While attending Unpub 4 this year, you might see a photographer milling about, taking photos here and there of gameplay and designs. You may not recognize his face, but you will certainly recognize his work. Scott King, game photographer, might be new to the world of game design, but has written multiple successful books, and has run a successful KickStarter campaign for a 2014 Gaming Calendar featuring beautiful pictures of our favorite games. The Unpub Network is happy to have Scott on board as the official photographer for Unpub 4, but wants those in attendance to know more about his background and talents!
So enjoy the little interview we had with Scott, for we sure did!
UNPUB: How did you get into photography?
Scott: I went to college and grad school for film & electronic media so I’ve always been into the aesthetics of a camera frame, but it wasn’t until I spent three years teaching digital photograph at a college that I really got into it. The niches I gravitated toward were landscape and food photography and then that evolved into game photography.
U: Where did you first hear about Unpub?
S: I first heard about Unpub 3 from a podcast where John Moller, the founder of Unpub, was on the show explaining what Unpub was. At the time, I was writing a story that involved a character who wanted to grow up to be a game designer and I decided to attend the convention as research. So a lot of the game design references in my book “Finish the Script!” are derived directly from attending Unpub. There is even a nod to Compounded in it, which was the first game that Lisa, my longterm girlfriend, and I ever kickstarted.
U: Is it true that you dragged Lisa to Unpub on your anniversary?
S: Yes, but a little known fact is that she’s way geekier than me. So she was all about it and had an absolute blast last year. Honestly we were just going to stop by Unpub for an hour or two so that I could take some photos and write some notes, but she LOVED it. We ended up staying on Saturday for over 10 hours and then came back again on Sunday. As a players we had an amazing time and I’d recommend the convention to anyone.
U: Do you always carry your camera with you?
S: Lisa and I can be very adventurous and as long as long as we aren’t doing something mundane like grocery shopping I normally bring my camera with us. So no matter if we are at a zoo, antiquing, a comic con, festival, or anywhere else I have it with me.
VivaJava: The Dice Game
U: How did you get into game photography?
S: I got into game photography mostly because of Kalebra Kelby. She is one of the head honchos of the Kelby Media Group and wife of the worlds best selling photography author Scott Kelby. Kalebra and I are Google+ friends and she always responded well to both my food photos and to random game photos I posted, but last spring she suggested very firmly that I should photograph more games, so I listened to her and did.
U: Why don’t you think more people are doing game photography?
S: There’s two parts to being a real game photographer. The first is knowing photography and having a strong background in it. The second is being a gamer. You can’t simply put a game on a table and shoot it. You need to know the rules and what the gameplay is like so that you can capture the essence of the game. If you don’t have that gamer personality in you then the photos come out cold and nothing more than bland product photography.
U: What’s the hardest kind of game to photograph?
S: The hardest games to photograph are card games without any other components. Game photography really works when you can play with the depth of field and the z-axis and both of which are extremely difficult to do when dealing with flat 2-D objects. Of course that doesn’t mean that I don’t like shooting card games, it just means it takes a bit of extra effort to do them right.
Matthew O’Malley at Unpub 3
U: What are you most excited to shoot at Unpub?
S: I’m obviously excited to shoot the games at Unpub 4, but the lighting at the venue is really nice and balanced so I’m also hoping to get some nice portrait style shots of not just the designers but the players.