Toy Photography Starter Set

Recently The LEGO Group offered a free toy photography starter set with a minimum purchase. Why am I calling it a toy photography starter set? Because this cute little set has everything the budding toy photographer needs to take fun photos while on vacation!

This set resembles an older set (LEGO #7567, The Traveler) and might be confused for a simple update. It wouldn’t be the first time The LEGO Group has updated an older set. But, if you’re a toy photographer, you will see this set for what it really is: a toy photography starter kit! If there was any doubt that the LEGO Group wants to support and encourage our crazy little hobby, this should erase all doubts.

What Makes this a Starter Kit?

What makes this a LEGOraphy starter kit and not a redo of an older set are all the accessories; accessories only a toy photographer would need. This isn’t a cute little mini figure with his bags heading to the airport; this guy is ready for some serious toy photography adventures. This 41 piece set, in the shape of a suitcase, comes with everything you need to take fabulous toy photos. It doesn’t matter if you’re on vacation, or a staycation, you will find plenty to inspire you.

Not only will you receive the usual summer accessories like a suitcase, scuba gear, surfboard, ice cream cone, lounge chair, umbrella, red mug and camera. You will also receive a selfie stick, a tripod and a clear rod for more advanced photos. This clear rod will make those advanced flying shots a breeze!

If there was any doubt this is LEGO’s way of promoting LEGOraphy, the included photo album will surely convince you. This fun little book is filled with 27 photos designed to inspire your own photographic adventures.

Whats for dinner?

One of my favorite details of this set is the use of the classic LEGO face. There is something very sweet and simple about this face that makes it perfect for any situation. Even one that is death defying!

Oh no!!!!!

My only criticism of this set is the hat. I would much rather they have included two different hair styles instead. By including a ‘male’ and ‘female’ hair, the photographer can customize the figure to best represent their own personality.

Now What?

If you happen to be shopping on LEGO.com or your local LEGO store, you may have received one of these free sets with your purchase. If you have an extra set, why not gift it to a friend or child who’s interested in toy photography? Lets take this promotion from LEGO and spread the toy photography love! Who isn’t going to fall in love with this set and want to take this little guy (or gal) out on a summers worth of adventure; both at home and on the road.

Thank you LEGO for helping us to spread the LEGO photography love! Its great to have your support for this fun and exciting hobby!

Shelly

Did you receive a toy photography starter kit? What did you think? 

(A hat tip to community member LizzyBelle9 for pointing this out to me. Even though I have two sets, I hadn’t made the connection!)

I used the plastic ‘wand’ to help me create this snorkeling photo in my pond.

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The joy of creativity

Right now, I’m more in love with my printer than my camera. This is a huge departure from where I was three years ago when I wrote: “For the pure joy of the photograph”. I’ve grown a lot as an artist in the last three years and my joy of photography has expanded to a more inclusive joy of creativity.

In my original post I talked a lot about the thrill of photography. I wanted to take photos and not actually “do” anything with them. I referenced Vivian Maier and her well know habit of taking hundreds of rolls of photographs and not developing them. The act of taking a photo was more important (easier?) than developing, printing and exhibiting her work.

I know the feeling. Three years ago my primary objective was taking photos. Exploring my environment through toys was my only goal. There is a pure joy to the photographic process. I was more than happy to simply have fun.

Recently Kristina asked: ”When is an image finished?” I can relate to her dilemma. I think all creatives can. Setting up a particularly photo and seeing the beauty of the light, the image, the story, is addicting. The act of creating by taking photographs, feels good. It feels so good, in fact, that its sometimes hard to stop. What I’m learning now is that it feels good to be creative in other ways too.

While I still experience the joy of creativity, I seem to be moving away from focusing on the click of the shutter.  I want to develop the images further then ever before. Editing is more important due to the effort and time of alternative processes.  Printing my works and presenting them is my current challenge. There are boxes of paper and spare ink begging to be used. My shop is filled with boards to be prepped and images to be mounted. July 15th is right around the corner!

I love taking photos, but my creative drive is shifting in new directions. I’ve spent time organizing my web site into albums. I’m also curating images into a semi-cohesive group for a cafe show. By doing these activities I can see where I need to focus my creative energies. I now see glaring holes in my portfolio which helps me in the decision making process.  Which images should I photograph next? With the help of Jennifer’s G+ challenge I’m also looking at my ‘near misses’ to see if they can be salvaged.

An image from 2015 which I’ve always loved, but why does the pond have to be so dirty??
A new version taken in my back yard. Im not there yet, but this image gives me hope. 🙂

Sometimes being creative doesn’t mean taking photos. Sometimes you have to stop and take stock of where you are and where you want to go. Priorities change, interests move in new directions.

