Whether you're going pro and having a professional photo session, or simply having a laugh with the family and a digital camera, having some props on hand can be a great way of capturing some interesting images and helping the kids to overcome any modelling nerves. While some people prefer more classic, posed pictures for their canvas prints, we think that a bit of colour and fun can add a whole new dimension and make a print really stand out on the wall – especially with younger subjects.

Here are some ideas for different props you can use - you can pick a lot of these up from charity shops, fancy dress stores or eBay if you want to keep costs down. You might even be able to gather some bits and pieces from the depths of your own cupboards and wardrobes!

child wearing glasses as prop for photoshoot

Hats - hats add character and can immediately transform your look, bringing out a playful side to your photos. If it’s a group image, have some fun swapping the hats around and trying different styles while the photographer snaps away. You'll get some fantastic animated shots that will really show your relationships and personalities.

Feather boas, glasses etc - colourful boas, comedy glasses, bow ties, fake moustaches and other joke accessories can be a great way to create colourful images both literally and in terms of the dynamics of the shot. You can use the boas to 'grab' someone towards you, peep out coyly from behind, hold it aloft like a banner or have a tug of war match - just mess around! The kids will forget they’re being photographed as they’ll be having so much fun and the results will be natural and animated.

Wigs - for brilliant pictures for the kids' rooms, buy a selection of cheap wigs and let them play around with them. It can be a great way of letting them express themselves and overcoming any shyness about being photographed. This type of canvas print makes a great keepsake of a group of friends, especially of an event like a birthday party.

Balloons - great for adding a splash of colour or getting some easy-to-capture action shots; peer out from behind them, kick them up in the air, chase them, play a slow version of volleyball with them or simply sit down and surround yourself with them!

Toys - if you want a canvas print of your child or children, invite them to bring a few favourite toys to the session. It will keep them occupied and stop them getting bored, while also adding some extra interest to the pictures.

Flowers - you can use flowers in your photos in a number of ways; brighten up a plain background using them as a feature, get your subject to hold one (or a bunch) or even scatter the floor with petals, lay down and take a shot from above.

Animals - if you have pets, they can be a great addition to your images and your canvas print will show off even more members of your family! Dogs and cats are probably the best animals for cuddling up to, but you can try some photos with any furry or feathered friend.

Kids are known for being great but sometimes difficult subjects for photography sessions, so hopefully these ideas will help you to keep them happy while they’re being snapped. Animated, fun pictures are perfect for children and show off their characters well – enjoy the mayhem!

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