The importance of props when selling artwork

I have been an on again off again hobbyist photographer for 13 years now. Through out this journey my interests have shifted excitedly between nature landscapes, macros, human and animal portraits, surreal photo manipulation, and even the macabre. I’ve explored outside my comfort zone and done the occasional wedding, senior photos, family portraits and product photography. No matter what my main passion has always centered around nature photography.

When I began shooting for NickMaxStudio, it was as if I were stretching muscles that had started to atrophy. Before I took this step, I was going through periods of time where my inspiration had completely vanished. The ideas that once sparked within me like fireworks had extinguished. One of largest contributing factors to my near total disinterest in photography was attempting to turn my favorite pastime into a career. As someone who is strongly introverted, this only served to induce a lot of anxiety. Consequently, what had once been a long loved hobby of self expression was then reduced to a source of apprehension and discomfort.

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One of the reasons I love Nicholas’ artwork so much is that it inspires me in ways that I haven’t been in a long time. Everyone has their own unique story on what they see in his work. When I look at his paintings, my mind instantly clicks to nature scenes such as seascapes, landscapes, vast fields, and cyclones. As I see these images, I’m at ease. I begin to imagine what would complement these paintings. How about a vine of ivy? The pink blush of a stunning aloe? Or even the unusual tube like leaves from a golum jade plant? My love for nature and the scenes his paintings depict have created a harmony that I didn’t anticipate but am very grateful for.

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Product photography is still somewhat new to me but I have found that props are about creating a mood. They can inspire someone to look at a painting as more than just a painting. What I try to do is set up a scene, that way it’s easier to imagine a piece of artwork in a persons home. It might even motivate someone to create a similar artistic set up of their own. There is really no end to what you can create and accomplish. The sky’s the limit.

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When I decided to use props, I didn’t go out one day and buy a bunch of doodads. As it turns out, we already had plenty of props lying all over the house. You might come to realize that you do as well. I’m a great lover of collecting various stones and minerals. I keep them on my bookcases, by my houseplants, and even on my dresser. When I’m ever in a new place, I browse around vintage shops and buy items that grab my interest. Coincidentally, most of them go quite well with Nicholas’ paintings. My mom collects beautiful ceramics, glassware, and gorgeous fabrics that work brilliantly when setting up a scene. Not to mention that between my mom and I, we easily have 50+ succulents and houseplants all together.

Since the beginning of 2017, we have been discovering unknown territory within ourselves. Through brain storming and bouncing ideas off one another, we have been extending our imaginations in new and exciting ways. Watching Nicholas laugh and enjoy himself as he tries new things has been a huge motivator. When he’s happy, everybody’s happy. I only hope that I will continue to find ways to complement his work and give his paintings the kind of embellishments they deserve.

As Nicholas’ sister, I tend to gush about his work but I believe in him, in what we accomplish as a family, and in our ability to create beauty where there wasn’t before.

– Natasha

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