Having a collection of over 1300 model horses (mostly Breyer) can obtain a myriad of responses from others. Often at Golden Oak Stables events, parents, friends and families of other collectors ask “How Many!?!?!”, followed by “Where do you keep them all?”. Well, sadly most of mine are packed in boxes and I don’t get to see them often, but with thanks to the wonders of digital photography my horses are only a few clicks away!
Even if your collection isn’t as large in size as mine, there are many reasons to photograph your collection. The most important reason is so that you know what you do have and what you do not have. That may sound silly, but even with a few dozen models, its easy to get confused on what models you have. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought doubles of Stablemates that I’ve already bought before I started photographing my collection, but having that visual aid can help eliminate that. In addition, it’s good for insurance purposes should something happen to your collection. Lastly, its just fun for showing off! In the age of the internet, its fun to have photos of all of your beautiful horses to show off to friends!
Photographing a large collection is quite an undertaking, and in all honestly mine isn’t even completed yet, but once you start, it is easy to keep up with. There are several choices for how to photograph your collection: you want take all of your photos in the same spot to keep them uniform. Some of the best places to photograph your models are either outdoors, on blank background indoors or in a photography tent. You can see examples below of each of the different places. I’ve found that the photography tent provides the best photographs, but as long as you are taking consistent photos your photos should turn out just fine! Pay attention to your camera setting to avoid obvious glares and shadows. Photograph your models from both sides, as well as any distinguishing marks on your model. Taking photos of the model along with any certificates or boxes is also a good idea so you can keep track of the additional things to go with your models.
It may seem like a huge undertaking, but its a very important thing for every collector to do. Once you have taken your photos, remember to back them up, either on a disk or online. Happy photographing!