As soon as the location and dates were set for the next US toy photographers meet up, I did not need anymore thinking. I booked my flights.
If you’ve ever been to a toy photographers meet-up, I have to tell you that it’s a great experience. It’s a 4 day, intense weekend, that you will spend with strangers. You will meet new people and people that you’ve been following for quite some time on social media.
To be honest, it’s a strange experience. Even though you’ve never met them before you immediately have the feeling that you’ve known them for ages. We’re all dedicated to our work and we put a lot of ourselves in our creations. As a consequence, pictures can really tell a lot about people. What we like, who we are,…

 So this time I expect to meet some great people from the other side of the pond (For those of you who would not know, I’m from France), discover new faces, new artists, make new friends.


What do we plan on doing during this 4 days adventure? Well… take pictures of toys (of course!). It will be a good opportunity to share some tips and tricks on toy photography. It’s always interesting to get out of our comfort zone and see how the others work. We will have some laughs and we will leave with some tears in our eyes but in the end we will have some great memories and hopefully some great pictures out of it.
Basically, in the end, we will not want this weekend to stop.
One thing we might not have during this weekend is enough sleep but who cares (You need to wake up early if you want to enjoy the beautiful light of a sunrise).

Other “activities” are also planned during the safari and my favorite one is the picture exchange. Each participant is invited to print pictures from his/her own portfolio to share with others. That way everyone is leaving with a personal souvenir from you and you are leaving with a nice souvenir from everyone. Personally, I keep those pictures on my office wall at work and it reminds me everyday about those great times we spent together.


And of course, this time, there is San Francisco. I don’t know what it is with this city but it has me motivated. It’s been a long dream of mine to visit this city. Is it because it is so far away from France? Is it because of the Golden Gate Bridge, the national parks, the mysterious island of Alcatraz (I am a fan of the movie The Rock), the vicinity with the Silicon valley (I am a geek) or the Pixar and ILM studios,…? I don’t know but I am very excited to discover the city. 
I will be spending a few more days in Frisco after the toy safari so if you have any recommendations, don’t hesitate to share them.



Writing about this has made me really motivated to participate. I can’t wait….

In the meantime, the “Fellowship of the Brick” from the Hamburg toy photography meetup is gathering for a weekend of toy photo fun in London (March 25-26th). If you’re interested in joining, contact me directly, or check out Lizzi’s blog or follow the hashtag #LondonToyMeetup2017.


~Julien / Ballou34