Using a sword as a prop

Props in portrait photography are often used to enhance the expression of the model. It may give a purpose, a pose, an expression otherwise not easily obtained with a model. It may help provide a thread to facilitate the interpretation of the image. The object must be at the service of the image and should not detract from the natural expression of the subject. The objects used in photography should be convincing for the viewer in understanding the meaning for which it was used. There is to be a reason for the object to appear in the frame.

The subject’s character should be enhanced by the use of the prop. Often the prop will bring an element of intimacy for the subject: a violinist will hold its prop in a way which will demonstrate closeness and simplicity. It adds a sense of a natural relationship between the subject and the object.

Certain types of props are more challenging. For instance, a sword is not an object most people are familiar nor have they ever used. However, such a prop will inspire the subject to move into a role-playing position and help boost creativity.

Model: Mardi Reid

The sword is the ultimate phallic symbol: an aggression weapon, a penetrating sharp blade, a highly visible reflective metallic finish, a decorated handle. All these features point toward an instrument of domination and strength. A sword adds a clear symbolic dimension to the image. Its features confer to the weapon a distinctive presence. The blade contrasts directly with the fragility of the skin and the vulnerability of the naked body. The blade is also suggestive of a phallic dimension, providing a potent offensive weapon, with a penetrating pointed tip.

Model: Vincent
Using props is an effective mean of helping a model achieve an expressive pose. A sword allows to create a ‘role playing’ situation, making it easier for the model to come up with a clear expression and achieve body poses with spontaneity. It gives freedom of movement, a plenty of latitude to work out a great composition. It helps the subject to place themselves in their own world and make abstraction of shooting process.

Model: Oliver Koomsatira

Model: Patrick Laforge

Being a weapon of aggression, the use of a sword opens up imagination and creativity. The prop becomes an extension of the model and actively define facial expression and body movements. The model may transform his movement to express a detachment from the weapon, forcing a reinterpretation of the object.

Model: Vincent

Model: Curtis Leung

Roody Renelus

A sword is a great prop to enhance bodyscape pictures. Hands particularity are the directing component holding the object, drawing full attention. Again, contrast between the body skin and the sword’s metal, wood, leather, decorated surfaces bring a lot of value to the resulting image.



Copyrights: All images displayed are from the author and are protected by copyright. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit written approval of the owner.

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