Note: I did the photos in this post a bit differently than normal. If you roll over them with your mouse, you'll see the unedited version of the photos. I love to see before and afters and thought you might enjoy seeing the straight-out-of-the-camera shots as well as the final edits.
I'm not big on using props for my photography. It's not that I'm against them or anything, they're just not something I think about. I don't stage photo-shoots very often--I prefer candid shots--and even when I do I don't have enough mental energy to come up with creative props.
But, sometimes a simple prop can save the day.
Clara, being a two year old, is constantly on the move. Even with my nice camera I'm having a hard time getting a shot focused and fired off before she's dashed off. She also loves to see the pictures of herself on the back of the camera but hasn't yet figured out that if she's behind the camera I can't actually take a picture of her for her to see.
The other day a momentary flash of inspiration salvaged a photo-shoot that was going nowhere. I picked a pansy from my flower bed and handed it to Clara.
She stopped and studied it.
And even sat down. Alleluia! She stopped moving!
I had an entire 60 seconds to grab some sweet pictures before she completely pulled the flower to pieces and was off again.
Not perfect photos, but candid and simple, full of natural curiosity and joy. My favorite!