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

Lightness: A Photo Challenge

Our most recent photo challenge in the Toy Photographers G+ Community is Lightness. We want to see how you can express a word with many meanings through your toy photography.  Because the month is nearly half over; its time to get serious about the competition. For this reason I want to talk about the idea of Lightness and what it means to me. I believe a single word can inspire creativity.

Here are a few meanings for the word Lightness and my own interpretations:

the state or quality of being light in weight

Flying shots are a staple of many toy photographers. The ability to create the illusion of flight, motion, swinging is important if your toys fly through the air, either on wings or by the use of webs. Continue reading Lightness: A Photo Challenge

Six Degrees of Stimulation

Last week Shelly announced our new series: The Six Image Narrative. A new series? More like a new challenge! And a whole new process to come to grips with!

With Shelly’s announcement fresh in my mind I spent last weekend thinking and planning. I took her advice and looked back through past images, searching for the illusive “unconscious thread”. This search, together with Jennifer’s post about revisiting old images, surprisingly unearthed a series of photos that I’d completely forgotten about; photos taken before the move from iPhone, that told a story, that deserved reworking. Continue reading Six Degrees of Stimulation

Silhouette photo challenge follow-up

Challenges are a great way to push yourself in new directions, discover new skills and keep the creative juices flowing. Unless of course you’re me. 

Earlier this month I posted a challenge to myself, and to anyone else in our community, to take on the task of exploring silhouettes in photography. The challenge also included a chance to practicing basic composition. This seemed simple enough and I started the month with the best of intentions. I’ve been wanting to experiment with silhouettes for a few months now and this was a good opportunity to turn intention into action. Continue reading Silhouette photo challenge follow-up

Lego goes well with everything – even beer

Go to your fridge. Pick up a bottle of beer. Pour it in a glass.

For the past six years, I’ve been running a regular photo project: #30days30beers. This project is a daily photo pairing beer with representative LEGO mini figures. Continue reading Lego goes well with everything – even beer

Nostalgic – the idea of what could have been

My first thought when I read the nostalgia challenge was that this one is written for me.

“As an assignment, create a photographic work that consciously wrestles with the concept of ‘nostalgia’ and photography’s unique relationship to it.”

My second thought was, I don’t even have to do this one because I’ve already done it. I do it all the time; I’m constantly wrestling with the concept of nostalgia. So many of my pictures with the troopers are connected to the theme of nostalgia. Or they are about being a parent exploring the world through the eyes of a child. Or they are about being a child longing for a parents attention or love. Suddenly I started to overthink myself: is this really the concept I wrestle with? I’m not sure… Continue reading Nostalgic – the idea of what could have been

Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

Our new photo challenge from the Photographer’s Playbook concerns nostalgia.

“As an assignment, create a photographic work that consciously wrestles with the concept of ‘nostalgia’ and photography’s unique relationship to it. The work can be made in any photographic form (although Cotton’s essay focuses on the black-and-white print, it is important to recognize that all forms of photography – color, digital, photograms, camera phones, screen grabs, found photography, collage, projection, and so on – are equally capable of nostalgic power.)

Because of the nature of the assignment’s focus, your imagery might explore notions of the past – immediate or ancient – whether it be photographic, cultural, personal, political, environmental, scientific, or otherwise. But be careful to avoid overt irony, over-sentimentalization, or ‘retro’ pastiche. Genuinely engage with this curious and oddly powerful human emotion through the photographic image.” – Aaron Schuman pg #309

Continue reading Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

Make it Seem by AliceinCleveland

The latest challenge is a hefty one. It calls for a total of four different photographs that require a good amount of thought. I was happy to receive it a bit before I headed out for a couple of days that were designated for nothing but exploring an unfamiliar town with a camera. I had all of these grand ideas for how this time would go. I was going to focus on my theme of “fracture.” I was going to figure out where I want to head with photography. I was going to really experiment with Lego Minifigures. I was going to have these wholly profound moments of inspiration and creative omnipresence and the results from these two days were going to be amazing.

Some of that even happened too. Mostly though, normal (not amazing) stuff happened. Continue reading Make it Seem by AliceinCleveland

Make it Seem

This latest photo challenge, ‘make it seem…’, had me struggling from the get go which is why its taken me so long to post a response.  Like Kristina, I really enjoy these challenges. Not only can they push me in new directions, they often reveal something that is already present in my photographs. This challenge was no exception. Continue reading Make it Seem