$1 Photo Challenge – The Results

The results of Octobers $1 (or equivalent) Photo Challenge are in!! The premise of this contest was to see if an expensive toy was the secret to great toy photography. We wanted to find out if everyone was limited to taking photos of toys that cost less than $1 or the equivalent, would we see the same quality and ingenuity that we have become used to. The results are in and we can say without a doubt, that cheap toys can also for creative photography.

The winner of this months contest is John Van Regemortel for his “Landing of the Jedi on Dagobah”. He purchased this micro machine for 99 cents Euro.

Second place was awarded to Joseph Cowlishaw for capture of the rare Gray Woolfeep (Ovis Canis) that he spotted in the dry desert regions of North America.

Third place was awarded to Krzysztof Łuszpiński who may not have taken a photo of a toy, his photo captures the spirit of toy photography. I love his creative spirit! Plus he wins the honor of spending the least amount of money: 1/100 Pound (100 clips in a pack for 1 GBP). Awesome job! 

I speak for all the moderators when I say how much fun this contest was. Because our subjects were cheap toys, there was no pressure to make them look good. Since we knew we couldn’t make our toys look realistic, as a group we decided to have some fun instead.

Bellow you will see some other fabulous examples from the $1 Photo Challenge taken by our moderators and our contestants. I hope you enjoy them as much as we had fun taking them.

by Tourmaline
“I am…” by Jason Nvmore
“Good morning Mr. Anderson. While you were out Mr. Bennett called. You’ve got a 10 o’clock meeting with Mrs.Chapman. And you’ve got a 12 o’clock appointment with a bucket of fish.” by Brett Wilson
Lonely me, alone on my own journey… by 莫亞克力
The Lone Wolf: A Study of Three (1 of 3) By Julie Blair
Italian Cuisine by Tomasz Lasek
Shopping at Costco, in the nude? 😳  by Ryan DeRamos
“Redheat” by Jeffrey van Zeijst
Skully sets out his cookies and milk for The Great Pumpkin. He is so excited this year! …… the skeleton and table were bought at the dollar store. The pumpkin, cookies, plate and glass of milk were made by me with polymer clay. by Victoria Eschen
Spider by Wendy Verboom
Landing by Reiterlied
“Somebody There?” by Tobias Schiel
“Operation Tonga” by Tony Tulloch
“Hailing from New York and living in the sewers, these young adolescent reptile abominations hide in the shadows by day. And fight crime by night! ” by Lego Runner
“Hunters will tell you that a moose is a wily and ferocious forest creature. Nonsense. A moose is a cow drawn by a three-year-old. – Bill Bryson” – by Shelly Corbett
New Challenge

We have posted a new challenge in our G+ Community: Detail. Here are the details:

Some say the Devil is in the detail but, here at Toy Photographers, we believe the essence of an image is in detail. Often details are overlooked by a viewer’s conscious observation, but they still add to (or detract from) an image.

Many toys out there have beautiful detail that we take for granted. Even some of the smallest toys have the odd piece that is worthwhile bringing into the image. In the photo below I have concentrated on the small logo on Cruz Ramirez’s fender. This supports both the smile and eye placements on the car and is true to character.

Why not pick up a favorite toy and look for a pattern, logo/symbol, or some other detail that is true to that character and highlight it in an image. Feel free to do this up to three times during the month. The winning photo will grace the Toy Photographers banner for December, and the winner will receive a cool Ant-Man prize. – Tony Tulloch

I hope you will join in this fun challenge and show us the details on your favorite toys. Tony has posted in our Tips and Tricks section three techniques to help you master this months challenge. So why not head over the community and check out all the details.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our $1 Photo Challenge and I look forward to seeing what you create for this months challenge on Details.

Shelly

September Photo Challenge: Music

Todays post features the winners of the September photo challenge: Music from our G+ Community. We want to recognize our grand prize winner, some of our favorite entries as well as thank everyone who participated.

Photography challenges are a great way to get the creative juices flowing. That’s why every month we sponsor a contest in the G+ Toy Photographers Community. Last month Jason Nvrmore challenged the community to: “Take the power of music and create images with your toys based on music!”

So we did! Continue reading September Photo Challenge: Music

Dave: An Origin Story

It seems like every once and awhile someone creates a post about how they got into toy photography, and what they get out of it.  I figure its time that I go ahead and take a swing at that particular pitch and answer the how and why of my own particular journey into the realm of toy photography.

