Props to Photography Props

Props that are added to portrait photography can add an element of creative personalization. When they’re used to enhance an image, they convey a visual message that adds intrigue and relevance. Props can be especially effective in branding photography because the subject can create a deeper connection with their audience.

In a portrait session with Glenda Woolley, I photographed a collection of her books by John Maxwell as well as a variety of items that were related to her work. Glenda is a personal growth and leadership expert. She joined the John Maxwell Team in 2012 as a Certified Coach, Trainer and Speaker. She provides her services through master mind studies, lunch’n learns, seminars, keynote speaking, and individual/ group coaching. Learn more about Glenda on her website:

Below are several ideas for adding props to your portrait photography:

Food and Drinks

  • Coffee in a cup, teapot with cup and saucer, tableware
  • Recipe ingredients
  • Seasonal fare
  • Local favorites
  • Event setting

Tools of your Trade

  • Laptop, phone, tablet
  • Microphone, headphones, speakers
  • Camera equipment
  • Magazines, books, journals, pens
  • Paintbrushes, calligraphy pens, sketchbook, scissors


  • Sports equipment, running shoes, water bottle
  • Art collection
  • Vehicles – bicycle, car, wagon
  • Musical instruments
  • Flowers, plants, vases, pottery

Backgrounds and Settings

  • Steps and bridges
  • Arches and columns
  • Stone and brick buildings
  • Gardens and coffee shops
  • Parks – nature trails, gazebos and pavilions

With a quick glance at an image, props tell a visual story and reveal more about a person’s character and interests.

Change is inevitable. Growth is optional. – John Maxwell

About Caren Libby

Caren has a corporate and entrepreneurial background in web design, digital marketing, and project management. She also has a passion for photographing people and places in St. Louis and beyond. Caren can maximize your visibility and elevate your sales potential by building an engaging and dynamic digital foundation that brings your compelling business story and long-term goals to life.

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