A Family Portrait

Hello everybody!!

Today I would like to tell you a story. This is the story of how a family overcame obstacles to reach a goal. The most difficult thing for me is translating some typical Italian expressions, but i’ll do my best.

Recently, my wife and I, along with my little daughter and my aunt, were invited for lunch at my parents holiday’s home. At the end of the lunch, while my wife was taking my daughter to sleep, my mom brought the coffee. After the first sip, I asked:

“Mom, do you have an inflatable swimming pool here?”
“Yes, it’s downstairs, what do you need it for?”, she asked.
“I want to take a picture.” I replied.
“Of the swimming pool?”
“No. Dad, do you remember karate kid?” I asked, while watching my dad.
“Of course!” he answered.
“And do you remember the training on the beach?”
“Yes, crane kick!” he quickly responded. “Do you want to take a picture of a minifigure doing the crane kick?
That would be nice!” my mom exclaimed.
“No mom, I’ve already done that, I want to take a picture of the training on the boat. That’s why I need the swimming pool.” I said.
“The one that we have will need some time to be filled” she clarified. “But if you want, I have a smaller one”

Then she brought a small circular inflatable swimming pool with bright orange border. I said, “Ok, let’s try”. My dad took the pool and started to fill it while I was preparing the minifigs on the boat. When the swimming pool was filled, I brought over the little boat.

“Okay, it floats. What I need now is to find something to hold it in place because I also need some waves.”
I was thinking about a big pile of LEGO, of course.
My aunt asked “Would some rocks do the job?”

Without leaving me time to answer, my dad started searching for all the stones he could find and putting them in the pool, making a big pile.
After emptying the pool a bit, I placed the boat on top of the stack. I gave a first look at the camera and noticed the white ground of the pool.

“We need something to cover the bottom.”
My dad came back with a piece of green wood and other stones, exclaiming “I feel like on a movie set!”.

Then we moved the rocks around to hide the bottom, while my father covered the back of the very orange pool with some grass, even if the camera would have never framed it. But you know, details are everything.
Just as everything seemed to be in the right place, I remembered one thing: the waves!

“Dad, do you have a small fan?”
“Let me check”

Meanwhile, I noticed the front edge of the very orange pool which would show at the bottom of the camera screen. I know that later I could easily crop the picture, but it still bothered me. I put a hand over it and lowered gently until it disappeared from the viewfinder. And you know what?

That movement created waves.
Small waves like the morning wind on the sea.
It could have been the afternoon wind, but the morning was more poetic.

Soon after my father and mother came back, both with empty hands.

“I’m sorry, I thought I had a fan but I can’t find it” he apologized.
“Don’t worry dad, look here,” I said, lowering the edge with continuous, quick movements. He looked at my mother and said, “Well, I can’t believe it.”

While they shared the disbelief, I noticed some harsh reflections on the minifigs and the water, so I mumbled:

“The sun is killing the ninja …”
“Want an umbrella?” My mother asked.
I thought for a couple of seconds, then I said, “Why not? Let’s try it.”

Then she brought the umbrella and opened it while I directed her to cover the sun. I took a couple of shots and modified them a bit in post-production for the end result. Even though I am very happy with my final photo, the journey has been, by far, the most important thing for me. My family was involved and I want to thank them because this picture is really a family portrait.

Marco (The APhOL)

A dialog between a toy photographer and himself

Great! I’ve found a place that looks like a forest! Look at that moss!
What could i place here?
Why not a minifig riding a motorbike?
Ok, sounds reasonable. 
Why don’t make it a sidecar?
Ok, let’s do it. Who will be the passenger?
Why not a rabbit?
Ok, let’s do it.
Why don’t cornering the sidecar to make it looks taking a dangerous turn?
Yeah, a more dynamic pose, let’s do it.
Why are they together?
Don’t know. Strong bond like friendship?
Ok, everybody should have a rabbit as a friend.
Where are they going? What is going to happen?
Don’t know. Let’s take some pictures to find it out.

1-Friendship

2-Friendship

3-Friendship

4-Friendship

5-Friendship

6-Friendship

~Marco (The APhOL)

Why? by The APhOL

I have to confess that writing this article about “why?” I like to photograph toys was challenging.

I’ve never thought about why I photograph toys, before. I was only following the butterflies in my stomach. But having to write the reason in “black on white”, I would answer that I’m a toy photographer, especially LEGO, because it’s incredibly fun. Continue reading Why? by The APhOL