Project 21: Prop Portrait

Photograph people with props; tools, sports equipment, musical instruments, or any other object that they can interact with.

Props have two uses for the photographer: first they can help a subject relax. Second they can tell the viewer something about the subject. Try to select props that are useful in both of these ways.

For people who are uncomfortable just standing and looking at the camera, even if you get them talking, tend to relax quite a bit of you give them something to hold or look at. Similarly, you can often produce a very revealing portrait by placing your subject in a familiar environment with their possessions around them.

While it is helpful if the subject can actually be using the prop in some way, be aware of how that affects the face. If the face is obscured, you will have to get the subject to look up before you click the shutter.

Anything familiar to the subject is acceptable as a prop; a scarf, guitar, book, baseball bat; the only prohibited items are baseball caps (unless you have a bat, ball and glove), cell phones, and cameras.

You will complete a photo shoot of 20 pictures and select the best three. Turn in a contact sheet along with the three best photos. A three-sentence reflection about your creative process is also due with the pictures and contact sheet.