»eat my bricks« is a photo art project. We are two dads and media dudes aged 40 from Dresden, Germany, and we have known each other for more than 20 years.
On the one hand Michael: The passionate music lover, record collector and father of two is a professional in the field of communication and marketing. The camera is his daily companion. The autodidact is a true all-rounder. He focuses not only on photographic details, but also on world political events. With his intuitive feel, he puts into the light, which belongs into the light. Also plastic figures.
On the other hand Soeren: For the former graphic designer no idea is too weird. After 20 years he quit his job to make his childhood dream come true. He becomes a pre-school teacher. He finds his devotion while playing mini figures with his son. His daughter applauds graciously to this childish passion, which motivates the fearless father even more.
Together, we are a perfect team for our project.
We have been taking pictures of lego minifigures since early 2016. Bit by bit we transform our ideas into a scene and then share the final photos with similarly minded “crazy” people. We have seen a big increase in interest and feedback from the community. This is a great motivation for us to keep going. And after Shelly has asked us so nicely why we do what we do, we have gathered five of the main reasons for you.
Having Fun Together
There are two of us. That’s a good thing, most of the time. Especially, when we check on each other to see if a picture fits or an idea works. Sometimes it is difficult to meet, as we both have families and work full-time. There is not a lot of time to work on new ideas for motifs. However, when we do find the time to get together, there are always a few bottles of beer waiting for us. This way, every shooting becomes a little party.
To Win the War
Design is a war. So is photo design. We have an idea, make a sketch, look for the right minifigures, suitable faces, and get all other material that we need. And when we look through the lens or on the camera display, we face the decisive moment: Are the proportions right? What about the light? Colours? Background? Angle? Is the idea working? Then, out of nowhere, a figure falls over, or one detail is wrong. And we have to start all over. That is like a battle with our expectations and with the materials we work with. We’re pacifists, but these battles – this war – we need to win.
As childcare worker, it is all about starting a conversation with the kids in my job. Our pictures do the same. Through the photographs, we get to talk to our kids, friends, and families. For example, when I showed my son the vacuum cleaner scene, he said “He is very sad”. And that’s when I knew “yes”, the idea was working. We manage to trigger emotions with our pictures. In other words, our pictures can create a dialogue between generations. The fact that is actually happening is one of our main motivations.
Showing Our Identity
Creative processes are always a mirror of ourselves. We both grew up in East Germany. We had toys, we were happy. But we had no flippin’ Lego! Our kids, thankfully, have a chance to play with it. And what about us? We have to catch up with a missing part of our childhood.Our ideas come from who we are and how we look at the world. A great example is the “Fish’n’Bricks” picture. We had food tins in East Germany that came with a little metal stick to open the tin. Years later we came across the Beastie Boys. The cover of their album “Hallo Nasty” showed exactly that kind of tin. Both experiences merged into the “Fish’n’Bricks” picture.
Fun and Play
Those who play, stay young. Lego photography is the perfect medium for us to combine play and skill. We are creative, and we like to play. We have the knowledge, skills and equipment needed. So it’s an ideal way to express our ideas. Sometimes that is fun, sometimes it’s political and occasionally it’s daft. But at the end of the day its fun to play with plastic mini figures.
Of course, there are many other (big and small) reasons why we photograph minifigures of all things. But the overall goal is always the same: we want to capture our ideas in high quality photographs.