We toy photographers sure are a busy bunch! Shelly has turned to setting deadlines to reach her goals, and Brett balances his full plate with intentional, restrictive time management in the editing room.
As we draw closer and closer to the end of the year, I’ve found that I too am struggling to keep up with the passage of time. Projects I envisioned or began earlier in the year have fallen by the wayside, photo ideas have gone untaken, and I feel constantly behind schedule. In fact, this very post is being written last-minute thanks to traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. I rushed the setting sun in order to nab my required photos in time! Continue reading Maintaining Momentum
How to Steal Like an Artist is the title of a book you should read. Yes…you! The sub title of this amazing (and short) books is: 10 things nobody told you about being creative. And if you’re reading this blog, then you’re a creative. So you should read it.
We all like to look at other people’s toy imagery and get ideas for our own photos. Recently I had a conversation with a friend who stopped following a fellow photographer because he said: he learned everything he needed to learn from her. A shocking statement to make, but at least an honest one. We all look and learn. Its how we get better at our craft. Continue reading Steal Like an Artist
I really like the LEGO ladder. So much so, I thought I would write an Ode to the LEGO ladder. I think the LEGO ladder is a frequently over looked accessory. Sure we see plenty of cats, dogs, teddy bears, coffee mugs and the like well represented in toy photography. But when did you last see a LEGO ladder used?
James made a great case recently about how accessories can bring depth to your story or add an unusual twist. I even wrote a piece a while back about how the venerable teddy bear seems to be everyone’s favorite prop. Now it’s time to take a closer look at the possibilities of the humble LEGO ladder. Continue reading Ode to the LEGO Ladder
“A photograph passes for incontrovertible proof that a given thing happened. The picture may distort; but there is always a presumption that something exists, or did exist, which is like what’s in the picture.”
– On Photography by Susan Sontag
Toy Photography Movement
When photography first came about it was a way to further describe an actual thing. It was meant to be truthful. Overtime of course, photography evolved in many ways, even becoming its own art form as creators found ways to lie through the camera lens.
Toy photography as a part of that movement, is and was a groundbreaking departure from the truth. While we may not be photographing the already existent world around us, we’re storytellers finding our own truths within the posed photograph. And I argue that sometimes we can delve deeper into a truthful topic by creating a whole new world that reflects our thoughts. Continue reading Small Surrealism
Things have been pretty heavy on the blog of late. There have been some meaty subjects to sink our teeth into, which is cool. But, as I vegetarian, I thought it time to step away from all this meaty content, and get back to my roots. Fun.
I started posting LEGO photos back in 2012, with simple photos accompanied by silly captions and puns. Scouring the interwebs for puns was the source of inspiration for my photos. If a pun made me giggle, I’d then create a LEGO version of it.
“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”
– Dr. Seuss
This was back in my early days on Instagram. It was before Instagram was flooded with users hell-bent on chasing numbers and fixated on follower counts. I think most of my early photos ended up in the feeds of 100 followers. But that was cool, I wasn’t doing it for numbers; I was doing it for fun. Continue reading Fundamentally Fun
What’s in your hand right now? It’s probably your cellphone, right? Maybe you’re at home or maybe you’re at work or perhaps you’re in the restroom during a first date. Hey, no judgement here.
The point is your phone is most likely with you at all times. That means that if you bring a toy along with you then you have everything you need for toy photography.
It’s what I used when I started shooting my figures. My first images were a bit stiff, editing to me meant boosting the saturation and maybe using a filter, oh and I also shot in square because I thought that was just the way it was on Instagram. But I never felt limited to when and where I could shoot, I only felt limited by my knowledge, understanding and experience as a photographer. Over time I learned more about the editing process, I appreciated the posing of an action figure and how to frame them to show a compelling image. Continue reading Phonegraphy: All You Need In The Palm Of Your Hands”
Let me admit that I am not a builder of models. I am a photographer. So, along with the budget, I also try to minimize the work I put into the sets (hence their slightly minimalist feeling).
To achieve this, I try to build sets which are so flexible that they can be put to multiple uses. And with the above room, I think it worked. The whole thing started when I held a wall with a pair of windows under the desk lamp. I had been ready to discard it because the windows had turned out to be too crooked for H0 scale use. But then I suddenly realized that they could still be used for lighting a room. Continue reading Thinking inside the box
Through my own creative journey, I’ve learned the hard way that I’m not a product photographer either, I thought it would be fun to throw in my two cents. There has been Kristina’s aborted attempts at creating a set review, James’s recent set review and Brett’s most recent attempt at working with a marketing firm.
I’m not suited to be a product photographer because I approach photography not as a way to make money, but as a vehicle for self expression.
The important thing is, you have to have something important to say about the world.
But that doesn’t mean that some part of me doesn’t want more. I understand the allure of receiving acknowledgment for creativity and hard work. At some point the likes and comments from social media aren’t enough. I see other photographers who are being recognized by toy manufacturers. They receive toys ahead of release dates and some even are creating books! A part of me wants this same recognition. Then I come to my senses. Continue reading I’m not a product photographer either
“The world opens up…as a grand and glorious adventure in feeling and in understanding. Nothing human is unimportant to him. Everything he sees is germane to his purpose. Every word that he hears uttered is of potential use to him. Every mood, every passing fancy, every trivial thought can have its meaning and its place in the store of experience he is accumulating.“
-from Studs Lonigan by James T. Farrell as quoted by Brooks Jenson of LensWork (LW1040 Inspiration Comes from Everywhere)
Scratching the Surface
In a way I feel like each of my photos is an exploration of the same concept, emotion, story. And yet, while stylistically they may be similar, each photo varies in subject matter.
In each image I aim to create a quite stillness, a calm in the storm, surrounded by mystery. Why? Well, it certainly has a lot to do with my personal thoughts and experiences. But, the question remains as to whether I will finish scratching that itch; if I will inevitably decide that I’ve fully explored this story photographically. Or, if I will forever continue to grow and explore how to better represent precisely what I mean to. Continue reading Creating Art that’s Intimately Yours
While the cat’s away, the mice will play…hooky!
With Shelly’s away catching up with old friends, meeting new ones, taking photos of LEGO, taking about LEGO, and attending the LEGO House opening, I’ve decided to take a week off from posting. Shhh! Don’t tell her!
While the cat’s away, the mice will play…music!
While I’m here, I’ll just remind you that there’s a music themed challenge happening over at the G+ community. Continue reading While the cat’s away, the mice will play