Why? The 3 Things I love Most About Lego Photography

Hello Toy Photographers! My name is Kenton Anderson.

Me in lego form.

Since this is my first post on Toy Photographers let me introduce myself. I am a Full-Time Creative Director/Part-Time Photographer living in Salt Lake City, UT. I have been a photographer for about 10 years now and up until recently have mostly done weddings and family photography. Only recently have I discovered Lego Photography and have quickly become obsessed.

Lego photography is so much more relaxing…

There are a lot of reasons why I enjoy photographing toys, but here’s my top 3.

1. It’s Fun

I like to think of toy photography as a semi-socially acceptable way to still be a kid 🙂 I say semi-socially acceptable because there are some haters out there, but they are just too immature to still be kids at heart, or maybe it’s just that they where deprived kids who’s parents never gave them the simple joy of playing with Lego!

For me, I think the fact that I played a lot with Lego as a kid is one of the reasons I find photographing it so fun; the nostalgia. It brings back memories of Christmas mornings fighting over who gets to open the Lego presents first (similar to how I saw two grown men fighting over the latest UCS set at the Lego store on May the 4th!). With Lego my family would create our own worlds and imagine the life that went on within them while thinking… “everything is awesome”. Having fun is the main reason I got into photography in the first place and it’s definitely the reason why I love toy photography.  Sometimes I need to remind myself more of this!

Recreation of my sons room in Lego.

2. It’s Therapeutic

Building and photographing Lego is one of the few things in my life that I do 100% just for me. I think everyone needs to have an outlet. Something you can do when you’ve had a stressful day at work or things are just not running at smoothly as you’d hoped. Something that can ease your nerves and calm you down. For me, this is either playing a game of FIFA or building Lego and taking pictures.

3. It Fosters Creativity

I discovered Lego photography one day on Flickr. Out of nowhere I saw some photos from Vesa Lehtimaki, a.k.a @Avanaut. The photos were amazing to me! I’ve always loved photography, but the moment I saw Vesa’s photos I realized that the way I’d been doing photography had limits. Taking wedding photos you are limited to the venue, or to the places you can go nearby. You are limited to the same two subjects (bride & groom) time and time again, not to mention the occasional bridezilla!

The instant I saw Vesa’s photos I realized that many of those limits could disappear. I was blown away with the little worlds that he could create. Lego is a system that can build pretty much anything without ever even needing to leave the house. You can also make mini worlds with household items (such as Vesa does with baking powder) or things you can find right in your backyard (like Brett Wilson does with moss). This makes it so you can take away many of the limits that other types of photography present. Obviously there is the limit of how much Lego you can buy. For me, I have exceeded that limit probably one too many times ;).

a recent avanaut inspired photo…

Building any world you can imagine is amazing, but equally amazing to me is the Lego Minifigure. Whoever created the Lego minifigure deserves a Nobel Prize. It’s incredible how one figure (made of so few parts) can have infinite possibilities. It can represent so many emotions and so many different types of people. I think the minifigure, for me, is what makes photographing Lego so awesome. Chris McVeigh is one photographer who really does any amazing job of capturing minifigures in so many different situations and expressing so many different emotions.

Every Stormtrooper has a different emotional reaction to seeing the Darth Vader choke hold.

There are a ton of different reasons to shoot toy photography, but to me, these are the 3 that are most important. Oh, and I put having fun as number 1 for a reason!

– Kenton

@kentonanderson

10 thoughts on “Why? The 3 Things I love Most About Lego Photography”

  1. I love all three of those reasons. I keep my IG private for the enjoyment of friends and acquaintances to see my LEGO shots. After inspiring my cousin to get involved in the 1:12 scale world, and having stumbled across your site and not just seeing the participants on IG, I now want to up my game and start an open IG account for all to see. I am a creative and Art Director, but as a photographer I still consider myslef an iphone shooter and IG adjuster (no filters). I get some great images when the light is in my favor, but I am pricing some more affordable digi cams. Not DSLRs mind you, but high enough point and shoots with 20 mp and solid macro features. Nikon offer iphone connectivity with some of theirs to send to IG. What do you folks typically shoot with?

    1. I shoot with a Nikon D810 which is a pretty great DSLR, but that’s the beauty of photography. You can shoot with anything you have and you don’t need an amazing camera to get some great shots. I do wish I had a macro lens though!

  2. I agree with all of your reasons! Photographing minifigures is definitely fun and therapeutic. Taking pictures of a cheerful, happy minifigure always makes me feel better after a long week. Great post and wonderful photos. I found your IG account last night and followed you there 🙂

    Lynn

  3. This is such a good read mate. Your three reasons are the same as mine. And like you, fun is my number one too. If the fun ever leaves, even if it slips from top spot, I don’t know if I’d continue. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I totally agree with you, except I’m struggling with one point. “…there is the limit of how much Lego you can buy…” There is? I didn’t get the memo! I swear, no one told me! I thought we all had to limit groceries to 10/$1 ramen…

    In all seriousness, though – fun & creativity! You summed it all up really well!

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