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  • Writer's pictureHeather Bean

Consider the Props!

PROPS, a one syllable word. What could possibly be complicated about procuring props for a photo shoot? Hmmm. As a props stylist, I find that props are never simple. Props cannot shout for your attention or hog all the limelight. They need to behave themselves! In short, props need to convey the mood/message a client has to share; they should enhance, not compete with, the product being featured.

A few years back, a coffee client tasked us with creating a premium coffeehouse scene featuring a fresh-brewed cup of joe as the hero, including their coffee package and an egg sandwich as secondary elements. We chose a lightly veined gray marble surface, a flat marble plate, a modern white coffee mug, a curvy iron fork, and a loose-weave gray linen napkin. We added a corner of the morning paper—believe it or not, newspapers are still a coffeehouse staple! We love the way the monochromatic tones of the props allow the golden coffee bubbles to grab your attention, which in turn enhances the gold lettering on the package. The vibrant egg sandwich, looking hot and freshly made, pops beautifully off the gray. The props work together with the food, making the viewer want to reach in, pick up the coffee mug, and take a delicious satisfying sip.

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