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The Travelling Hat Project

When Santa’s hat came a-calling, it was time to get creative as part of a group photography project that’s just been unveiled.

A couple of months ago, I was invited to take part in a travelling photo project. The idea is simple: take one object, a group of photographers, and give them a time-limited opportunity to flex their creative muscles and shoot something special that features the prop.

Each photographer borrows the item for a few days, and takes a photograph of it in line with their style and vision. The photographs are collated by one person (thank you Alannah!), and kept strictly under wraps until a ‘big reveal’ takes place.

In the run-up to Christmas, we thought it would be fun to trial the idea with a Santa hat. If successful, we agreed to do a full-blown travelling photography project together next year. But in the meantime, so as to avoid the vagaries of the Christmas post, we all bought similar hats, and set out on a festive photographic foray.

I wanted to use this chance to step out of my comfort zone. For me, this involved delving into parts of Photoshop that I’ve never used before – and it’s proved revelatory!

Without further ado, here’s a link to the video showcasing all of our images. I’ve been waiting in eager anticipation for everyone’s interpretations, and it’s just brilliant to see them brought together.

My vision

As soon as I heard about the travelling hat project, I knew the direction I wanted to take. I’m lucky enough to have a licence to shoot at local Forestry England locations, and had recently discovered a treasure trove of young conifers at one of my favourite spots. I knew they’d look fantastic as a backdrop to some festive portraits, so that’s where I headed with my enthusiastic volunteer.

On the day of the shoot, the weather wasn’t kind. It was bitingly cold, damp, and heavily overcast. This meant that I had to use less-than-ideal camera settings, and my model had to summon every ounce of her happy and bubbly personality. But summon it she did – and we had a hoot.

When I uploaded the photos to my editing suite, I was fairly pleased with most of them. But I realised that there was a way of making them even better – and teaching myself some new skills to boot. So I ventured into Photoshop, and added a bit of winter magic.

Here are my favourites from the shoot. I hope they get you in the mood for a very merry Christmas. On which subject: have a great one. I’ll see you on the flipside!

Girl in snow. Photograph captured in Somerset forest, by faily photographer Sarah Gibson

Girl among conifers in the snow. Outdoor Christmas photography, by Somerset photographer Sarah Gibson

Girl among coifers in the snow. Outdoor Christmas photography by Somerset photographer Sarah Gibson

Girl in festive hat, in Somerset forest. Outdoor family photography by Somerset photographer Sarah Gibson

Girl in snow. Outdoor Christmas photography by Somerset photographer Sarah Gibson

Girl walking into woods in the snow. Outdoor family photography by Somerset photographer Sarah Gibson

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