In order to produce original work and inspire your model to strike more creative poses, a couple of basic props can come very handy. Carefully selected props, apart adding movement and colour, will help an uneasy model if she is still somehow awkward with the hands and posing. I am pointing out five props that in my opinion every photographer should have around in a studio or with him on location.
Through your photographs you should always try to tell a story. An easy and straight forward way would be to see what the model is passionate about. She might play an instrument, practice a particular sport or be an animal lover. You can suggest your model to bring with her items related to her hobbies, such as, her instrument, a football, a golf club, a tennis rack or even her pet. The model can indulge in various poses related to her passion, and in so doing, making the photos more interactive and expressive.
If somebody asks me, what it would be my number one clothing accessory, I do say a hat. A hat can be used in various ways. If used the proper way it adds charm instantly to the model. On sunny days, it would diffuse light falling on the face nicely, thus bring out better skin tones. Same as with the towel, it can be used intelligently against a model's chest, buttocks and other private parts. Like sun glasses, a hat can be used intentionally to hide the model's identity. This can be very helpful for models, which are still new in lingerie photo shoots and would prefer to be discreet.
In order to expand one's posing repertory a stool or a chair would do the trick. Through my experience I have learned that models do find these props very inspiring. Most of the models barely need directions to pose when using a stool or a chair; apart the few touch ups such as, how far to arch their back, lean forward or extend their arms. If you are doing an outdoor photo shoot I would also suggest having a hammock available in case the location permits this kind of setup.
Last but not least, keep some small water bottles always handy. Apart the obvious use of having water around, you can create many playful shoots with water bottles. This can be very effective if you are shootings two models. Drinking, splashing, squirting water can add movement, character and fun in your photos. Who said that models should always be gloomy and pensive!
As you go on from one photo shoot to another you would want to add more props to your photographic items. Always try to get some feed back from your models, as their insight can assist you in introducing more effective props to work with. Props should be part and parcel of your everyday photo shoots, in a way to spice and improve your photographic experience.
Props can add that little extra helping hand in making it easier in directing a model. Still, in being successful to posing a model for a photo shoot is more than just props.
Author: Michael Abela
Posing Secrets - The Photographer's Essential Guide Vol.1 by Malcolm Boone is a unique and practical tool which will guide you step by step, in mastering the art of posing a model. I strongly suggest that you give it a thorough look. It is definitely worth the money!