Inspired by Literature

Have you noticed how many challenges are happening in the community right now? Just for fun we have daily hash tags to inspire you. There is also a Batman challenge to win a complete set of the latest CMF mini-figures in partnership with our friends at the LEGO Group. There is also a G+ Monthly contest on literature. February may be a short month, but there is no shortage of challenges to inspire you!

My favorite of all these different major and minor challenges is the literature challenge currently taking place in the our G+ Community. When Julie Blair first proposed this idea I will admit I was skeptical. I’ve been a mod before and I know how hard it is to inspire photographers to participate in challenges. Especially one that makes you think. But if the first week is any indication this is going to be a fabulous challenge! It seems I’m not the only toy photographer who’s work is often inspired by literature. Continue reading Inspired by Literature

The Best Camera

You’ve probably heard the quote:

The Best Camera Is the One That’s with You

This quote became ubiquitous when Chase Jarvis used it as the title of his 2009 book on iphone photography. His goal was to legitimize mobile phone photography. The idea being that it’s better to take a picture with your phone than to miss out on capturing an image because you left your bulky DSLR at home. 

I like the idea of capturing images using my phone. In the past, I’ve even challenged myself to only capture toy photos using my phone. But honestly, I prefer my bulky DSLR with its dedicated macro lens.  This is my comfort zone, this is what I’m used to.

So image my surprise when last week I ended up on a beach with a backpack full of toys, accompanied by friends, no rain in sight and no CF card in my camera. Continue reading The Best Camera

Styles

Photographic styles. It took me a while to think and research on this subject and this blog took a couple of different directions while bits and pieces came to my mind about what I should write.

Rather than add to already well-written articles found online and here, I wish to share my own journey of discovery with respect to toy photography. Along the way, I hope you too share the same experience while discovering your own style.

I decided to write about this because I realized that every time I scroll through my social media feed, I am able to instantly recognize a particular toy photographer’s work because the image has a distinct look. Continue reading Styles

Art and Politics

Brett Wilson asked a while ago if conscience should go into toy photography. I think it should, and it should also go into art (and obviously into toy photography that aspires to be art).

Why don’t I like political art?

However, there is one kind of art that usually does not do the job for me. It’s what they call political art. Most political art is very efficient in getting its message across. A Parthenon made of forbidden books: Once you know all these books were sometimes forbidden somewhere, it seems to be hard to misunderstand this work. The artist may mean well, but I am not satisfied.

I do not care for the good intentions of the artist. I care for the kind of art that stays with you because you can never really figure it out although you would really like to. Continue reading Art and Politics

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

No Year’s Resolutions

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions.

Sure we’ve got goals for the Toy Photographers community this year. And yes, attending the Cannon Beach Toy Photographers weekend is a personal goal I’ve set myself. But that’s about it. Or so I thought!

I’ve come back from a week of camping down the coast without any resolutions or personal goals for this year.

I’d hardly had time to brush the sand from between my toes before a resolution snuck up on me without me knowing it! Continue reading No Year’s Resolutions

Viva La Resolution!

I’ve always loved the New Year. I know it’s all psychological, and that despite the Earth completing yet another trip around the Sun, New Year’s is just another day.

Yet, I can’t help but feel a renewed sense of excitement at the idea of a “clean slate.” The transition from one year to the next means that you’ve passed Go; it’s time to collect your $200 and move around the board again.

It’s true that only 8% of people actually complete their New Year’s resolutions. Does that mean we should stop setting them? I don’t think so! Continue reading Viva La Resolution!

Photography New Year’s Resolutions

Each new year feels like a blank slate full of possibilities. With that feeling of unlimited possibilities I like to set a few photography new year’s resolutions.

I’ve been talking about setting new year’s resolutions on the blog for more than a few years. These past resolutions include having more fun, five words to define a year and of course learning better technical skills. Brett and I even set one for the blog: create more opportunities to grow and support this community in 2018. Continue reading Photography New Year’s Resolutions

Power of Words

I have a lot of respect for the power of words. As the year comes to an end I’ve been thinking a lot about what comes next. Both personally, for the blog and my own creative life. Like many of the readers of this blog I struggle with keeping my creativity going. I appreciate posts like the one from James on using art books to stimulate creativity.

One of my favorite books to stimulate my own creativity is The Photographer’s Playbook. I’ve been feeling lost lately so I turned to this trusty book of photography assignments. I wanted to revisit an earlier exercise by Cig Harvey: Ideas into pictures, a two part assignment. Because I believe in the power of words, I really enjoyed this task when I first completed it in March 2016. It reminds me of the surrealists use of automatic writing to unlock the subconscious. The other reason I wanted to revisit this assignment was to see if anything had changed in my perspective in the intervening two years. Continue reading Power of Words

The strong silent hype

We’ve been working on a project since October, but a signed NDA (non-disclosure agreement) means we can’t talk about it until February. The silence around this project almost silenced me. Almost!

Yesterday James wrote about finding inspiration to photograph from within the words and photos of books. Today I struggle to find the inspiration to write words based on the photographs I’ve been taking.

When all I’ve been working on is something that I’ve got to keep my silence about, it’s tough. When my weekly blog post generally evolves from, or relates to what I’ve been working on, it’s so freaking tough. Continue reading The strong silent hype