Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with props, part of Wedding Photography: Bridal Portraits.
Here, let's just continue to talk about how we can work with props. And one of the things that you might want to consider is how subtle the prop is or how it fits into the overall scene. What I mean by that is there were some props that we worked with that were really subtle, perhaps like the driftwood heart. And you know, those nice subtle details sometimes work. And then I tried to work with a different prop, a sailboat. It just has this really nice beautiful look. Yet, as a bride, I picked it up but as I handed it to her, I realized this just won't work.
I tried to capture a few photographs, but they were all a little bit awkward. I think because of the scale of the size of this particular prop and holding it, it just didn't work. And if you encounter that as you're capturing images, that's okay. Let go of it and try to move on to something else. Still, there are other ways that you can integrate props into your pictures which are, perhaps, even more subtle. Rather than having someone interact with something and pick it up and hold it, maybe it becomes a bit more of the background.
For example, there was this one area, where there were a couple of oars and a driftwood sign. I thought it was really beautiful. Just having the bride stand next to that, or around that, brought in those little details or that element of this particular story. And integrating props into your shots either in really dramatic ways or subtle ways, well, they both work. And then as I was experimenting with different sort of handmade props and these different props that we had. There was this one that I wanted to try which was this really nice sort of delicate umbrella. Now you'll often see these in different bridal or wedding photographs. So in my mind I thought, well this is going to be a little bit cliche, but I'm going to try it anyway.
Once Cara opened up the umbrella and I had it in the shot I realized oh my gosh this is amazing. I get it, I now know why these are often integrated into bridal photo shoots. And the reason is, is because of the delicate nature of the umbrella, just had a really nice beauty about it, but also, it was a portable backdrop. In other words, it blocked out what was behind the bride. In other words, the photographs that I captured here at this location, they could have been captured anywhere, in a very un-scenic and uninteresting location.
This was one of those props that made me think, okay, I need to think about how I can bring this with me. If I'm photographing a wedding and And it doesn't look very good, the scene isn't very good. We'll have the bride hold an umbrella, and you can sort of create your own location. And then of course, there are other props, which you can't even necessarily move. They're perhaps more environmental props. Like at our location, there was this giant anchor. I mean it was so impressive, I loved it. And I wanted to figure out if there was a way to photograph Kara around that, and then of course I also tried to make other photographs as well.
It's not always about the prop. Yet by bringing in some of these details in subtle or maybe significant ways, it can help you capture a different type of photograph... It can also help you have some fun. Interact with the bride, or with people at the wedding, in a unique way. After we worked with these different props, there was one more that I knew I needed to work with, and that was, the getaway car. We had this vintage truck, and that, in a sense, is a really big, oversized prop. So in the next movie, we'll pick up where we'll look at how we can work with another prop, this interesting vintage truck.
- Crafting a vision with the bride
- Choosing gear
- Scouting the location
- Photographing details
- Working with window light and open shade
- Refining the subject's poses, posture, and poise
- Knowing when to make eye contact
- Reviewing images from the shoot