Shooting people’s hobbies and collections gives a photographer the widest scope of possibilities. There are no limits to what people collect or do in their leisure time. As a photographer being prepared is always a good mantra to follow.
Telling the Story
When shooting someone’s collection, think through the story you want to tell. Understand the importance of the collection to the person and set up your shot appropriately. A collection can give great insight into a person’s loves, past and passion. Think about how you want your image to tell these stories. You will get a great deal of insight into how to set up your shot if you understand the relevance of the collection. And remember, when you’re shooting a person’s collection or hobby, what you’re really doing is telling a story about the person themselves. So try to bring the humanity to the shoot.
When shooting a hobby, particularly an action hobby (such as a sport), be prepared. Have your batteries fully charged and make sure your gear is in good working order. You don’t want to miss a great shot because you haven’t checked your gear. If it’s a sedentary hobby, such as puzzles, think about it in the same way as shooting a collection – set up the shot appropriately. Consider your lighting and consider your subject.
Consider the equipment you’ll need
Do you need a tripod? What lighting will you be shooting in? Will you need to bring lighting equipment? Will a compact camera capture your shot? Will you need a DSLR? What lens?
One of our Melbourne team members, Axl, shot a friend who has a large collection of goth items.
Some challenges they faced included lighting, which Axl solved by using a light stand and a speed light fired by a radio trigger. Axl mounted the speed light on the trigger, and the combination on the light stand, and put the flash in to manual mode. And then he played with the settings. He tried bouncing the light off the ceiling, but was not able to get the lighting bright enough and finally he used direct flash, diffused by a Gary Fong Diffuser. This meant that although the light was pointed at the scene, it was still spread, so there were no harsh highlights or shadows. Space was also a challenge; Axl rearranged the furniture to create enough space.
Axl used the following equipment:
· Cactus V5 Transceivers
Axl chose the 12 - 40mm f/2.8 lens because it’s a versatile lens. The aperture of the lens being a constant 2.8 meant once the lights were set up, their strength didn't need to change when changing the zoom, and the 40mm end was good for a portrait shoot.