Why by Greater Beast

The first and few things I’ve ever stolen in my life was a crayon. I was two or three and my mom found it in my pants pocket one day after daycare. When she asked me about it, I said it was so fun and amazing I really wanted to draw all the time. She felt so bad she bought me a box the next day after telling me to never steal again. We returned the crayon back to the daycare.

I’m not the most expressive person. Raised by people who thought showing emotion was a weakness, I was a quiet and reserved child.

But shit always has a way of surfacing, doesn’t it? No matter how hard you try to repress it, it always leaks out, spills over like too much jelly.

Drawing. Writing. Fashion. Sculpting.

I was quiet but I was always screaming.

And I think I was always going to end up here one way or another. Some mutation or blip in my personality would predispose me to this hobby. I wouldn’t call myself a photographer or anything, but I like it. There’s something magical about pressing a button and a whole new world is perfectly paused and encapsulated.

Toys and Instagram really blew up that novelty of photography for me.

In this newly founded cult of social media, the image, the dream, the mirage is the only thing that matters. And the frame only keeps getting smaller and smaller. Further and further from reality. From blogs, our obsession moved on to micro blogging like Tumblr, then to Twitter, and now Instagram as we sharpened our images into fine points meant only to pierce the heart.

I love it. It’s like skimming cream off milk.

And I think toy photography naturally thrives in that capsule world. There’s so much weight in those little PVC hunks of plastic veiled in childhood heroes and nostalgia. Showing too much would only break the spell. And there’s nothing funner than dealing in the fantasy that toys already lend themselves to. Tools turning dreams into reality if only for a moment.

Thank you very much for this opportunity to ponder such a difficult question. I’m 100% certain if Shelly never stumbled upon me on Instagram I would have never gone outside but then maybe my dioramas would be done better lol. Much love to you guys.

Eva

Bold Adventures of a happy stormtrooper

I am not what I think I am; I am not what you think I am; I am what I think you think I am. ~ Charles Horton Cooley

Stormtrooper Frank has many adventures.  Most of them are generally happy ones.

-Storm watching
-Pinecone collecting
-Gardening / planting
-Teaching art
-Lunch with locals

But occasionally he has that unplanned adventure like Crash landing on Dagobah… Frank made the mistake of jumping into hyperspace without his helmet strap on… what a mess.

~Joseph Cowlishaw

My Latest Flame

I’ve taken a few shots this week that I’m really proud of. I was going to sit on them for a few days but I couldn’t wait to share at least one of them. The arrival of the new Last Jedi SDCC Exclusives has really given me a kick to get out and shoot more. These two new figures are characters that will feature heavily in the new film, but they also have uncertain paths to take.

I, like many others, can’t wait for the next Star Wars film. Although I try to stay pretty spoiler-free, getting these new figures has given me the opportunity to  make up some of my own stories and add to the intrigue associated with the future of these two characters. It’s part of what toy photography is all about for me – telling the untold story through images. It can sometimes be challenging, when a character and their history are very well known, to tell a different kind of story; however, going off-cannon and making up different adventures for them can be both fun and exciting. It can also take you back to the way you used to play with these toys as a child. Back then, you might not have even seen some of the films starring some of your toys, but that never stopped you from taking them out on your own adventures in your back garden.

A favourite figure is something that changes so often for me. It’s often a Star Wars or a Lego related one, but usually it’s something that connects me with childhood memories of the toys I used to play with. There’s a rich history associated with releasing Star Wars figures before the next film, sometimes even before we have any idea who the character is (for example, Boba Fett).

For that reason, these two new figures are my current favorites despite a slightly dodgy paint finish here and there, and they’ve helped to remind me why I love toy photography.

Inevitably, a week or a month or so later, the next shiny figure pops up on my wanted list and I’ll convince myself that I absolutely need it for ‘that’ shot. When everyday life gets in the way of creativity, and it feels too difficult to dig out the motivation to get out and shoot, a new figure can really help spark your imagination.

Chris Rose

You can follow Chris on Instagram and G+

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

Climbing Jumping Falling Flying

It’s a common dream; flying, falling.
It’s a long way up, sometimes worth it.
Sometimes we jump, sometimes we’re pushed.
The hardest part is deciding to take the leap.
Inevitably, a decision is made; embrace the choice and revel in it.
It’s a long way down.
Falling becomes flying.
Landing is another choice.

~Mark Crummett

9663 SE Harold St.

Portland, OR 97266

971-221-6246

mark@markcrummet.com

www.markcrummett.net

Why? by Inner Brick

I was asked to write a post about how I use Lego. I looked through my Instagram account (Psychology in Pictures) and realized that its like a mirror to me. My models, my photos show my struggle in life. They’re reflections of my dark side. Their dark because I turned off the light. They’re in the dark because I put them into the cellar. Either way, they exist regardless whether I can see them or not.

But let me start at the beginning. Continue reading Why? by Inner Brick

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)

Raging Rancor Deconstructed

When I present or post an image like this I get a lot of questions on how I made it. So I’ve made an effort to take a few behind the scenes photos as I shoot or prep a shot. Here’s my first attempt at deconstructing an image and the process that led to the final result. Hopefully, this will help answer a few questions regarding my editing process.

ELEMENTS

  • Rancor
  • Flashlight
  • Light Painting Brushes Universal Connector
  • Light Painting Brushes 9 inch White Fiber Optic Tool
  • Red gel (dollar store gift wrap)
  • Canon 5D
  • Canon 50mm Macro f/2.5
  • Manfrotto 190X Pro B

Continue reading Raging Rancor Deconstructed