Welcome to an interview for the series Game Credits Who’s Who (#GameCreditsWW). Ever read the credits page of a game you enjoy and wonder about the various positions listed? Would you like to work in the game industry someday but are not sure how some of the positions work? This Monday series will take a personal look into those positions and introduce you to real people doing those very jobs in the game industry. This week, let me introduce you to Scott King, Boardgame Photographer. He had such a timely project that I delayed the post until today so the project and the blog could be released together. Enjoy!
I’m an author and photographer. About half my income is made from book sales, and the other half is made from photographing board games. Publishers hire me to shoot their games and those photos are used for online websites, ads, printed banners, sell sheets, and just about any other kind of marketing materials.
How did you become a boardgame photographer?
Unpub 3, back in 2013, was my first peek into the world of board games. 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 wife, and I ever kickstarted.
I took a bunch of photos at Unpub 3 and continued to shoot more and more board games as I learned more about the hobby. Within six months I was contacted by a publisher who wanted to hire me to photograph their board games. I’ve been commercial photography work ever since.
Share with us some of your recent projects.
I just sent a novel called “Wrath of Dragons” to my editor. Its the first book in a new fantasy series I’m launching next year. My plan is to get the first three books finished before releasing them within a few weeks apart (which is really important to getting a boost in online stores, like Amazon).
Then I also just wrapped production on the 2017 Gaming Calendar. The Gaming Calendars are an annual tradition and for the Kickstarter I allow backers to pick what photos go into their calendar. That means every year I have to add 50-60 photos to the pool so that there is always a fresh selection. This year the custom calendar pool has a total of 216 photos!
What is your greatest frustration or pet peeve as a boardgame photographer?
I used to be able to cheat with rules. If there was something I didn’t understand, I could check Rodney’s youtube channel or even Rhado’s, and they’d have a video that would teach me the game. But now so many of the games I shoot are pre-production or airshipped copies, which means video reviewers/educators haven’t had time to make the videos yet.
Before I photographed the games for this year’s calendar, I spent two days (about 17hrs) in a coffee shop, reading and memorizing 39 rule books. It might sound weird, but I can’t photograph a game if I don’t know how to play it. The rules truly matter. No one wants a photo of just components. They want a photo that tells a story. For me to be able to do that, I have to know how to play a game. So bad rule books are my biggest bane.
How can readers learn more about you or contact you?
You can check out the 2017 Gaming Calendar on Kickstarter. This year’s campaign will run until Tuesday, July 18th and it’s the only place where I sell custom copies of my gaming calendar. So if you want to build your own calendar, make sure you check it out!
My books can be found on Amazon:
Then of course I’m on all the usual social media: