Tips for Photographing Your Hobby Models

While many people have hobbies of collecting items, playing games, both indoors and outdoors, a few people also have the hobby of making models. Creating models and then keeping them is a hobby that only a few understand. Moreover, the modern art of hobby models also includes taking pictures of these models. You need to make sure of various aspects so that the hobby models are pictured precisely with various details. Here are some tips you can follow. If photography is your hobby, you must know the key items needed for your photo studio in order to start taking pictures.

Tips for Photographing Your Hobby Models

Your Camera

When it comes to shooting miniatures, cameras play a very important part in the result. You have to shoot a small object in a way that clearly shows all of its detail. There are multiple cameras you can use for the job. The most popular one of these is a DSLR. DSLRs offer the best quality of pictures and offer you a lot of control over your end product.  However, it can take a little time to understand how these cameras work. Also, DSLRs aren’t affordable for a lot of people out there.

The other option is a point-and-shoot camera. The picture quality of this camera is almost as good as a DSLR. The plus point with these cameras is that they offer a more user-friendly interface. The cameras are compact but don’t offer a lot of control. Nonetheless, you cannot change lenses in point-and-shoot cameras. This is something only DSLRs offer.

Finally, we have a mobile phone camera. It’s not impossible to photograph a model with a phone camera. In mobile phones, you can’t control the shutter speed or ISO, and neither can you change the size of the aperture. Thus, mobile phone cameras offer you almost no control over your image.

Camera is an important part of your photography hobby models. 

The Lens

If you can afford to buy, or have access to it, a wide-angle macro lens is the best choice for miniatures. If you don’t have a macro lens, you can use any other wide-angle lens. Just make sure it has a short minimum focus distance. Using a good lens is the best tip for photographing your hobby models.

If you don’t have a wide-angle lens available, you can use the original lens your camera came with. Besides, you only get the option to switch lenses in DSLRs. When using point-and-shoot cameras and phone cameras, you have to use what you have.

One of the most important tips is that you should have a lens cover as well. Don’t keep a lens uncovered because this way, it gets dirty, and sometimes, the dust can enter inside the lens too if it stays uncovered for a long time. Besides, we recommend that the lens be cleaned every time. There are specific lens cleaners as well which can allow you to clean the lens leaving no mark behind. This will make sure that no pictures are going to appear as a blur. There will be maximum accuracy when taking pictures.

There are plenty of lenses available in the markets. However, the lens of a DSLR camera costs way higher, sometimes even more than the camera itself. We recommend that you gift a camera lens to your photography-enthusiast friend.

Camera Placement

When shooting hobby models, it is best to use a tripod stand. Unless you are a professional photographer, it is very unlikely your hands will be perfectly still. Always make sure that you invest in a good quality tripod because this will ensure you are taking the best pictures always.

When using a phone camera, we recommend you take pictures with the camera upside down. This will allow it to capture greater detail. While shooting models, it is best to keep the camera at either eye level with the model, or slightly below it. Keeping the camera at eye level gives the model an illusion of reality. While placing a camera below the model, and making it face up, makes the model look larger.

Camera placement is important for photographing models accurately. 

Camera Setting

An aperture is the opening in a camera that lets light pass through it and hit the lens. Aperture is measured in f-stops. For the best, and most detailed model pictures, the aperture of your camera should be f/5.6 or more. This will focus on the best parts of your image, and everything else will be softly blurred.

The shutter speed is also very important to set. The shutter speed controls the amount of light that enters your lens per frame. For miniature photography, choose a low shutter speed. This will let more light in.

ISO is the sensitivity of your camera sensor to light. A high ISO can be very useful for low light conditions. However, change the ISO sparingly. If you choose the wrong ISO, the image will come out looking grainy.

Camera setting is important for precise and non-blurry pictures. 

The Lighting

Good lighting makes all the difference when shooting models. Choosing the best lighting is the most effective tip for photographing your hobby models. If you shoot in low lighting, even the best camera is likely to miss details. A mobile camera, on the other hand, produces blur images.

To get the most detailed and clear photographs, try to shoot in natural light. If you can’t, arrange bright bulbs on all sides of your miniature. Play with your camera and learn what light suits your taste best.

Make sure the lighting isn’t too harsh. You will know it is too harsh, if your model has a lot of harsh shadows, or some parts appear white.

The Background

Most people feel there’s nothing wrong with taking photos on a bed sheet or patterned floor. However, these photos don’t look good at all. The best photos are taken with solid colors as backgrounds. The background should be contrasting with the color of your model too. If you’re shooting a dark-colored model, white is the best background, and vice versa. You can also choose grey and other nudes.

Stay away from texture or patterns in the background.  Colors that draw attention should be avoided, as you want the viewer’s attention to be on the model only. A piece of paper can suffice as a background, as long as it lays flat, without creases and lumps. Always make sure the background you are using is large enough to cover your entire shot. The transition from your background to the floor, or any other surface should never be visible.

Hobby models should be pictured with a good background.

The Position

The position of your object is also important. Here, we are talking about the position of the object in your frame. There are two angles people take photos from. Either from the front and the sides or from above.

When capturing an object from above, there is nothing wrong with the object being in the center of the frame. However, the trouble comes when capturing an object’s front or side profile. From this angle, an object does not look extremely flattering when it is sitting in the exact center.

There’s a rule about subject placement in photography, called the rule of thirds. Imagine folding your frame in 3 parts. You should place your object on the third line. Following this rule is one of the best tips for photographing your hobby models. If the model is a vehicle, it looks like the vehicle has just entered the frame, and is moving towards something.

However, this rule does not apply to everything. If you feel like your model would be best captured in the center of the frame, go with that.

Place your hobby model appropriately. 


If you follow the detailed guideline regarding photography tips for hobby models mentioned above, you will be able to have some classy pictures. Make sure that you have cleaned all the equipment you are using including the camera lens because many times, we believe that the camera is clean but in reality, it isn’t. We hope you are able to capture some of the best pictures for the hobby models.