You’d be surprised to see what tools you can extract from this type of product photography.

Board games and photography were once two completely separate hobbies for me. However, models weren’t always available and landscapes I wanted to shoot were often quite a drive away. This led me to look for different product photography ideas I can shoot at home, and when I stared at a carved wooden magician piece from a board game, the rest was history.

Wooden board game towers and mages derived from the Archmage board game align against a lighted moon ball
Wooden board game towers and mages derived from the Archmage board game align against a lighted moon ball
One of the first board game photos I started taking from a board game called Archmage

What’s interesting about board games is that it makes you quite a well-rounded photographer, and it’s great for practice. Let me explain:


Board games are essentially products so when you practice photographing these games, you are practicing product…

Here are 3 factors that will help you be more intentional in your photography

Photography captures your attention because you’re able to visualize a moment in time you can’t take back. Once that slot of time has passed, there will likely be subtle differences between your photos. This is especially true when capturing emotion; that same laugh, smile, and gaze into a significant other are all gone the next time you click the shutter button. When I first realized this, panic struck. I automatically diverted to using rapid shutter speeds and shot in burst mode.

That was a mistake.

Shooting more photos doesn’t mean all those shots are moments worth capturing. If we have…

When nature becomes your teacher

I thought I had my settings dialed in memory. I watched tons of videos, bought books that explained every setting, and practiced with my phone. Somehow, I managed to elude the fact that photography isn’t that easy, and speed is deceptively involved more often than not.

After taking the following photo on my Iphone 6+, I thought photography was much more simple than numbers clocked in for different settings:

A turtle sunbathing at noon at the beach, a wave crashing from behind it
A turtle sunbathing at noon at the beach, a wave crashing from behind it
A sunbathing turtle at Laniakea Beach, HI

It was midday, and our phones auto-adjust iso, f stop, white balance, and more. All it took was pressing one button. What’s interesting is that the photo turned out relatively nice…

Add this element you drink every day to your photos, and the possibilities are endless.

The more I looked to find ideas for photography, the more I realized that there was one element I consistently integrated into my pictures because it made photography that much more fun for me, and that was water. Water is so dynamic and adaptable in pictures; it can change the subject, reflect light, absorb colors, add textures, and captivate your audience by adding a touch of uniqueness.

Regardless of your subject in photography, water adds an interesting perspective to landscapes, portraits, and especially product photography. However, in order to really take advantage of our cameras and the characteristics of water…

Sunset often dictates when our cameras turn off, but here are my reasons why I love shooting at night.

It makes sense. We don’t take pictures often at night because there’s no more light. In a world where these handheld boxes we hold function only in response to light, it’s easy to hit the off switch. Our energy is sapped from the day. Our human subjects are resting and aren’t available. Landscapes remain in pitch black darkness. The paint for our canvas is completely empty… And this is why you should try midnight photography.

In the day, we scan around for possible subjects, whether it’s finding a friend to pose for us or waiting for the sun to rise…

How can you improve on a daily basis?

You often hear that photographers are storytellers. We love rich landscapes, running around to test new gear, and communicating with other people so they can help us breathe life into our visions behind the camera. Being at home, our canvas instead becomes quite limited. What do we do now?

Surprisingly, I think now is actually the best time to thoughtfully practice. Think about it. If we can make the most mundane, boring objects around the house look interesting…can you even fathom how much your skillset will improve once you can apply those techniques to the beautiful landscapes and subjects outside?

These foundations were critical to my growth as a photographer.

The back of a photography, holding the Canon 80D in one hand and gazing off into a cloudy sky overhead a murky river
The back of a photography, holding the Canon 80D in one hand and gazing off into a cloudy sky overhead a murky river

I learned how to make photos unique. I say that with utmost humility because when you’re restricted to one tool, you don’t have a choice. If you want to upgrade your gear, you’ll have to work for it. You’re forced to be creative. You begin to think about what all the ways you can fix limited compositions. It makes you pinpoint what your weaknesses are, and if you don’t understand how to address those weaknesses, you end up putting your camera away when the memories could be captured in the palm of your hands. …

Board Games

Nothing is more frustrating than wanting to a play a game, only to be bogged down by the rules.

Every time you open up the box, how often do you remember the rules for the board game without referring to the manual? For more complicated games, that’s ok, it’s expected. We then start flipping through page by page, trying to figure out what different terms refer to, what specific components even look like, and even worse, not finding the information we need: we just want to play the game! In this article, I’ll show you a step-by-step layout of how I think rulebooks should be structured, information that should be included in various sections, and general thoughts to consider…

Creativity often works as an outlet; take that away from us, and it’s mentally deprecating so here are a few ways you can avoid that.

A creative rut is when… you’re out of ideas. You’re no longer motivated to do anything. You have no desire nor will to pursue your hobby, and it doesn’t matter what it is. Board games, photography, knitting, kayaking- whatever it may be, a creative rut is writer’s block: it’s a block for your creativity.

Clearly, you don’t want to be in that state of mind so here are 3 ways that have personally helped me, from a photography perspective, remove myself from that state of mind:

1) Find your foundation again:

What made you start this hobby or profession to begin with? Think about what…

Give life to inanimate objects by surrounding them with a unique story

The Dragon, a miniature from a board game called “The Grimm Forest”

Inanimate objects are difficult to photograph because well…they have no emotion; it’s hard to make them interesting. Sometimes we get lucky and have an emotion portrayed on their sculpture, as seen in The Dragon above. However, that’s all we get. We can’t ask it to look sad. We can’t ask it to tilt its head downward. We can’t manipulate the emotions and positioning as we would for a human model. …

Tim Chuon

Photographer & Videographer | Instagram + YouTube @timchuon | I write about photography concepts that help you improve.

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