Okay, so artefacts can’t really smile but they are regularly involved in photo shoots, and with the right photographer these pieces of history can really shine.
One way we preserve our collections is by properly documenting the artefacts through photography. We can then use these photos for research, exhibits, publications, and to provide a visual in our database.
Taking pictures of artefacts is not easy. You’d think it would be because the thing doesn’t move around like a human or animal subject, but trust me when I say it’s not. That’s why I hire a professional to assist when I want high-quality photographs of the HBC Museum Collection.
Rob Barrow is a Winnipeg photographer with extensive experience running photo shoots for artefacts. Recently I asked him to come in to snap some pictures of artefacts that are currently on display in the HBC Gallery since the cases were being opened for regular cleaning and maintenance.
Although I know artefacts aren’t the only thing Rob photographs, he has a real knack for this. He gets the lighting just right, knows where to zoom in for some detailed shots, and can even make the most mundane piece shine like a star. He might even put the artefacts at ease…although I have yet to hear him utter cliche phrases like “work it, work it” or “you’re a tiger” but maybe he waits until I’m gone to offer such motivation. As someone who speaks to the artefacts in her collection I am not judging one bit!
Check out these recent photos and see for yourself.