Are you a photographer wanting to use props more in your photography sessions? Or are you a potential client looking for helpful tips with props to make your photo shoot the best one yet? If you answered yes to either one, then this post on props might work for you!


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This week on the blog, we at Laramie Headshots LLC and Longmont Headshots, Ryan’s Content, LLC , serving Wyoming and Northern Colorado, are back with our How TO posts and would like to share our ideas on what works for props in photo shoots: colorful props, photo booth props, commercial shoot props, family and individual props, and personal brand props.


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Alright so let’s get started!


What We Learned From a PhotoBox


When our owner and photographer Ryan Krier was brainstorming new creative opportunities for the downtown Laramie Headshots studio, he came across a great idea for a prop from a photographer friend with KeepsakeImages.


A giant square box.


With the professional expertise of Local wood crafter John Henningsen of Henningsen Woodshop in Laramie, WY, the photobox was created and delivered to the studio.

Since then, our photo box sessions have proven to be fun and creative ways to showcase personalities and a new kind of portrait style using PROPS.



How to Use Props: Checklists for Photographers and Clients


Hey, Ryan Krier here.


So, one thing I have learned from using the photo box for sessions is that even with a giant white box, props still play an important role.  At the same time, knowing the balance between too distracting and not interesting enough props really matters.


Thus, I would like to share five ideas with checklists of props we have used in past shoots and current photo box sessions that have made our clients happy.


  • Color

  • Photo booth

  • Commercial Shoot

  • Season Indoor and Outdoor

  • Personal Brand

What We Mean

Interestingly, there is some dialogue our there on what constitutes as a prop – can clothing be props or are clothes really costumes and so forth. Without getting too much off topic, we just want to say before diving in to these five ideas that when we say prop we mean any object besides the person/subject that gives interest and personality to a photo.




To start, when using any color,  the prop should compliment the overall tone and feel of the image.  Unfortunately, it is easy to rely too much on colorful props that distract or take away from the subject – the client! On the other hand, coordinating with a client helps with all the prop negotiations.


Pop of Red

While there are many colors for clients to choose from, we think that red makes the best and boldest statement.


  • balloon

  • wagon

  • umbrella

  • accessories, such as scarves, sunglasses, bowties, hats

  • balls

  • fruit and flowers

  • camera or phone covers

  • bowls, mugs

AND, if you are still not convinced of the power of colorful props, especially red, read this. We also like the visual feast of red in nature and in our environment in this National geographic article here.



Photo Booth Props

Second, props for photo booths can be a lot of fun! Crash N Bash Photography offers photo booths for all kinds of events, from birthday parties to wedding receptions.  Although pops of color always helps, going along with a and/or the theme definitely makes the best use of props in photographs.


Photo booth Prop Resources

The list is endless so click on the links below for ideas:

Next, for parties:

See above links for similar ideas or click here.

Commercial Shoot

Colorful Items Apply

Naturally, props for commercial shoots may not be as difficult as other shoots.  After all, many things in and around the office may already work. But before you grab the nearest stapler from your client’s desk, make sure you are not setting yourself up for a boring, irrelevant shot.




We at Ryan’s Content, along with Laramie Headshots and Longmont Headshots, believe that the key to great commercial shoot props is to also integrate pops of color.  Remember, company products and merchandise can be used as props, too.


For Office Theme Shoots:

  • coffee mugs

  • company products

  • office accessories such as ink pens, paper

  • technology such as tablets, laptops, cameras

  • cellphones and phones

  • typewriters

  • books

  • eyeglasses

  • merchandise

  • Workout those Props

Like business shoots, sports photography shoots also naturally provide props in the environment. After all, everything form water bottles to weights can all serve as props.


Just remember…


It will help you to prepare ahead of time by communicating with the client about their equipment and fitness accessories. But, if the ball is dropped, remember a fall back to have is photo shop skills for changing color in objects.


For Sport’s Theme Shoots:

  • sporting equipment (use with caution and persmission!)

  • water bottles, towels

  • ear buds and fit bits

  • yoga mats

  • girl using yoga mat for child pose and prop

    Couple more things…


Exercise Caution

Remember, when using sporting equipment, you must always exercise caution and get permission from all parties involved. If you are unsure about using heavy or dangerous equipment, then simply just don’t.


Also, consider that some companies and universities actually may not want you using their brands or logos on your website and marketing materials.


Instead, play it safe and ask first or you may spend more time than you would like photoshopping out logos or redoing a shoot.


Seasonal Indoor and Outdoor

Whether it’s Christmas or just an ordinary day, finding the right items for family and individual photography shoots will give your clients a fun experience they will remember. Plus, props can assist you in distracting any anxious or upset children.


For Family and Individual Photos:

  • bubbles

  • fairy or butterfly wings

  • feathers

  • capes or tutus

  • stuffed animals

  • books

  • chairs and beanbags

  • leaves

  • dessert like birthday cake

  • snow (snow balls)

  • umbrellas

  • sticks, grass, flowers

  • fishing pole, kites, bug kits

  • blankets

  • family photos

  • letters and numbers

  • bikes

  • battery operated lights

  • skateboards, snowboards, skis, sled

  • Christmas lights and presents

  • blown up items like guitars

  • guy with snowboard in mountains and for prop

    Personal Brand

Basically, keep it personal.  Use whatever your client uses or best represents them – whether it is a snowboard, welding equipment, etc. Likewise, you can make it interesting by find a unique background or angles to really make that personal item help your client stand out.

And that’s it for now!


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Ryan Krier