My first toy photo(s)

I’m not quite sure when I first started calling myself a toy photographer but it certainly wasn’t when I took my first toy photos on Christmas Eve, 2008.

I borrowed some of my little brother’s Stormtroopers and had them re-enact a ‘we three kings’ moment around my childhood baby Jesus.

Continue reading My first toy photo(s)

What’s in My Bag? by SBPhotographs1

First off its great to be contributing to SIP again and I’d like to thank Shelly for making that happen. A huge thank you to the community for the warm reception I got to the “Why?” post I had contributed to couple of months back.

This time I’d like to share exactly what goes in my camera bag as well as my basic home studio setup.

For me choice is the hardest thing to cope with. It’s extremely difficult for me to choose what glass (lens) I’d like to carry around with me because I can never manage to say that I will only be shooting Macro or Landscape or Portrait on a given day. So I practically lug around my entire kit wherever I go.

To be honest, looking at other photographer’s bags sometimes brings out the most severe case of self-doubt and the question “Am I doing it wrong?” inevitably comes up. But as I’ve matured (at least I’d like to think so) as a photographer, I’ve come to realize that my way of thinking, and for that matter any photographer’s style and way of thinking, is very different from the next.

When I’m not practicing Toy Photography I’m an avid Landscape photographer and I absolutely love a picturesque shot of nature’s beauty.


The bag I use is a Lowepro Pro Runner 200 AW DSLR Backpack. The bag is an absolute dream and even comes with a water proof pull over sheet to keep rain water off. The camera I use is the Canon 600D (Rebel T3i) DSLR and has been my ‘go to’ camera for the past four years. While the camera is an APS-C sensor based model, I find that it has kept up extremely well against the test of time.

As for the glass, I have gathered up a fairly decent range to choose from. When it comes to Toy Photography I use a Tamron 90mm f/2.8 VC lens which is what 90% of my photographs have been taken with.

The rest of my kit it includes the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (Kit Lens) and the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM, which is my go to lens for landscape photography.


My bag always has four memory cards: 2 – 16GB cards and 1 – 8GB and a reserve 2 – GB card. I know I should probably just get one large memory card, but I’m paranoid about trusting one card with all of my images. The next most important thing to have for me personally is  an extra Battery and a lens cleaning kit in case I decide to get the camera out there in the elements. All my lens’ have a UV filter which is of paramount importance to keep the main lens elements safe and sound from any kind of scratches and from bumps and scrapes while outdoors. As for the figures I carry, I always have a mix of Lego and six inch figures. The Lego mini figures I always have are four Stormtroopers, C-3PO, R2-D2, Luke, Han, Chewie and Leia. I also make it a point to have at least one male and one female generic Lego mini figure with a bunch of faces with different expressions. As for the six inch figures I always have my Ashigaru Sandtrooper and/or the Ashigaru Stormtrooper and Ronin Boba Fett from the incredible Tamashii Nations Movie Realization Star Wars series.


In case you plan on shooting through the day you should definitely have a bunch of Gradient, Polaroid and ND Filters for at least one lens in your kit. For me it’s the 10-18 which has these extra lens elements to modify the amount of light I get across the sensor.

While at home I’d either shoot in my home studio or near and around the area of my residence. My home studio is made up of a light table, an Elinchrom D-Lite RX One setup with 2 flashes along with 2 Portalite soft boxes and one 5 way reflector. It’s the best toy photography set up that you could get and it isn’t even that pricey and super reliable.

That’s about it for What’s in My Bag and Studio, should you guys have any question feel free to ask!

Thank you once again Shelly for this opportunity and a big thank you to my parents who’ve helped me to assemble the epic kit that I spoke about above.

Shahzad Bhiwandiwala (@sbphotographs1)

We all have our personal must-have items in our photo bags. What are yours? 

What “Why” to find in days to come

The context of my life has changed. Because of this I found myself asking: what am I doing? where am I going? I have discovered a part of me in need of an inner journey of knowing myself, a journey that makes use of two passions that lie close to my heart – photography and writing. Continue reading What “Why” to find in days to come

Why? by Leila Chieko

I used to be a scrapbook queen. I’ve been documenting my life through photography since grade school and have put together dozens and dozens of scrapbooks all the way up until about ten years ago when I made the transition from 35mm film to digital photography. I photographed the usual: people, travel, landscapes. In my quest to answer the “Why do I take toy photographs?” question this blog series is based on, I dug up one of my earliest scrapbooks from age 11 in which I remember taking a photo of a Hot Wheels truck in front of a Hawaiian sunset. Continue reading Why? by Leila Chieko

My Five Favorite Figures – By Ann @Miss__Feklista

First of all, I’d like to thank Shelly again for the great possibility to share my creative hobby in this friendly and creative blog.

Today My Five Favorite Figures are here to tell their unique stories. Why are they special for me? To be honest, it took me a long time to think about all my Lego figures and customs. But then I asked myself: “Which heroes influenced the development of my hobby”? This criterion made my choice evident and the characters appeared on the stage one after the other. Continue reading My Five Favorite Figures – By Ann @Miss__Feklista

Why? by Brooks Weaver

A few years ago when I created my first Lego mini-figure scene with the members of Guardians of the Galaxy, I never would have thought I would be sitting here typing this Post.  But thanks to Shelly for giving me the opportunity to write a few thoughts on ‘Why’ I am ‘stuck in plastic’ doing toy photography, I know that I wouldn’t want to be anyplace else. Continue reading Why? by Brooks Weaver

Why? by Wendy Verboom

I want to start by saying  thank you to Shelly for the invitation to write something for this Blog. It is a great opportunity to share my hobby of photography with other Lego fans from around the world.

Truth is that I am not taking photo’s of Lego for a long time. My first big passion was Macro photography. I think it is just super to discover the beauty of nature and showing it’s little wonders.

Continue reading Why? by Wendy Verboom

Why? By Ann @Miss__Feklista

First of all, I’d like to thank Shelly for this awesome opportunity to share my hobby with my friends from around the world.

My name is Ann and I photograph toys because I like to bring Joy.

My story is both simple and special: it is about the relationship with a Toy. Is there anybody who didn’t love toys in childhood? We all learnt to rejoice, playing with them. I’m convinced that an adult can keep love for toys! Growing up, we just find new ways of playing and, in my opinion, the most fascinating of them is Toy and Lego Photography. Continue reading Why? By Ann @Miss__Feklista

Hamburg – My first toy safari

Last May, when Shelly published an article about the Seattle toy safari, I noticed a little note in italic at the end of the article saying:

If you can’t make this meet-up maybe you can make our fall gathering. We’re currently exploring dates in late September for another European meet-up, this time in Hamburg Germany.

What?! The next European toy safari will take place in Hamburg?! I have to be there! Continue reading Hamburg – My first toy safari