Photography props add fun to photo booths and free-range photos at events. Silly hats, fake mustaches and smiles, goofy glasses, even full costumes are a great way to break the ice. They help customers and guests feel comfortable, so they can lighten up and show genuine joy in photographs. When used properly, photo props eliminate the need to ever beg, “Say cheese!”
For props to work, they have to be easy to understand, and easy for people to see themselves wearing. The way you display them gives people a sense of how they work. Sometimes just having photos from previous guests using props in photos is all it takes. Big prints on a backdrop or easel signs lure in guests, while display tables and racks, perhaps even an old fashioned men's clothing valet stand (like a short wooden mannequin) help to show off your variety.
Small props, such as mustaches and smiles on sticks, work well in vases or glass jelly jars, where they can be spread out like a bouquet. The more obvious the variety, including style, size, shape and color, the more attractive.
Have a lot to show off? Go for what would appeal in a retail setting. Hats galore look good on an old-style hat rack or “hat tree,” but may work just as well with individual space on a bookcase-like shelf.
If you have a lot to display, lead guests in without an overwhelming wall. Especially at events where walk-by foot traffic is critical, such as festivals where rows of tents dominate the landscape, stand out by having an oddball, colorful display to guide the eyes off the foot path, leading them in. Low tables placed as far out into the walking paths as permissible with eye-catching props, such as a mannequin head adorned with a silly set of glasses and a matching hat next to a photo of them being worn, makes an instant sales pitch. Tier your displays going further into the booth area so the eyes move from low up front to high in the back, like stadium seating.
At events where guests are part of a large group, such as a wedding, letting the props circulate can help draw interest, too. Of course they'll need to be props you don't mind losing, or you'll need to keep an eye out for where they're ending up. As guests play around, word gets around. This sort of “word of mouth” advertising is natural, not deliberate and certainly entertaining.
You're in a fun business, and photo props make it that much easier to bring joy to events. Make sure you're displaying them right, and they'll do the work for you!
Amber Babcock, owner of Whisker Works, makes plastic mustaches and lips on sticks at her home in Orlando, Florida with husband Alex. They've been in business for more than three years. Visit them at www.WhiskerWorks.com.