Studio Photography is too often the realm of pristine yards of seamless paper (white or black) laid out in a wrinkle-free infinite horizon-styled manner. The unreal surface is punctuated with a beautiful model and lit with exquisite detail. Make-up artists and hair stylists are often employed. Sometimes you even bring in a wardrobe stylist. All these things combine to create your vision.
Here is a shot of model done in my studio. Hair, Makeup and wardrobe were the only considerations. Everything else is light and backdrops. The image is nice but it has room to grow. To take an image like this up a level, you have to Prop It Up.
Same Model (Julia Erynn), same black seamless backdrop, but now I have Propped It Up. I used a prop rental company to supply a few items to make the shot a little more detailed-giving it more of a sense of place and of time. In this case, the prop rental company, Prop It Up, LLC, located in the Twin Cities, supplied the rug, the couch, the lamp and the dress. Combined they make more than just the usual model-in-studio shot.
Instead of a just model, you now have a story,
a feeling, a place, and a time.
As you plan your concepts and shoots, consider propping them up with a few props from your local prop rental house. Sometimes just perusing their galleries and prop catalogs will give you ideas of for shoots you might not have dreamt of otherwise. As you add pieces to the shoot, you are really building a set. It can be as simplistic as this or as elaborate as real life. It all depends upon the illusion you wish to create.
Take your studio photography to the next level by propping it up a bit.
Rikk Flohr © 2011
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