Occasionally I’m asked by a fellow toy photographer if they can use the hashtag #stuckinplastic. My answer is always “yes!” But maybe I should take a moment to explain the uses of hashtags and what it means when you use ours to make sure that it’s right for you.
Many of the toy photographers that I follow on Instagram use a series of hashtags that help to identify certain aspects of their photography as well as to help people find them. These tags often cover a wide range of topics including the manufacturer of the toy, the location of the photo, style of photography and the toy or photography groups they identify with. The popularity of certain hashtags ebb and flow depending on who created them and also the group supporting that particular tag. Many toy photographers use hashtags in hopes that their photography will be featured by one of the many groups that support toy photography. In short, hashtags are great source of added information about the photographer and the photo.
While we can’t offer you the chance to be featured on our site if you use our hashtag, that doesn’t mean our hashtag doesn’t have meaning and value. I view the #stuckinplastic hashtag as a short hand way to define myself similar to using tags like #LEGO, #Seattle or #womenintoyphotography. For me the hashtag #stuckinplastic is a declaration that I believe in this blog, I’m an active member of this community and that I’m proud of being a toy photographer. I’ve created a list of questions that I think will help you to decide if using the #stuckinplastic tag with your images is right for you too.
- Do you enjoy using toys in your photography?
- Do you read and participate in the activities surrounding the Stuck in Plastic blog (i.e. meet-ups, challenges, reading current posts)?
- Do you enjoy connecting with fellow photographers via social media?
- Do you try to make photographs that are original in nature and reflect who you are?
- Do you enjoy using toys to express your ideas and stories that can then translate across different languages and cultures?
- Do you think that toys can connect us with our past, present and our future?
- Do you like the idea of creating art from toys through the craft of photography?
If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, I think its safe to say that like me, you’re stuck in plastic. I realize that not every question I asked is going to relate to every reader of the blog; we each have our own agendas and needs, but it seems we all have a love of plastic / metal / resin and photography. These appear to be the most basic ties that bind us together.
By using our tag you also helps us to see exactly how large our community is, who’s reading the blog or who identifies with the idea of creating art from toys. I know our community is growing. I see it reflected in the comments, I see it in the growing number of people who have subscribed to the blog and I see it in our increased daily traffic. It’s gratifying to know that our audience is expanding; it makes all the effort the we, and our guest bloggers, put into this blog, worth it. 🙂
If you feel that you’re stuck in plastic, know that I would be honored if you used our tag. Feel free to add it to your existing array of tags and declare to the world that you’re happy to be #stuckinplastic.