Hats by Gil Maker

Some weeks ago I served as a model for two of the photographers in my Saturday photo group who wanted to practice portraiture and studio lighting. The subject of the photo shoot was my humble hat collection. (This was before the acquisition of my rainbow squid hat.) Gil Maker got me a disk back this weekend of all the photos he took, and I went through and did a quick pass of cropping/editing on them. Here are the ones I liked well enough to edit. And yes, the cropping on some of them is a little weird because I wasn’t sure where to cut my arms – Gil says if we try again he’s going to rent a longer lens so the photos don’t need to be cropped as much.

Gil’s stated philosophy on taking these pictures was to work around the other photographer (who was doing most of my directing and positioning) and take photos of the scene rather than trying to get specific portraits against the gray paper, which means that the majority of them ended up including studio equipment. He says these are the first portraits he’s taken other than of family members…

Baseball-ish hat:

Kangol Ascot hat:

For reference, I think on most of these they used one huge softbox for the key light, plus a smaller softbox for fill/rim/backdrop lighting, plus a reflector in my lap at times to fight the shadows cast on my face. It was pretty cool that they were sharing the rental of studio space/lighting with a bunch of other photographers in the Anderson Alley Artists space rather than owning all that expensive equipment themselves.

Siberian hat:

I really didn’t have much idea of what I was doing (hence some of the kind of weird expressions), but it was fun. Also I like hats.



And lastly my ridiculously large black sun hat:

They spent a lot of time fiddling with the brim and trying to get enough light up into my face. It is a very large, floppy hat. Although I’ve been thinking of it as an “Audrey Hepburn hat,” I think it’s really more like the one the dramatic woman in “Under the Tuscan Sun” wears (except, you know, possibly even larger…):


You know, the woman who simply said, “Well, hats make me happy,” in response to being questioned about her habits of doing crazy things. She’s a good reminder to confidently and fully enjoy the things that make you happy regardless of how other people see them.

“Terrible idea… don’t you just love those?”

3 Responses to “Hats by Gil Maker”

  1. Ariana
    | Reply

    Nice!! My favorite is the black sun hat picture in color. Also, that’s a very pretty shirt. :)

  2. Jill
    | Reply

    I LOVE that you included Under the Tuscan Sun in your inspiration/thoughts. She is a great woman to remember and try to be more like, if only just a little. And your hats have made me think of her on a number of occasions :)

    Terrible ideas indeed…

  3. ellen
    | Reply

    Thanks! I got the dress at H&M in Cologne for cheap. It’s really comfy. ^^ And yeah I like that woman, she has a lot of panache. I think I only manage eccentric, but maybe when I’m as old as she I will have learned to convert it to eccentric panache. I’m flattered that my hats have put you in mind of her. :)

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