Using Props in Headshots: Yes or No?

Should You Use Props in Headshots

Should you use props in headshots or not? It’s an age-old debate and it is something that a lot of people getting their professional headshots done are still confused about up to now.  The idea of using props for headshots, especially for business and professional purposes, can be detrimental to the image that you are trying to portray. In this guide, you will learn about whether or not it is appropriate to use props, and the ways to do it properly (if you insist on using props).


Should You Use Props in Headshots? 

The short answer is: it depends. The decision to use props depends on the type of headshot you want taken and its purpose. It will also depend on the subject’s personality. If using props can communicate who you are through your headshots best, then it’s a good idea. Otherwise, it is best not to use props for your headshot session.

The use of props will also be determined in what you intend to use the headshots for. For example, if you are using it for your social media profiles like Facebook or Instagram, you can do away with using props. However, you might want to opt for a more professional headshot concept when you intend to use your headshots for your website’s About Us page or marketing collateral.

When Props are Beneficial in a Headshot


When Props are Beneficial in a Headshot

There are several benefits to using props in a business or professional headshot. They are designed to support you or to enhance the creative concept of the shoot. Below are some of the reasons why one would want to use props for a headshot:

  • It adds to the personality of the subject
  • It relaxes a subject (especially when nervous)
  • It puts context to the subject
  • It infuses creativity
  • It sets the ambiance of the shoot

When you decide to use props, it is important to consider closely the type of props you use. The strategic choice and positioning of the props during a shoot can significantly influence the overall look of your photos. 


Additional Tips When Using Props in Headshots

Props are good to have in a photoshoot but they are not absolutely necessary. It is important that the props you use do not overshadow the subject. Instead, they are meant to complement and support the subject. In some cases, a prop can simply sit alongside the subject in the frame. It will be enough to convey the message and the context of the shoot.

Whether you choose to shoot in a studio, in your office, or in an outdoor setting, there are multiple options for props to use and how to use them. It might take a bit of experimentation to find the right props. When you choose the right props, they can add personality to your headshots and humanize your brand. Take time to analyze the best props to use and how you can use them in your headshot session for maximum impact. 

When going into your headshot session, you can bring a few props to choose from. Or, you can use existing props in your office to reinforce your brand. Just make sure that they are natural to you and that they add to your headshot, instead of just using props for the sake of it. 


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