Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Propology: Senior session on a budget Pt 2

I am a self confessed propaholic.  My husband frequently complains about my prop habit.  As a photographer, props and the set up for a session are at the top of the list of importance.  You dont' want to crowd the image with props and you want a nice flow.  In addition you don't want to spend an arm and a leg on said props.  I've spent the past three years amassing the props that I have.  I've slowed down a lot and only buy things when 1. They're on sale 2. They're super cheap or 3. It's something rare/specific I have been wanting.  Below is a close up of a set up from one of my recent senior sessions.  I'll break down the props included and the total cost below the image.

1. Suitcase
2. Map
3. Journals
4. Camera
5. Small nest, eggs & bird
6. Bird cage (with a 2nd small nest, eggs and bird inside)
7. Butterflies
8. Two glass jars with burlap and material "lids" secured with twine

Most of these props have been in my prop collection for quite some time.  Some of these things are my personal belongings not related to Foxtree.  (It's such a fine line between Foxtree belongings and personal belongings.  Often times the line blurs).  I will now break down what the props cost.

1. Suitcase- Has been in my prop collection for over a year now.  I believe I paid $4 for it at the Goodwill last year
2. Map- Recent purchase for $1 at a local flea market
3. Journals- Personal journals that I ripped out pages with writing on and have turned them into Foxtree property
4. Camera- I purchased this last year at a flea market.  I think I paid $5 for this camera
5. Small nests, eggs & birds also from 6- I bought these several months back at Hobby Lobby.  I'm going to guess I spent around $5 for both nests, about 8 eggs and a package of 4 or 6 birds.
6. Bird cage- I purchased this cage at Hobby Lobby a few months ago when it was 50% off- $8
7. Butterflies- Also purchased at Hobby Lobby $1.99
8. Two glass jars- One jar is a Smucker's jar my Mother in Law was going to throw out and the other is a Gerber baby food jar from when I babysat.  The material used for "lids" was material I already had at the house as was the twine. Free!

Total amount spent over several years time = $24.99

Considering I reuse props over and over I would say $24.99 is a steal!  That is less than $10 for every year I've been doing photography professionally.


-When doing a session with a set up always get a close up shot.  You can use the shot in a collage, a stock photo or as a reminder of a particular set up you used for that session.
- Be aware of the setting of the location where your session will take place.  You want the props to flow with the location not clash.

Now the set up in action!

The props flowed so perfectly with the Shabby Chic, vintage feel of the location and the theme we had agreed upon prior to the session.  You want to plan out 90% of your ideas, only waiting to make minor changes during the session.  You don't want to waste too much valuable light and time.  With that being said, don't be afraid to change it up at the last minute.  I brought extra props including two other suitcases.  I had every intention of using three suitcases until we got to this spot.  It was a quick, easy change to make at the last minute.  If you're prepared it allows for more freedom and flexibility.

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