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Props for Wedding Shots

Elizabeth Morrissey , Jul 06, 2009; 05:53 p.m.

A couple who I recently met with about shooting their wedding (and who hired me) wanted to know if I had any wedding "props," that they could use for their photographs. I had never been asked this before but I sounds like a neat idea. I'm thinking signs, etc. Wondering if anyone has had experience using props and what they were. Thanks!


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Rob Domaschuk , Jul 06, 2009; 05:55 p.m.

A backdrop and stand is pretty common to allow guests to take pictures of themselves against. But that's at the reception.

As for the "formals", I've seen (but don't use) things like (faux) marble benches and columns - especially outside in parks.

If the couple is asking about them, then they likely have something in mind - have they given you any ideas about what they are looking for?

Elizabeth Morrissey , Jul 06, 2009; 06:12 p.m.

No they haven't given me any ideas- they seemed to be looking to me to have the idea, so I've been thinking but nothing much has come to mind :(

Rob Domaschuk , Jul 06, 2009; 06:13 p.m.

Best suggestion I could offer is to look through Denny's and see if anything piques your interest:


Betty Lowrey , Jul 06, 2009; 08:55 p.m.

Honestly, I would really cringe if someone wanted me to bust out a marble bench and fake columns at a wedding.
Might as well have Sears Portrait Studio shoot your bridals.

Francie Baltazar , Jul 06, 2009; 09:03 p.m.

I'm with Betty on this one - the Bride leaning against the groom is the only prop you need....

Steve C. , Jul 06, 2009; 10:18 p.m.

A prop doesn't have to be a posing prop from a supply house, it can be anything the couple likes. I'll post some examples...

I've done groom with groomsmen shots using a number of props. All the guys with dark sunglasses. Or, all smoking (or pretending to smoke) cigars, the groom with a pimp cane and sunglasses, surrounded by the guys, etc. One group of guys had different funny hats on.

For the girls, a bouquet of flowers can be an effective prop with the right posing. White umbrellas have been used as props in many weddings, by guys or girls. I saw one cool shot from England where the grooms had several white umbrellas poked into the ground handle-up, and were casually standing among them. It looked SO cool.

Below is one where the bride had bought these hand made slippers from Pakistan for her and the girls. I did a number of shots featuring them. I wanted to alternate the colors in that particular shot, but the bride just said, "don't worry about it, we're in a rush", so I let it go.

As you can see, in one engagement session I simply used a red Sharpie marker and drew the heart on their hands. I don't know where I got that idea from, but they loved it.

A classic car, a rented Rolls, or a vintage pickup truck can also be a prop. The classic Chevy in the shot below just happened to be there and we used it. You just have to use your imagination, get your clients involved in the process, and let them make it their own.

Large photo attachment:
(Props... -- 2359 x 500 photo)

Heather Claypool , Jul 07, 2009; 01:57 a.m.

Hmmm...could she be under the impression that you do photobooth-type shots of the guests? They typically bring hats, boas, sunglasses, etc...

William Morgan - Columbus, Ohio , Jul 07, 2009; 06:53 a.m.

Items that can be useful but not intrusive on the wedding process for "some" couples might be items that can fit their personality as well as the wedding day story.

~Umbrella: I use a black one to get a photo of the couple walking away from me with the umbrella up and covering the upper part of their bodies as they walk "into their future". All you see is their bottom half and the top half is the black umbrella.

~Fake flower petals are sometimes a nice fit for setting up photos of the combination of the wedding dress, bouquet, rings, marriage license all together with the "flowers" sprinkled among the above items. I always carry a set of red and white petals but have only used them a couple of times when it seemed to fit the scene nicely.

~I've had "the guys" plan and wear bright colored socks which they later showed off by suddenly lifting thier pant legs to the howling delight of the on-lookers. Other clothing items can be fun if they are "significant" to the wedding day story. The socks, in this case, were the bright orange color of the college they all attended ... I believe it was Clemson (I think it was orange, lol, all I know was that they were Really bright in color!).

~The always present sunglasses.

~One of the really nice items used in a wedding were long and narrow sashes worn by the bridesmaids. The color was one of the colors chosen for the wedding but the nice element with these long sashes was that they were worn as a nice wide "belt" during the wedding ceremony and as the day moved forward the "belts" became head scarfs and then later during the dancing they began to be used to just toss up into the air and then later the guys would take the long lengths of material and wrap them around the ladies and pull the ladies towards them as they danced. The last thing done with the sashes was that they were all tossing them up into the air as they danced. Lovely!

I would note that the above are things the bridal party planned but since that time I encourage couples to find "fun" stuff to do in order to surprise family and guests. It just seems that surprises, props, are the most fun when they are "meaningful" and when they are planned by the bridal party as a surprise to other guests and family.

Oh, I've had a "flower dog" who had a leash that was covered with flowers from stem to stern. I've had "ring dogs" who had pillows tied to their collar with the rings tied onto the pillow and the dog brings the rings down the aisle.

Still waiting on a sky diving set of groomsmen but ... you never know.

Later this year I've got a bridal party that's doing a Rock The Reception! My wife and I are choreographing the majority of the dance and the group is creating a wild finish ... shhhh, don't tell anyone: it's a secret for a wedding in September. It feels like a "prop" of sorts but I guess it's not really a "thing".

Katrin D. , Jul 07, 2009; 04:48 p.m.

I can only second William's post. Sunglasses, hats, umbrellas (black & silver), and whatever is meaningful to the couple. We did one set of semi-formals using the couple's favorite stadium/race track with hurdles etc., another couple was into volleyball and we incorporated that, did a shoot with a bocce set ... all of them were great fun and the photos turned out rather nicely. The only thing I absolutely detest is the 'dove' gimmick, those birds are either scared and will fly into guests or the couple or relieve themselves everywhere. Oh, and blowing bubbles is pretty neat as well, same for balloons.

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