Subtly Using Photo Props in School Portraits

Photo props can make regular school pictures stand out. You will want to make sure that the prop itself is not too cliché or cheesy. Make sure that it is something that is age appropriate and that the kids will have fun with. The props themselves should be used to have fun, not to make the child feel uncomfortable or bothered.

Materials Needed

  • Appropriate Props

Step 1 - Determine Age

The age that you are working with is going to be the most important. The props that you use for the first graders are not going to be the same as you use for the freshmen or sophomores. Make sure that the props are going to add to the picture, not take away. If a sixteen year old is taking a picture with the same props from the first grade shoot then this is going to take away from the sixteen year old.

Step 2 - Prop

The prop itself should enhance the picture. You do not want it to take away from the child that is taking the picture. Whether it is a stool or a gum ball machine you want to be sure that it is something that the kids will be able to have some fun with without it taking away from the task at hand. A school picture should be fun and something that they will want to remember and hang on the walls. Make sure that the prop itself is not too big where it will take over the entire picture. You also want it to not be too small so it can still be noticed.

Step 3 - Location and Size

The location of the prop is almost as important as the prop itself. You will want the kids to be the main focus of the shot. However, a prop off to the side of slightly in front or behind is something that can enhance the overall picture. Just make sure that it is not covering up the student or hiding their actual pose. The location of the prop is going to be what makes or breaks the photograph. An oversized prop is going to put all of the focus on the prop and not the student. Make sure that the prop itself is something that is going to compliment the student and not take away from them. However, if the prop is too small then it can go unnoticed, this can make the prop itself something that is unnecessary and unwanted.

Step 4 - Picture It

With each prop that you are thinking about, picture it in your head. Can you imagine a student being able to pose next to this prop or with or on this prop? Think about if it will take away from them or if it will confuse or embarrass the student. If you find yourself questioning the prop, then set it aside and come back to it later.

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