I’m grateful for the frustrations of various on line media platforms. There is an upside to the current negative Instagram user experience. Rather than chase likes and followers, I’m getting my hands dirty and making stuff. The physical act of creating a piece of art is a joyous way to spend an afternoon.

Much has changed in my life since I started blogging in February of 2014, but the joy of photography has not. I’ve only expand my creative joy to include editing, curating and creating images for presentation.

Shelly

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Revisiting and Recreating Your Toy Photos

June’s photo challenge in the G+ community, Revisiting and Recreating your Toy Photos, is based on an earlier post by Jennifer. This challenge has me thinking about photos in my archives that I’ve already revisited and recreated.

It seems there’s no shortage of them! So I thought I would share of few of them with you. Continue reading Revisiting and Recreating Your Toy Photos

What have you created today?

What have you created today?

I ask myself this question everyday. It might seem like an easy question to answer, but somedays its hard to answer positively. Like you, I have the usual litany of personal responsibilities that accompanying the act of #adulting. I won’t bore you with the details because I’m sure you have a similar list. Yet, with all these responsibilities its important to be able to answer: “Yes, I created something today!”

You and I are similar…we love photography and creativity. I know this because you’re reading this blog. We all have our different reasons for using toys as our subject, but at the core, we’re all creatives. (If you’re not familiar with the many reasons toy photographers use toys, you should check out our “Why?” series!) As a creative, I bet you want to understand and improve your photography.

I know I am. Continue reading What have you created today?

The Six Image Narrative

Welcome to a new series on the toy photographers blog called: The Six Image Narrative. We want to give you the opportunity to be featured on the blog and showcase your own six image narrative. What is a six image narrative you ask? It’s a story that can only be told in six images.

We realize that not everyone is a word smith. We also realize that time is short and that we don’t always have time to devote to reading a 2,000 word blog post.  So Brett and I decided to try something new on the blog and showcase even more photography! Continue reading The Six Image Narrative

The San Francisco Toy Photographers meet-up has come and gone

The San Francisco Toy Photographers meet-up has come and gone. A years worth of planning, organizing and a fair amount of worry, paid off in another epic weekend. There’s no way I can share with you the many moments, both small and large, that bonded this group together. We laughed, we shared toys, we shared equipment and we inspired each other in so many way.  I will do my best to impart a little bit of the magic of our four days together.  Continue reading The San Francisco Toy Photographers meet-up has come and gone

Seattle Toy Safari- video teaser

The Seattle Toy Safari was one year ago and the memories are still fresh. As excitement builds for the attendees of this weeks San Francisco Tay Safari, I want to share with you a small taste of last years event.

One of my projects around last year’s event was to create a behind the scenes video. I hired two friends to work along side the talented Leila Chieko to video the entire event. The goal of this project is to create a video that will show why these events are so much fun and to share a little of the magic. We interviewed many of the attendees so they can tell you in their own words why they attend and why they love to take photographs of toys. Continue reading Seattle Toy Safari- video teaser

With Gratitude

It’s been awhile since I’ve created a gratitude post. But their have been so many changes these first few months of 2017, I thought it was high time. I’ve always felt it’s worth a moment to pause and take time to reflect on what it is really important to me: friendships and connections. And so far this year has been incredible in both of these areas.

Change is inevitable. Change is constant. ~ Benjamin Disraeli

Continue reading With Gratitude

LEGO City changed my life

OK, maybe LEGO City didn’t exactly change my life. But by taking a deep dive into this under appreciated LEGO theme, I learned a lot! For two weeks all I did was think about, and photograph, City sets. Through this activity, I was able to get a fresh perspective on my work and on the work of others. While these sets are aimed at boys 6-11, there are still plenty of interesting stories to tell.

This unexpected deep dive into LEGO City came courtesy of Kevin Hinkle and Kim Thomsen of The LEGO Group. Recently I received an email asking Boris Vanrillaer of Stuck in Plastic, Will Heron of TexLUG and myself, if we would be interested in working with the Lego City marketing team. Who was I to say ‘no’ to such an opportunity. Continue reading LEGO City changed my life

Seasonal Infectious Disorder

Confession time; the changing seasons do affect my photography. I will call it a seasonal infectious disorder that is characterized by an irrational exuberance caused by the blossoming of trees, longer days and the sun peaking out from behind the ever present clouds. I didn’t realize how much it affected my toy photography until I was packing toys for a recent outing.

In an earlier blog post, Brett asked: “As the seasons change, do your toy photographs change with them?” I cavalierly thought, sure, of course it does. Who doesn’t take there toys to the beach in the summer and into the snow in the winter?  Ok, a lot of people, including me. Sometimes I find myself on a Hawaiian beach in the winter or high in the mountains of Colorado in the summer where the snow still lingers. On closer inspection it seems that location is not always an indicator of the season. Continue reading Seasonal Infectious Disorder