When in Doubt, Accessorize!

When Shelly discussed her love of shooting in threes, I decided to take a look at my own catalog of images to see if there were similar patterns in my own work. Luckily, one quickly emerged: accessorizing.

Rather than bring together several elements to make a photo work, I sometimes like to add just a single accessory. These small but mighty pieces can carry the story all by themselves.

lego-cavewoman

Whether I’m in the occasional photo funk, or simply lacking concrete ideas, I take comfort in knowing I have this trick up my sleeve! I take out some minifigures, open up my containers of LEGO accessories, and mix and match! How would this figure look holding that accessory? Or if that minifigure was playing with this… Sometimes I get a chuckle out of a particular mashup, and will snap a pic. I won’t change anything else about the minifigure. Just the accessory.

lego-red-riding-hood

Take this shot, for example. The tale of Little Red Riding Hood changes dramatically with just one added accessory. Is she on the hunt for the Big Bad Wolf? Or did they already cross paths, and now she knows better than to enter the forest unprepared?

lego-ultron
Analog vs. Digital

Ultron is a fun minifigure, but I never found the right scenario for him until I paired him with this phone accessory I took from LEGO CMF Series 17. Now it’s a commentary on analog vs. digital, or just a fun shot of an angry Avengers villain being stumped by old technology.

lego-darth-vader
“He’s more machine now than man.”

A simple wind-up key takes this Vader portrait to the next level, and acts as a funny call back to Obi-Wan’s ominous words about him being “more machine than man.”

lego-groot

While I tend to pick accessories that feel out of place with my minifigure of choice, I sometimes find that keeping it simple can yield great results too. Case in point, Groot gazing peacefully at some flowers.

lego-viking
Fearless Warrior?

A simple teddy bear (a go-to favorite for many LEGO photographers) can add a lot to a scene, and make a fearless Viking warrior a lot more relatable.

I could go on, but I think you catch my drift. By playing a little game of mix-and-match, you can come up with some pretty great scenarios. Luckily, LEGO releases new accessories all the time, so there are endless possible pairings.

Needless to say, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one accessory! Adding multiple accessories, or adding more minifigures into the mix, can truly bring a scene to life!

lego-bigfoot
“Oh my god, it’s Bigfoot!”

What’s your favorite accessory/minifigure pairings? Do you stick to one accessory in particular, or find it impossible to pick just one?

James

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thereeljames

Just a grown up kid still obsessed with Star Wars, superheroes, and toys.

10 thoughts on “When in Doubt, Accessorize!”

  1. I totally agree with you! One little accessory makes a world of difference. Sometimes, I would just get a minifig just for one particular piece of accessory.

  2. Great selection of photos and accessories!

    I love LEGO accessories for making a simple figure shot a story and often buy figures just for the accessories (like the ninjago figures!!)

    Great post! 🤓

    1. Thanks, Lizzi! I buy minifigures (or sometimes even small sets) just for the accessories too. And you’re right, ESPECIALLY the Ninjago figures, I feel like they were jam packed full of great accessories this time around that I can’t wait to shoot.

  3. Love your post, James!

    LEGO accessories are so pleasant and attractive, it’s an important criterion when I choose the new collectable minifigures. 🙂 I prefer the food LEGO parts, they are amazing!

    Enjoy your day!
    Kind Regards,
    Ann.

  4. Great post James! You did a fabulous job showing how a simple accessory can expand the story in unusual ways. Like you will often play in my box of accessories to see what I can come up with. I think your addition of the wind-up key to Vader was inspired and you already know how I feel about the viking and teddy bear photo <3.

  5. I love accessories! And this post perfectly articulates why! A great photo can be given so much more “oomph” by the addition of a teddy bear, a phone, a different hat etc. The humour that a seemingly insignificant, out of place, accessory can add is immeasurable. Often, the accessories are the first things I pack when I’m heading out to shoot. A random grab of food, hats, weapons etc. ends up adding so much more to shots I never knew existed. As I type this, there are some Minifigure/accessory mashups sitting on my desk awaiting the rain to clear! Great post James, again!!

    1. Thank you Brett! I actually thought of you quite a bit when I wrote this post – I’m often inspired by how you use accessories in your photos. You always come up with some great combinations. I usually pack accessories first as well, first picking things that are relevant to the location I’m going to, and then some wackier, out of the box choices.

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