With friends like these…

Ever since I learned about Shelly’s new blog (she was kind enough to let me know about it before it became active) I’ve been wanting to write something. She used to post to Instagram whenever there was a new post on Stuck in Plastic and I always thought: “I should go ahead and read those posts, they are pretty good”. However, I seldom had the chance/time/non-laziness level to do so.

This is not the case with her new blog! I try to read the articles as soon as they’re published. I try to comment something meaningful and participate… whatever I can. Brett’s posts are always inspiring and they always make me smile. I sense the same “Dennis the Menace” spirit in him that I see in my dad. Shelly’s posts make me question things I don’t always think about. I know I can always learn something from her.

I want to be a part of this too. And it’s not only about being a part of the discussion. I know that there’s something I want to say, too. My dad and I have long discussions about many things; toys, and now increasingly Lego, are a big part of these discussions. I want to share my thoughts, my feelings, too.

But what do I write? There are always the suggestions Shelly made: What are my five favorite figures? Why is Lego my toy of choice? Why do I like toy photography as a creative outlet? These are all three wonderful subjects, yet… I feel more… I want to say more.

Vader in my dreams.

What wonderful timing I have chosen to start my first piece of writing! I only slept 3 hours last night, I had chores to do and spent half the day outside, now I feel so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. But something inside me is poking at me saying: “It’s time”.

–    Seriously?! Now??

–    Yes.

–    But I haven’t even decided what to write about!

–    Leave that to me. You’re more creative when you can’t think “properly”.

So I step aside and I will let my inner voice take control.

It’s been almost four years since I discovered the Instagram Lego community. Four years since I’ve been fascinated by it. Four years since I’ve been accepted into it.

These are probably the best four years of my life.

I must be exaggerating. How can I be friends with people I will never see, never talk with, share a cup of coffee, go to the movies… How is this even possible? What about my “real” friends? What about the people I used to be friends with? Does this mean that I ave never had any real friendships before?

Yes, it does. I’m not even close to exaggerating.

Names fly around in my head. Leila and Cindy got married recently; remember how beautiful they looked? Brian and Bethany had a daughter, isn’t she perfect? Courtney has been quiet for a while; work must be keeping him busy. Nikki’s daughter got the chicken pox, hope she feels better soon. The parents of John’s students made him little Lego cupcakes for his birthday, how thoughtful. Miri and Michael came back from their vacation recently, the places they visited were so wonderful. Is Ian graduating this year?…

Brickland Kids (Idea and picture by Brian Fischer, @fischnbricks)

I remember my dad’s surprised face when I told him about my friends from all over the world. Even if you put everything aside, we have something very strong that connects us: Our love for Lego (or toys in general). With some of my Instagram friends, I can discuss the latest movies. With others I discuss books, comics, animated films, customizing or creating toys. I can discuss anything, literally anything! Whatever it is I want to talk about, there’s someone I know who shares the same interest.

Lego with tea and treats

And it’s not just the conversations, they are also my inspiration. I come up with so many different ideas as I look at the wonderful pictures they take. Every time I see a picture I love, I challenge myself to get to his or her level. I learn so much from my fellow toy photographers, even just by browsing through their galleries. We share our experiences, our builds, our knowledge. We give each other tips, we get excited for new sets, we laugh at the same memes, we are sadden when we hear of the death of a beloved actress.

And then a light bulb appeared. I may not know why I started taking pictures of my Lego, but I know why I continue to do so…

Because for the first time in my life, I feel that I truly belong somewhere.

We may never see, never really know, or never be able to spend time with each other. But we are one.

I thank you for this gift.

Pinar

“You’re my best friend, my best friend, and friends are family” – Friends are Family, from the LEGO Batman movie.

7 thoughts on “With friends like these…”

  1. awwwwwwwwww!!! I love this post so much! Almost made me teary! It’s true, there’s a really unique connection to be had within this IG toy community. I too am so inspired by everybody, and cherish the bits of personal life they share too. (You are very sweet to mention our wedding!)

    One of the things I really appreciate in the community is everyone’s sense of play. We get to see people bring their toys to life, creating backstories, new stories, or just straight up silliness. I love it when IG can make me laugh! It’s also fun to see what other photographers will do with some of the same minifigures you may have.

    I’m glad to have you in my IG circle, Pinar! Maybe we will meet in person someday, you never know!

    1. You’re right, Leila, maybe we will. Like you said, it’s inspiring to see there are other people like yourself, “grown-ups” who love their toys as much as you do and play with them. I’m so glad you enjoyed my post 😘

  2. What a beautiful post! I love the toy photography community on IG (and Flickr too), it really feels like a family. I always enjoy seeing your wonderful photos 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Lynn

    1. Thank you, Lynn. Even though I can only handle IG at the time, I know there are other communities too. Maybe one day I’ll be able to conquer them, too 😊

  3. Awesome article! It speakes to me in a way that i wish i could speak back to everyone i “know” through Instagram and Lego photography. Great work!😎👍👍👍

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Matt. There have been countless of times when I felt exactly what other people described in their posts. I’m happy to be part of this community.

  4. A very thoughtful story filled with the love of toyphotography and the people involved! I’m not a Lego guy but I do enjoy your shots and all the great Lego shots in our G+ community. Thanks writing this.

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