creative and do what appeals to you.  So discuss your wishes with your photographer or if you’re out there shooting yourself, get creative, have fun and decide whether to prop or go candid.  Either way – don’t miss a moment!

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