I’m falling in love with my subjects  

I fell in love with my plastic Stormtrooper the first time I saw him. I fell for his shoes first. Then I saw the rest and I was totally lost.  I love the helmet and the expression. After my project with Stormtroopers, I’ve been falling in love with my subjects in periods. It happens both when I photograph toys as well as when I photograph people. Out of love, I want to come back to these subjects that I’ve fallen for, again and again,  I can not get enough … Continue reading I’m falling in love with my subjects  

The ambiguity of stuff

ambiguity

[am-bi-gyoo-i-tee]
noun
doubtfulness or uncertainty of meaning or intention

stuff
[stuhf]
noun
material to be worked upon or to be used in making something

Whilst fleshing out the next BricksCulture article about Star Wars, we touched on the subject of the Stormtroopers and their adoption by the LEGO photography community. These endearing characters have become a favourite amongst us as subject matters. Despite their faces being hidden behind their buckets, a raft of emotions can be portrayed with these much-loved characters. Continue reading The ambiguity of stuff

Myths

I make pictures to explore the world and in some ways my photographs make me see the world through different eyes. But as I have confessed earlier I can’t make fiction, I can only retell stories I know or have heard of, and that is why the myths are so important in my photography.  Artists have always looked to the myth to find inspiration, and I’m no different. I think the reason is simple; we as humans love stories. In classic literature the myths represent some really great stories; I explore the stories that I love in my still life photography.

One of the myths that I come back to repeatedly is the myth about Icarus. Continue reading Myths

For whom?

What part does the viewer play in the art of photography? What do you want the viewer to see?  When I wrote my blog post “Why” the other day, I got a question from Reggie about how to get a bigger audience for once toy-photographs. And that got me reflecting on “for whom am I doing this?”

And what part does the audience play in my photography? Continue reading For whom?

It seems like a dream…

I have always done my toy photography by myself, on the street, on the beach, in the puddles and i’m used to be alone, and having people stoping asking me:

What I’m doing, if I’m alright, or if I need a lift, or some help…

Continue reading It seems like a dream…

Captain Kaos

In less than two months I will have the pleasure of heading to Las Vegas, NV, for a toy photographers meet up. When I started planning this event with my friends Dinoczars, Bricksailboat and +LEGO Wiiman I had no idea anyone would be interested in joining us.

So imagine my elation when one of my favorite toy photographers, Matt Rhode (otherwise known as  x_capatain_kaos_x) was one of the first to commit! Matt is one of the more interesting and best known characters active in the Instagram toy community. 
I’ve been following the good Captain for much of my nearly three years on Instagram. I’ve watched both his photography and storytelling skills grow. His mastery of the “flying shot” is nothing less than stunning. I think there are very few people who can make an inert bit of plastic look as alive as this guy can. 
His Stormtroppers are not the hapless stooges of Vader, but fun loving daredevils that live life to the fullest. Whether they are cliff diving or Para-Leafing they make the most of what they have (and I never doubt for a minute that they are actually doing all these things). His flying shots are a constant source of inspiration to me.

Successful Drop by Matt Rohde
Even though Matt has a wonderful cast of recurring characters, Stan the Stormtrooper, Frank from Donnie Darko and Gojira to name a few, my favorite is the Skeleton from Jason and the Argonauts. His quest to find Winter and slay him is priceless on every level: the staging, the story line, his never ending alcohol stupor all combine for pure poetry. I look forward to more crazy antics from this lovable character.

Why Me? by Matt Rohde

Of course it’s not all fun and games in Matt’s world, especially when the going gets rough. I can’t help but think his military background leads an authenticity to his battle scenes that few other photographers can match. I will admit his story lines can get too violent for my tastes (and the exuberance for the violence exhibited in the comments by his admirers I find a little disturbing), but I realize that this only reflects the world we live in. As I find myself retreating into my own form of magical realism it is good to know that there are other photographers willing to keep it far more real.
It will be interesting to see how we all get along when we meet up in Las Vegas. It is risky to take the anonymity out of our friendships, but I am sure that our mutual respect will carry us through. 
If you’re interested in seeing how this all plays out in person, feel free to join us in Las Vegas in January, we can always find room for one more. In the mean time head over the @x_captain _kaos_x on Instagram and check out his toy photography and all those beautiful stories in detail. 
~ xxsjc

Have you ever meet someone you have followed on Instagram and how did it go?
Who do you follow on Instagram that you would love to meet in person? 

May the Fourth and my stormtrooper theory

Today we are between May 1st and May 4th. Both days have major significance. Yesterday +Me2  reminded me it was International Workers Day in much of the world and right around the corner is May the Fourth. This is practically a Star Wars holiday in the geek world. The closeness of these two “holidays” is not a coincidence. I don’t believe in coincidences. 

Earlier when Me2 asked in a post if the seasons effected how and what we photograph, it got me thinking. Why do we choose the figures we choose to shoot? Why is the most photographed figure in the toy community the ubiquitous Stormtrooper? You’ve seen him, I know you have, he’s everywhere!

Personally I haven’t been attracted to the Stormtrooper figure but a lot of people are. He has been photographed in every conceivable situation in a variety of sizes and styles. He is portrayed as the bumbling fool, the guy who can’t shoot straight, the deep thinker, the adventure seeker and the doting parent. A far cry from the elite soldiers who used brutal tactics to keep the Empire in line. This photograph by +Cellblog 1138  is a great example of the humanization of the Stormtrooper into the stern parent sending his “child” off to bed. The Stormtrooper has morphed from a dreaded enforcer of the Emperor’s will to a representation of the fallible yet lovable every man. 

Maybe I’m stretching a point (it wouldn’t be the first time). I think the figures we are attracted to photograph actually mean something. I think we choose figures / character we can relate to. I think we then take it the next step and imbue them with our own emotions and personalities. 

Do you have a favorite mini figure you like to shoot? Have you thought about what that figure means to you? Would you be willing to tell us who your favorite is and why? 

Feel free to tell me I’ve gone over the deep end or tell me “Duh!”, whichever is most appropriate. 

And as always, May the Fourth be with you! 

~ xxsjc
For the record I have replaced the Pandas for Storm Troopers in my little plastic world; they represent my Everyman. My favorite mini figures are the Chima Eagles. I like that they come in both black and white and therefore can represent good and evil.