Hegre’s a great Photography Challenge submitted by a long-time member here at the Trevor Carpenter PhotoChallenge, Eric Axley! Eric is known for his fabulous contributions to the challenge, submitting creative work week after week. His Guest Challenges have been greatly appreciated by the community over the years. Due to the uniqueness of this challenge, being inspired by his mom, I decided to put this all together for the community at the last minute in honor of Mother’s day while also taking advantage of the great hats presented by those who are avid fans of the Kentucky Derby! Have Fun!

Guest Challenge by Eric Axley

I owe this idea to my mother. She is known at church as the ‘Hat Lady.’ She has worn a hat to church every Sunday and sometimes people don’t even recognize her out in town without her hat on. She has so many, that she had to put a picture of the hat on the outside of the box so she could tell them apart. Thanks, mom for adding color and fun to life.

This challenge can be of a ball cap, work hat, cowboy/cowgirl, men’s or women’s fashion hat, sports hat, on a model, or some kind of still life photography.

The hat has to take over 75% of the focus of your image. So if you do still life, don’t let the props take away from the subject. If you have a model wear the hat, the hat has to be the focus, not the person wearing the hat. The included example images illustrate a great way to work with a model while keeping the hat as the main subject of your photograph! This can be in B/W or color, photographed in natural light or studio lighting. Apply yourself with composition and lighting techniques.

Here are some great examples:

Below are some links to brush up on composition and lighting!

Tips on getting ready.

  1. Clean your hat. It’s better to clean before shooting rather than lots of time editing dust or dirt.
  2. Clean backgrounds. When using props be careful that your subject does not get lost.
  3. Choose your lighting technique. Natural light vs Flash photography
  4. Move your subject around for possible different styles and compositions. Find the one that works the best for you in post.

Tata Rossi at ‘FixThePhoto.com’ wrote a good article, with more details.


This being Mother’s Day weekend in USA & Canada, and the Kentucky Derby, there should be no lack of inspiration for this week’s PhotoChallenge!


You’ll need to push the boundaries of creativity to really bring your subject, the hat, as the primary focus of your image…

Photo Credit: RODNAE Productions


  • Choose a hat or multiple hats as a subject.
  • The hat(s) can be still life or on a model.
  • Make the hat the primary subject of your photo.
  • You chose, B&W or Color.
  • Post your newly taken photo during the week of Sunday, May 8, and Saturday, May 14.
  • Please note and obey our group rules!
  • Please remember to comment on at least FIVE photo submissions this week by answering the question “why?” in your comments. In other words, “why do I like (or not like) this photo?” or “why did this photo catch my eye?” Thank you!

The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple

  • Take a new photo for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Post your photo each week to our active communities on Facebook or Flickr(or both). Tag the photo:  #2022photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2022 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.