Any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

By “towel,” Adams meant “toys,” right?

I never travel without at least a few toys. No matter how far I go, I can carry a little piece of home with me, and as a bonus I have something to photograph when I get there!

In the past, traveling with toys has led to some fun adventures and great photos. There was of course last year’s Seattle Toy Photo Safari, and a personal trip to San Juan Island that allowed me to flex my muscles as an outdoor photographer and go off the beaten path.


I’m traveling again now, this time all the way to Florida, which is at the opposite corner of the country from my home base in Washington! And though I packed a few toys and LEGO minifigures in the hopes of grabbing a few shots, this is a business trip, not a vacation.

Last week, Brett talked about how life can sometimes “limitate” art, and while sitting in offices on my laptop, staring out at the palm trees through the window, I definitely felt his pain.

Still, I’m managed to seize a few opportunities to take photos in an environment and climate that’s so different than what I’m used to. Palm trees and wide open beaches are something I can only simulate at home, and there’s simply no substitute for the real thing.

Mostly, I’ve spent this trip thinking about inspiration, and how it changes when you travel.

I felt it during the Seattle Toy Photo Safari, am dealing with it now, and will definitely experience it at this year’s San Francisco Toy Safari. Shelly talked recently about whether you find the photo, or the photo finds you. By default, the sheer nature of traveling limits what you can actually plan for. I could only fit so many minifigures in my suitcase, couldn’t bring my DSLR and am instead relying on my iPhone for photos, and have a limited amount of free time while on this trip. One of those things in my natural habitat is hard enough to deal with; having all three has been quite the challenge!

Regardless of these limitations, the new environment has allowed me to think outside the box, and take photos I normally wouldn’t have the chance to. So, I guess that this time around, the photos are finding me!

Wish you were here…

Do you take toys with you when you travel? How do you find inspiration when you’re in a new environment?



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