If you’re planning a personal branding photoshoot, you want and need the final result to be images that stand out and set you apart! One of the best ways to create images that will stop the scroll and really showcase who you are is by using props! (Hint: I’m talking about more than your laptop and cell phone). Following are 10 of my top prop ideas you can use for inspiration for your next session – and tips on how to choose the best ones for you and your brand.
Why Branding Photos with Props Work So Well
I would never ever begin a branding photo session without making sure I’ve helped my client select a number of props to use in her images. I believe props are one of the most important keys to an amazing session and here’s why.
Props Help You Feel Confident in Front of the Camera
One of the most common reasons people feel uncomfortable while being photographed is they don’t know what to do with their hands. But give them a prop to hold, especially one they can perform a specific action with, and that insecurity just melts away!
And guess what? The more confident you feel, the more confident you look and that will come across to the viewer.
Props Help You Tell Your Brand Story
One of the purposes of brand photography is to help you communicate and connect with your audience. Beautiful, professional photos capturing just you and your magnetic smile are a part of that, but those are more like your introduction, or your book cover, if you will. To really give your audience a peek inside and share your brand story we need to get more creative. Props will help your audience get to know you and what you do.
Props Make Your Brand Photos Stand Out
The right ones do, that is! What you don’t need are a dozen photos with different angles of you sitting with your laptop, cellphone, and coffee mug.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ll include those props in your session if they suit your brand and help show what you do. But I’m also going to dig deeper when we’re planning the details of your session to come up with more unique prop ideas that will help showcase your personality and make your images pop!
How to Choose the Best Props for You and Your Brand
It’s important that the props you use make sense and communicate the right message consistent with your brand. You don’t want your photos to leave your audience confused.
Choose Props that Have Meaning
The props you use should do at least one of the following:
- show what you do in your business
- share something about your personal life your audience would be interested in
- communicate part of your brand message or brand values
- show your personality/your brand’s personality
Choose Props that Visually Match Your Brand
Keep the visual aesthetic elements of your brand in mind when choosing props, including colors, patterns and style. If you’re just starting out in your business, or are rebranding and don’t have these decided, then either wait until you do (ideally), or keep your props very neutral.
Creative Personal Branding Prop Ideas to Inspire You
Now that you know the “why” and “how” of choosing and using props, here are my Top Ten Personal Branding Photoshoot Prop Ideas you can use as inspiration for your next personal branding session!
#1: Tools of Your Trade
Give your audience a picture of what you do by choosing items you use in your day to day work. Are you an interior designer? Use a color wheel, fabric samples and drawing tools. A wedding planner? Set up a beautiful tablescape.
#2: Products You Sell
You may already show product images on your website and on social media, but do you have any photos of YOU with them? This can be a great way to showcase what you sell in a more personal way. Do you create your products? Then photos of you in action are fantastic! People love to see behind-the-scenes of how things are made.
#3: Books or Magazines
These could be related to your industry or something you’re reading for pleasure. Have you written a book? You’ll want to include that for sure!
#4: Pen & Journal/Notebook/Planner)
These could be used to show something you do at work, or maybe a part of your daily routine. Do you have a gratitude journal you write in every day? A variety of images of you with your journal (and close-up shots of the journal itself) would give you great visuals for a number of social media posts on the topic.
If you wear glasses you may already plan to have them on for your photos, but you can also turn them into a prop. Peek playfully over the top of your glasses, or take them off to hold. Sunglasses could be used as well.
#6: Cute Purse or Bag
Even something as simple as an accessory can also be used as a prop! A purse or bag can add a pop of color (on-brand, of course) and give you something to do with your hands.
#7: Favorite Food or Beverage
Food and drinks may be related to your profession (say, if you’re a health coach), or used as a way to share something more personal about you with your audience. Think beyond the typical cup of coffee here (unless coffee is one of your content themes for social media, of course).
#8: Exercise Equipment
Is exercise a big part of your life and/or related to your job? Include the items you use to help you stay fit. Props like these are great for getting some action shots!
#9: Printed Words
Communicate your brand message or values right in your photos! These can simply be printed on stiff paper, or you could get creative and use a chalkboard sign, letter board, or frame.
There are so many things you can do with balloons! Do you have a birthday, business anniversary or other event coming up worth celebrating? Images of you with balloons can be a fun way to share it with your audience. Or simply use them as a whimsical prop to show your personality (and add your brand color to your photos)!
The Ultimate Brand Session Prop Guide
As you can see, there are a LOT of ways you can creatively incorporate props into your brand photography photoshoot! In fact, I have even more ideas I’d love to share with you.
Introducing the Ultimate Brand Session Prop Guide! It contains over 100 personal branding photoshoot prop ideas – and you can grab your free copy RIGHT HERE!
This free guide will give you all the inspiration you need for your next brand photography session!