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Propped up and ready to go

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

written by Abby Corrigan

"Let's do some prop photography!" - uh what should I even bring?!, is what I asked myself when prop photography night was announced. A newish member of Raw photographic, this was my first time attending prop night and I had no idea how many different directions props could take us. So, I have noted some fun experiments our members tried, to give you some ideas to try for yourself.

Macro, it’s all in the details

An abundance of textures, quirky creatures and even lego superheroes stepped in to join us for some macro photography. An area of photography ideal for lovers of the tiny details, macro photography allows you bring small objects to life. 

Using a macro lens we were able to close in to create sharp images where every fiber of luscious texture can be appreciated, and we can capture extremely detailed stills of subjects that intrigue us.

Give macro a go - simply choose an item that interests you and let your macro lens capture every little detail. Use a lightbox with neutral backdrop and lighting to dilute the background and ensure emphasis on your small but mighty subject (psst, you can get lightbox kits for as cheap as £15 on ebay!).

Storytelling with photography

It’s so very true that a picture speaks a thousand words, and on our photography prop night some members decided they wanted to dabble in authoring a visual tale of their own. Featuring a little fairy house of hope, we captured a cute tale emulating comfort and warmth. Heartwarmingly, our story also featured a man’s best friend - savvily using the wall circling around us as a backdrop, one of our members propped up his flat cap, coat and dog’s collar (her name is Holly!) to capture a loving tale for pet owners to coo over.

Be your own author - choose a compilation of items that excite you, make your heart feel fuzzy or bring a smile to your face; prop them up on your chosen tabletop and against your chosen backdrop; set your lighting; and you’re good to go  *TIP - for added depth use an old blind, a bedsheet, a cute shirt, a leftover tile or piece of wood to give your props a backdrop suited to the theme.

Frozen and totally immersed

Often when we think of photography featuring water, we think of long exposures and magical scenes straight out of a fairytale, but at Raw photographic we like to make a splash! Experimenting with some freeze stop motion photography, sweet fruits (and the odd hand) were plunged into water, and tactical flash set up captured the ripple effect that followed. The photo session required team effort, which went swimmingly as you can see from the powerful images captured. 

Try it yourself - set up a splash friendly zone complete with a fish tank full of water and a low powered flash - the lower the power of the flash, the shorter the flash duration and the greater the ability to freeze movement.

A scent of achievement

A musky scent filled the air as we added a bank of creative shots to our memory cards, and reminded each member to have a go at the incense station. A dark background, lit incense stick and silky smooth smoke set the scene for some moody images - some members played about with colour in post production, adding a bit of quirk to the swirls and curls captured.

Give it a whirl - to recreate this type of imagery all you need it a dark backdrop, a low powered flash and an incense kit - oh and a friend to waft the air a little, to stir the smoke for some dynamic shapes.

I hope this gives you some cool ideas to experiment with, and develop your photography knowledge - stay tuned to hear what we get up to next month!

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