Ready?  Here we go…

The Shocking Truth Revealed!

I got into toy photography because I didn’t want to put on pants.

I’m not kidding.

Come along on a journey with me and I’ll tell you the tale.  It was a dark, cold, wintery evening back in December of 2012 (I’m assuming it was cold and wintry; I don’t actually remember the weather. It was definitely evening in December, so it seems plausible.  It makes for a better story so I’m going with it.)  

I had signed up for the Chrysta Rae Scavenger Hunt over on the Plus.  The hunt involves shooting an image for 10 separate words, one of which was “candy cane”.  If you recall the evening was (possibly) cold and wintry. The kids were in bed, so it may not surprise you that  I didn’t feel like going out of the house to find a shot.  So I decided to stage my own.  I looked around and discovered my old LEGO set from my long lost childhood. The kitchen contained a box of candy canes, and I scrounged an old Christmas tree skirt.  The solution was obvious (to me at least), and soon I had created this shot:

Continue reading Dave: An Origin Story

The Inspiration Challenge

It is probably not a shock to anyone reading this that I believe toy photography to be a very creative art form that is full of creative artistic people. One of the most blissful times in a creative person’s life is when inspiration hits and creativity flows thru them like a torrential rainstorm. However when inspiration dries up and ideas are as scarce as water in the desert, well, those times are tough.

I believe it is important for a creative type to push thru these dry times, and strive to create new things even when inspiration is lacking. For working professional photographers these dry times can often be survived by pouring oneself into projects for their clients. However as Joe McNally is fond of saying, one needs food for the table, and food for the soul. If you are a pro your clients provide the food for the table, however you still need to find food for your soul in terms of personal projects. If you are an amateur like most toy photographers are, it’s all food for the soul. Continue reading The Inspiration Challenge

Feasting on Feedback

Sometimes you wanna go…

It’s been over a month since I pulled back on Instagram posting. And while I’ve been away, I’ve been feasting on feedback and gorging myself on inspiration in a new town.

Apart from pushing my posts here, the G+ monthly challenge, joining in the Raptor Pack day and #brickstameet, I haven’t posted any photos that weren’t either in support of an event or to promote another platform. Instead I’ve focussed on the blog and the G+ Toy Photographers community.

Quality or quantity
Quality or quantity
Quality or quantity a choice you have to make
Bad Religion – Quality or Quantity

And whilst on this self-imposed sabbatical, it’s dawned on me what I’d been craving. I‘ve been missing a sense of belonging, meaningful rapport, a sense of community. This is what I find in the G+ community; the clue’s in the title! Continue reading Feasting on Feedback

So many contests, so little time!

Do you feel like I do and that there are currently so many contests and so little time! Normally I wouldn’t write a round-up blog post, but there seems to be a lot going on that even I can’t keep track of it all. I thought I would summarize all the opportunities so no one misses out. Continue reading So many contests, so little time!

Why? by Tony Tulloch

”Never have I found the limits of the photographic potential. Every horizon, upon being reached, reveals another beckoning in the distance. Always, I am on the threshold.”

W. Eugene Smith

I know it’s a bit passé to use clever quotes to start writing. But then, I tend to follow inspiration, not fashion. This quote, from the incredible man and photographer that was W. Eugene Smith, really sums up my creative photography. In fact I wish it wasn’t so sometimes, as I tend to throw myself into that thing that pops up on my creative horizon. That thing at this point in time is toy photography, especially Lego toy photography.

Continue reading Why? by Tony Tulloch

I don’t think Google+ is dead and neither does Mashable!

I’ve been telling you that G+ is a great platform and now I have more proof! Today Mashable posted an article that featured our beloved Toy Community rather prominently. Rather than the usual ‘G+ is dead’ line that we’ve all grown so tired of, they mentioned all the great communities that use G+ to share information and photography. Including us!

Check out this awesome screen shot they used for the article. Continue reading I don’t think Google+ is dead and neither does Mashable!

Its Official! Meet us in San Francisco May 11-14th

Its official! The next big toy photographers safari will be held in San Francisco, California, May 11 -14th. This will be four days of fun, friends and toys. We’re proud to announce that this years event will be sponsored by Google! You don’t want to miss what’s shaping up to be an epic event!

I’ve been working with my co-hosts Dennis and Melissa Taylor all year exploring photographic locations and working out logistics. We’re now ready to announce our plans so you can start making your plans to join us.

Continue reading Its Official! Meet us in San Francisco May 11-14th