You’ve got a (festive) friend in me

A new pal arrived this week, and he’s been making himself useful by helping me set up the Christmas decorations. Here’s the six steps Woody took for spreading Christmas cheer!

Step one: Untangle the lights! What a lifesaver!
Step two: Hang baubles!
Step three: Fall off the table and get saved by the tree (Don’t try this at home!)
Step four: Find candy canes (one of the four main food groups!) No tree is complete without piles of them! (Eating candy canes is optional at this step!)
Step five: Play around whilst on a sugar high from too many candy canes!
Step six: End the tree decorating with hugs from bendy Santa!

– Lizzi

Anticipating advent

November 30th.

The countdown for Christmas begins tomorrow.

This coming weekend, seasonal toys will be brought down from the loft, the tree will go up, snowflakes will be made and the fairy lights will be deployed for bokeh themed shots. I’ve already hunted out and prepped the Christmas minifigures and accessories so they are ready for action!

Gingerbread House with gingerbread man minifigure
Last year’s sweetie heaven! What will this year bring?

I’m a big fan of the run up to Christmas, and one thing I always do, aside from make a gingerbread house, is get an advent calendar.

Recently it’s been a LEGO Star Wars one, the highlight (for me) being Darth Santa from 2014.

Darth Santa delivering Christmas presents in front of lit tree
2014’s Darth Santa braves the bokeh to deliver gifts!

This year I wasn’t keen on any of the LEGO ones so I had a look around and chose one from Playmobil! I’ve had an growing interest in Playmobil towards the end of this year and thought I would see what it had to offer for a branching out toy photographer!

Mini me is super excited and tried to get an early peak at what she could photograph this year!

A cheeky look behind door number 1!

I’ve had to stop her and ply her with hot coco to keep all the new toys a surprise!  I’m really looking forward to what tomorrow morning brings and can’t wait to photograph some new festive toys!

I’m sure I need more mugs than this for you lot!

Stay tuned for an update on my advent calendar later in the month! In the meantime, make sure you get some hot coco to celebrate the start of the festive season!

Have you got a toy advent calendar this year? Are you planning on using it for some festive toy photography? Let me know in the comments where I can see your photos! I would love to take a look at the variety of calendars out there!

– Lizzi

Failing to focus

I went to visit my family this past weekend, and finding myself with an hour to spare, I dragged my partner to the beach to get a few toy photos.

One of the photos I wanted to take was of Bert, my Fabuland elephant. I had a little trouble getting the shot I wanted, as shown by the photo grid from Lightroom below.

Too much light, too much shadow, not in focus. I could not get it right.

I had a few issues. I was shooting straight into the sun, I was failing to get my camera to focus as I wanted and I was getting the depth of field wrong for the style of shot I was after. Continue reading Failing to focus

All aboard the tin TARDIS

Last week as I was sorting out my handbag I kept finding random bits of LEGO in the bottom. A mug, a wand, the wing of a chimera figure. You know, the normal stuff that lives with the crumbs and crumpled receipts.

It got me thinking about the toys we carry with us, regardless of where we’re going, or what we’re doing. It got me wondering about how many people there are out there with small collections of toys in their bags, ready and waiting for photographic inspiration to strike!

In addition to random toys lost in my bag, I carry a tin TARDIS. A tin that is, like its full sized counterpart, deceptively bigger on the inside.

Continue reading All aboard the tin TARDIS

One year, 365 photos: an update

Just over 250 days ago, I wrote on this blog about my 365 toy photography project. At the time, I was on photo #39. As of writing, I just published photo #295!

Over the last 8 months, I’ve taken a lot of photos, many of which are consigned to the recycle bin. I’ve been to Sweden and played with Duplo, I overused breakfast items from the Ninjago minifigure series and I broke out ‘Pop’ figures and Playmobil for a change of pace.

Continue reading One year, 365 photos: an update

One year, 365 photos: a toy photography project

Every year I try to have some kind of a photography project. That might be 100 themed photos, 52 weeks projects (1 photo a week) or a 365.

A 365 is where you take a photo every day. I did it last year and I woke up on January first and decided to do it all again. This time, a toy photography only project though.

Am I crazy? Probably. Continue reading One year, 365 photos: a toy photography project

My first toy photo(s)

I’m not quite sure when I first started calling myself a toy photographer but it certainly wasn’t when I took my first toy photos on Christmas Eve, 2008.

I borrowed some of my little brother’s Stormtroopers and had them re-enact a ‘we three kings’ moment around my childhood baby Jesus.

Continue reading My first toy photo(s)

On Hamburg and other people’s toys

I could say many things about the recent toy safari in Hamburg. I could go on about the people (wonderful and not at all scary), the buildings (new and old and beautiful), the food (the bretzels!!), the lack of sleep (not so fun) or the excessive number of staircases we seemed to climb (over 80 flights in three days).

However I have something else to say about the experience. What I want to write about is playing with, and falling in love with, other people’s toys. Continue reading On Hamburg and other people’s toys

Have LEGO, will travel

At the end of the month, I’m heading off to Hamburg for the 2016 European toy photo safari. The moment I saw it announced, I knew I had to go. To be able to share toy photography with other like-minded people is an opportunity I couldn’t miss.

This is a little out of character for me. I mean, I don’t normally like to leave the comfort of my own home, let alone get on plane to another country by myself. I did try to persuade my partner to come with me, but he has enough trouble standing around whilst I pose LEGO figures for five minutes, let alone spending the whole weekend doing it.

So that was out, and I was left to make the decision to go by myself or not at all. Continue reading Have LEGO, will travel