For Father’s Day this year, we wanted to do something special for my Dad, so we decided to take photos of him with his favorite hobby. If your dad enjoys painting, perhaps you could photograph him while he paints. If he likes cooking, maybe you could capture him while he prepares his favorite dish. Does he like to go fishing? You could take his picture with his lucky hat and favorite lure.

Since he was a child, Dad has always loved cars. For the past 10 years, he has also been showing his cars at car shows. So we thought we would photograph him with his car, and some of the trophies he’s won.

Car Awards
OM-D E-M1 Mark III | M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO
1/500s | F6.3 | ISO 200


Create Optical Compression

Instead of standing close to Dad and using a wide-angle lens, I stood back further and used a telephoto lens. That way, I could make the background appear closer, and eliminate background distractions. In the first photo below, I used the M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO at 12mm. In the second photo, I used the M.Zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 PRO lens with MC-14 teleconverter.

OM-D E-M1 Mark III | M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO
1/500s | F4 | ISO 200
OM-D E-M1 Mark III | M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO + MC-14
1/640s | F7.1 | ISO 200

Polarizing filter

When photographing subjects that are shiny or reflective, use a circular polarizer. Like polarized sunglasses for your camera, a circular polarizer can help reduce reflection or glare and give a better saturation of color.


If you plan to photograph your Dad indoors, it’s important to consider the lighting. You may need to use the built-in flash or attachment flash, or one of the more powerful Olympus FL-700 or FL-900 flashes.

If you prefer to use existing light (windows or room lighting), then choose a lens with a large, bright aperture like the M.Zuiko 25mm F1.2 PRO or the 45mm F1.8 lens.


So how can you best tell the story of your Dad and his hobby in a photograph?


What is a background that makes sense?


When we take a picture, we can tell a story. We try to include things that say something about our subject and reinforce the story we are telling. We also try to eliminate things that distract from our subject. When you look through the lens, try to only include things that support our story. That may mean we need to CHANGE PERSPECTIVE. When we photograph people, we usually photograph from around eye-level. But it can be interesting to try a few photos from above or below, especially when including other objects.

OM-D E-M1 Mark III | M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO
1/80s | F18 | ISO 640
OM-D E-M1 Mark III | M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO
1/250s | F4.5 | ISO 200


What items would be used in his hobby? Gather up some of these things to and take a few close-up pictures too.

Maybe include a photo of your Dad’s hand as he is stirring his secret sauce or a stack of the coins he’s collected next to his magnifying glass. For the car, we took a few “detail” shots, like the car logo, badging, and dashboard.

We hope these tips inspire you to capture some photos of your Dad and his hobby this Father’s Day.

Instagram: @ourphototribe

Steve and Faith Hutchinson share an extensive background in photography and camera sales and over ten years offering camera instruction. They love traveling and sharing their enthusiasm for photography through their photo classes and workshops.