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.


http://bit.ly/TravellingHat


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!