Whether we are photographing adults, children or families we always have a conversation about the props we'll use in our photographs.  Props are great for helping to give you something to do with your hands, but also go a long way to communicating who you are and what you like to do.  They add to a significant part of the story being told by the photograph and tells the viewer something about you that would not otherwise have known.  When selecting props to be used for your portrait, consideration must be given to what you're wearing and the location of the shoot to ensure the props are not out of context with the rest of the photograph.  For little kids, you can almost universally use balloons and teddy bears, however for older kids who have developed their own hobbies you might be using a musical instrument or a piece of sporting equipment.  For adults, the prop could still be hobby related but more often than not we find an extra piece of clothing like a hat, walking cane or gloves add that little bit extra.