Looking back, going forwards

When I decided that this year would be a fallow year for my photography, in terms of not picking up any major projects or forcing anything to happen, I knew I would probably need to spend some time looking back on where I have been over the last five years (holy moley, FIVE years?) in order to move my photography forward. When I hit my 1000th post on Instagram this week, I knew it was time to start this process.

Whilst I spent a little time navel gazing in January about the year just gone, and whilst I shared My First Toy Photo with you back in 2016, I thought it was time to take a little walk down memory lane at the last five years and see just where I have come from.

To do this, I will look back at my Flickr account to this same week in February and see what photos I took, challenging myself to think about how each year my photography changed.

Continue reading Looking back, going forwards

In a blind bag bind

Sometimes, you have a bad day and just need to buy a bunch of toys to cheer yourself up. Of course, shops these days are FULL of blind bag/box type toys for ‘kids’ to spend their pocket money on (or Tesco coupons in this case). So, in the interests of finding new things to photograph, I grabbed a whole bunch of different toys.

The sheer number of available blind bag toys at my local supermarket can be seen in the following slideshow of awkwardly taken photos.

  • All the Pop figures and blind boxes.


Take a look below at my mini-reviews to see just what I ended up buying, and whether I would buy them again. Maybe it will help you decide whether these mini toys are worth getting your camera (and wallet) out for!

Continue reading In a blind bag bind

Holding hands – a toy romance

Happy Valentine’s Day!

We have a themed six image narrative for you today. Sometimes you just have to take soppy pictures of your toys, even if you generally avoid the rampant commercialisation of love on February 14.

Space romance


Continue reading Holding hands – a toy romance

jANTMANuary Photo Challenge Winners!

With February well underway, it’s time to announce the winners of our awesome jANTMANuary contest!

The challenge? Take a photo of AntMan. Not just any photo though! As the original brief stated:

There’s a catch— your figure needs to be involved in day-to-day events – interacting in real world happenings, to scale with the real world. That’s the awesome thing about AntMan he is tiny and therefore works at whatever scale your figure is for, we have dubbed this real world toy photography! Call it an exercise in macro photography. Call it an exercise in FUN!! – Jason Nvrmore (Community moderator)

Everyone seemed to have a LOT of fun with this challenge, and we had over 40 entries on G+, making it a tough one to pick the winners!

Without further ado though, our top four jANTMANuary pictures are: Continue reading jANTMANuary Photo Challenge Winners!

Aperture science

Authors note: Before going any further, you may like to play this great song whilst reading. We do what we must because we can. I am not responsible for any earworms that may occur. 

One of the best books I have bought for understanding some simple things about photography was ‘Read this if you want to take great photographs’ by Henry Carroll. It’s a very clear look at lots of different ideas and techniques through the realm of photos by inspirational photographers.

I know Shelly mentioned it last year in her book blog post last summer, but for me, this is one of only three(!) books about photography that I own. I wanted to share a little about how it helped me understand aperture in a very simple way.

Please keep in mind I’m the least technical photographer out there, so you may know better, and you most certainly want to get hold of the book to get the full picture! However, quickly, and very simply put, aperture is about making the hole in your lens smaller or larger control to the amount of light entering your camera. Continue reading Aperture science


Last week I introduced a new hashtag, #nofigurefriday, and boy did it seem to go down well! I was happily surprised at how many of you took a chance at ditching the figure and shooting your accessories.

We had some absolutely brilliant photos shared with us featuring a range of accessories from all kinds of toys.

We had beautifully focused swords. Continue reading Hashtagapalooza

Toy photography without the toy

Have you ever taken a toy photo without the toy?

Well, maybe not quite without the toy, but certainly without the figure.

As toy photographers, we so often photograph figures. I mean, that’s the whole point right? Telling stories about and with our toy figures, be it LEGO, Playmobil, Hasbro, Hot Toys or any other kind of toy you photograph! We are photographers and story tellers and we love our figures.

That said, I wanted to try something different. So I started an ongoing series of photos featuring objects alone, without a figure, or only showing very small parts of the figure (a hand, for example). I wanted to tell some stories without characters. I wanted to showcase some of the wonderful accessories that are available to us. Continue reading Toy photography without the toy

Sick statistics

In all my imagined versions of how 2018 might start, I didn’t think of coming down with flu. And yet, here we are, 11 days into the start of the year and I’ve spent most of them sick and feeling like someone hit me with a truck.

If you are like me and not working or doing anything makes you crazy, you might come up with some hair-brained idea to go through all 365 of your project photos and collate data on them (whilst marathon watching episodes of Castle under piles of blankets). You might even, in the interest of visual data, make a few pie charts. Continue reading Sick statistics

The freedom of 2018

I’m really looking forward to 2018.

This year is the first year in about a decade that I’m not doing some kind of photo project. I’m not sure how long it will be before I miss the structure of a long project, but the freedom of a free-form photography year is calling to me.

I want to have days where I just don’t have to take a picture. I want to have days where I shoot 10 different pictures and get the chance to spend time learning how to do post-processing on them. I want to be able to be more creative with my shoots, not cram quick photos into days that seem impossibly busy. Continue reading The freedom of 2018

Countdown to Christmas

It’s less than a week to go till Christmas, and I’ve been having a blast opening up my Playmobil calendar! It’s been different from the LEGO one I’ve had for the last couple of years, and change is always good!

Is your letter to Santa written?

I personally like the LEGO advent calendar’s for the minifigures, rather than for the micro-builds (although my partner much prefers this because he gets to build them!) Sometimes, there are too many builds over figures for me. In the Playmobil calendar though, there’s not much to build. Most of the pieces only require some light touch assembly. Attaching a bucket handle, or adding a hat! Not much for the enterprising builder but fun for the photographer! Continue reading Countdown to Christmas