I love vintage things and shopping for vintage things. My parents were both avid antique shoppers. In fact going to their house you can see everything from vintage brass cash registers, antique brass fire hydrants, old post office boxes, even a barber shop chair! They love anything old and really interesting. (They even drive old cars my mom drives a 53 baby blue Vette and my dad drive a 53 red Thunderbird!) My childhood was spent rummaging through flee markets and dusty small town antique shops. I even worked the flee market with my Aunt who had a both that sold depression glass. (I sold my old McDonalds happy meal toys and some days I did better than she did!)
So I always loved the nostalgia and the craftsmanship of vintage items. Which brings me to the use of props in photography! I love to use props but I must say as with every good thing they must be used very sparingly. You want to make sure the props add to the emotion of the image and are not being used a crutch to make up for bad photographic skill. (the later just ends up looking like a photo booth)
There are many companies online that sell props and I must say they are quite tempting but for me due to finances I like to either raid my parents home or go to may favorite vintage store or market and hunt for a unique find. The best thing about buying vintage is I keep them until I do a couple sessions and then I resell them on Etsy or Ebay and use the money to buy new ones. Just like you don't want to use the same location over and over you don't want to use the same prop over and over. Here are some recent sessions where I used some props as well as some new props I just acquired and cant wait to use!
I love this image of the boy and "his" wagon (actually it was mine rescued from my parents shed). How did i know this was going to be a great images? When I have a session with children I bring about four different items with me and I look to see what the child is excited about. If they want to play with the top then I know I am going to get some fabulous images!
Here are some new props I cant wait to try out. My parents have a lovely neighbor who is 91 and is cleaning out her gorgeous home. (She actually had vintage St.John and many other designers!) She had this old beautiful suitcase that looks like it had never been used. I envision some beautiful fluffy whIte fabric and an adorable baby! The hat, gloves and mirror will be split up (to much of a good thing looks cheesy) but they will be used for various bridal, senior and boudoir sessions. As with the green stool this is a TamTam from the late 60's. I found a set of four Tam Tam's in a furniture resale shop. Bridgette Bardot was photographed with one and they soon shot to fame. One is even in the museum of modern art! I have brought this awesome green one a couple of times to sessions but have not found the right time to use it but I am looking forward to the day when can!
Bridgett Bardot in her home with the Tam Tam. (Photo is not mine and I did not see which artist to attribute it to!)