Make sizzling portraits tip # 5: Use props to make portraits pop!
Beauty shots or closeup portraits of a beautiful person are favorites among photographers. Many hobbyists get hooked into portraiture because of these types of shots. One of the challenges of a closeup shot is how to give it more impact, how to set it apart from the thousands of beauty shots out there. One simple answer to this challenge is to use props.
Props are easy to add to a closeup because they are usually easy to get, and you donâ€™t have to change the lighting setup or makeup to use the prop. But a prop can help you improve your closeup shots by adding to the composition. Letâ€™s look at some ways you can do that.
The photo below uses a scarf to bring an element of repetition into the composition. The edges of the photo are framed by the repeating shape and lines of the scarf, bringing the attention to the center of the frame, the face.
Use a prop to add repetition into the composition. Copyright Aloha Lavina.
This next photo uses props to add repetition to a double portrait. The two models are flanked by the masks they are holding, making the photo interesting with the pattern of faces both fake and real, alternating inside the frame. What adds to the effect of the composition is the repetition of colors; repeating the black and red and white pattern brings a graceful variation into the repetition.
Props can add a harmony to a photo. Copyright Aloha Lavina.
You can also use a prop to give you leading lines. In the first photo of the concept â€˜fire,â€™ the model is holding the piece of fabric out, and I tilted the camera so that I could use the clothâ€™s line to lead to the modelâ€™s face.
Use a prop to add a leading line. Copyright Aloha Lavina.
In the next double portrait, again I used the cloth, this time to add tension to the composition by leading the eye with its lines first from one of the models to the other, and back.
Use a prop to add tension to a composition. Copyright Aloha Lavina.
Sometimes, all you need is a bit of color and shape or texture in a composition to add to its impact. In this last photo, I focused on the modelâ€™s face but added a bit of her red bead necklace to the shot. This little splash of color just was enough to balance out the texture from the net of her hat, and the graffiti in the background. By placing these three elements in a sort of triangle, I added a compositional frame to the closeup shot.
Bits of props can work, too. Copyright Aloha Lavina.
Introducing props into your closeup portraits can help you add impact to your photos. With a bit of imagination and simple compositional techniques, props can make your portraits pop!
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