Since purchasing my newest camera (a Canon EOS 1300d, for anyone interested), I’ve really been in the mood to get creative with my photography. Photography is something I’ve always loved and I’m constantly looking for ways to improve.
One of the main things that has been an inspiration for me recently is photography videos on YouTube – which is where I learn most of my camera and editing skills. Specifically, I’ve been loving Jessica Kobeissi’s challenge videos, where herself and other photographers are challenged to use random props to create a really artsy photo.
Seeing photographers using props in ways I never would have thought of has really inspired me to get creative with props, and challenge myself with my photography. After some practice, I’ve taken some photos I really love – with the help of some bizarre props. I thought I’d share with you guys the items I’ve been loving including in my photos, and hopefully inspire you guys to get creative with your props too!
This is a photo I shared on my Instagram yesterday and is one of my favourites I’ve ever taken – it’s also the main reason I’m writing this post. Fun fact: I currently don’t have a tripod for my new camera so I had to figure out ways to hold/balance the camera whilst using the props and controlling the camera with my phone – just because you don’t have all the tools doesn’t mean you can’t take good photos.
I really love plants in photography, and I suddenly felt like I had to try shooting with one of the fake plants I keep in my room. I was going for a ‘spotted behind some leaves’ kind of photo, and I really love that the framing of this draws attention to my eye.
This was actually a really difficult shot to get because I had to hold the camera perfectly behind the leaves, angle my head the right way and use my phone as a remote to control the shutter, but in the end I was really happy with it. I’ve never thought about trying to use the leaves of this plant in a portrait shot before, but I really love how creative the photo is!
As you can see, this plant doesn’t give me a whole lot to work with. It’s a little small and difficult to manoeuvre around – but this just proves that you can make anything work for you if you get creative enough!
You could achieve this kind of photo with any leafy plant around your house – or you could use flowers if you want a more romantic vibe (more on that later). Using this prop made me realise I don’t need to be anywhere really pretty to get a cool photo: with good angles and the right prop, you could pretty much be anywhere.
CDS AND SHIRTS
I’ve seen quite a few photographers using CDs to get a cool rainbow effect in their photos, so I decided to try it out for myself. It’s actually a lot harder than it looks (especially when you don’t have a tripod) – I was balancing my camera on a laundry basket, holding a CD close to my face whilst shining my iPhone torch on it and trying to take the photo whilst not looking completely hideous. Totally not glamorous and it led to me getting a little frustrated, but I really like the end result.
I think if you had a friend to hold the disc and had a tripod then this would be a lot easier, but you definitely don’t need those things to get this kind of photo. The torch also creates some cool lens flares, so the effects on this become really dream-like and ethereal.
Since my camera was already on the laundry basket, I decided to take a pale blue shirt and drape it over the lens. This creates a really soft, dreamy border, and adds dimension and layers to the photo. You could use any kind of material to get this effect, but the sheerer material is going to look a lot softer.
I love that this photo looks so artsy but it’s really only because of those two basic props that everybody could find in their home. I think that the rainbow effect adds a lot more interest to a plain portrait too, and it’s such a simple trick!
When I first tested out taking photos on my new camera, I decided to try and prop my camera up on a pillow as a makeshift tripod. The pillow case ended up covering some of the lens, but I really liked the softness it added to the photo.
My main thing when I’m trying to take a creative portrait is that I don’t want the photo to just be one subject. I like to make either the foreground or the background a little more interesting so that there’s more to look at, and adding a layer in front of the lens is the easiest way to achieve that.
Although this prop is slightly less interesting than the others, it still adds an interesting dimension to the photo, and creates a pretty, cloud-like effect. Plus, you can do what I did and use it as a makeshift tripod!
The final prop I love using is a flower crown – and not in the typical way it’s used. When I want to make my portraits really romantic this is a great prop to use – I hold it over the edge of the lens and it adds a gorgeous, soft pink halo around the image – almost like a rose gold light is filtering in.
I especially like using a flower crown with ribbons, because that way I can use both the petals and the ribbon to create a really interesting foreground. Although it’s a little difficult to try and position it correctly in front of the lens whilst trying to take a photo of yourself, I think the effect is definitely worth it.
So that’s how I use my props creatively! I hope you guys enjoyed this post and found it helpful, let me know in the comments which your favourite prop/effect is. See you next time,