Per centum sign, Ampersand, Hash, Question mark, Exclamation point, Star, Six Images of Agony

I’m not going to write some narrative conveying a tale, I’m just going to, as requested, let the images speak for themselves and see what feelings they’ll bring to life in you. Now, I still feel I have to convey what kind of thoughts and words come to my mind viewing these images (or shooting them be truthful). I’d be bold enough to quote Green Day and “Just f***ing swear a lot.” So here is me cursing, embracing these painful six images of agony, and just in case this blog doesn’t approve of my colourful language, I won’t say it, I’ll just spell it out: Per centum sign, ampersand, hash, question mark, exclamation point, star.

Per centum sign
Ampersand
Hash
Question mark
Exclamation point
Star

 

//Christoffer

Toy Photographers Podcast 02 – “Play” with Kristina Alexanderson

Thank you to everyone who listened to our debut episode of the Toy Photographers Podcast last week! If you haven’t heard it yet, you can listen to it here.

This week on the podcast, I’m joined by Kristina Alexanderson for our very first “theme” episode. These will be slightly different than the interview episodes; Kristina and I will have picked a specific theme to photograph, and taken a photo with that theme in mind. We then jump on Skype, share our photos with one another, and discuss what we see, both literally and in terms of how it relates to the theme we picked.

The theme for this week’s episode was “Play,” something I think all toy photographers have considered when snapping shots of LEGO or action figures! Continue reading Toy Photographers Podcast 02 – “Play” with Kristina Alexanderson

No Year’s Resolutions

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions.

Sure we’ve got goals for the Toy Photographers community this year. And yes, attending the Cannon Beach Toy Photographers weekend is a personal goal I’ve set myself. But that’s about it. Or so I thought!

I’ve come back from a week of camping down the coast without any resolutions or personal goals for this year.

I’d hardly had time to brush the sand from between my toes before a resolution snuck up on me without me knowing it! Continue reading No Year’s Resolutions

The Foundation Series: A Journey Begins

And so it begins…

Over the past few years I have been on a personal journey to learn photography, and to discover who I am as an artist. Along the way I have gained a lot of insights into the art and craft of toy photography.

I was asked by Shelly to create a series of posts that share some of the things I have learned with the readers of this blog.  The idea is that you, the intelligent good looking readers of this blog, may also be inspired in your own journeys of discovery. Continue reading The Foundation Series: A Journey Begins

Viva La Resolution!

I’ve always loved the New Year. I know it’s all psychological, and that despite the Earth completing yet another trip around the Sun, New Year’s is just another day.

Yet, I can’t help but feel a renewed sense of excitement at the idea of a “clean slate.” The transition from one year to the next means that you’ve passed Go; it’s time to collect your $200 and move around the board again.

It’s true that only 8% of people actually complete their New Year’s resolutions. Does that mean we should stop setting them? I don’t think so! Continue reading Viva La Resolution!

The freedom of 2018

I’m really looking forward to 2018.

This year is the first year in about a decade that I’m not doing some kind of photo project. I’m not sure how long it will be before I miss the structure of a long project, but the freedom of a free-form photography year is calling to me.

I want to have days where I just don’t have to take a picture. I want to have days where I shoot 10 different pictures and get the chance to spend time learning how to do post-processing on them. I want to be able to be more creative with my shoots, not cram quick photos into days that seem impossibly busy. Continue reading The freedom of 2018

We’re taking a holiday!

We’re taking a well-earned holiday break over Christmas and the New Year.

Toy Photographers will be resting and recharging their batteries in preparation for a jam-packed 2018 filled with exciting new things on top of all the wonderful things that we already do.

On behalf of Shelly, myself and the rest of the Toy Photographers team, we wish you a very merry Christmas. We’d also like to wish you a safe and happy New Year. And here’s to a relaxing holiday season, filled with family, friends and toy photography!

Holiday: May you beer be cold and your wieners tasty!
May your beer be cold and your wieners tasty!

We’ll see you all in 2018 for a bigger, better and more exciting year.

– Brett

If you’ve made through all my blathering and ended up here, you should sign up to our weekly email round up where you’ll get a recap of all the babbling from the week.

And while you’re doing things, you should definitely join our G+ Community where we hold monthly contests with prizes and lots of other cool stuff too.

The strong silent hype

We’ve been working on a project since October, but a signed NDA (non-disclosure agreement) means we can’t talk about it until February. The silence around this project almost silenced me. Almost!

Yesterday James wrote about finding inspiration to photograph from within the words and photos of books. Today I struggle to find the inspiration to write words based on the photographs I’ve been taking.

When all I’ve been working on is something that I’ve got to keep my silence about, it’s tough. When my weekly blog post generally evolves from, or relates to what I’ve been working on, it’s so freaking tough. Continue reading The strong silent hype

Off the Shelf

We’ve discussed many sources of inspiration here on the blog. Things like exhibitions, a change in seasoncards, and challenges can get the creative juices flowing. This summer, Shelly wrote a piece about the books that help inspire her photography. I have a reference shelf of my own, though it’s not populated by studies on photography or creativity…

I love “Art of” books, usually those about my favorite films. I’ve talked before about being inspired by movies, and this is an extension of that.

Shelly’s image of her bookshelf inspired me to recreate it with my own!

If you’re unfamiliar, the “Art of” books I’m referring to usually center around a specific movie or television series. They’re collections of behind the scenes information, character and story details, and – most importantly – concept art, storyboards, and production stills.

“It’s time for Woody’s roundup, he’s the very best!”

When I’m in a creative funk, flipping through these books can help spark new ideas, or force me to think of my potential subjects in new and interesting ways.

There are hundreds of these books out there! If you’re working with any of LEGO’s licensed sets, or with action figures from properties like Star WarsAlien, or Marvel, you can easily find tomes to choose from. I have “Art of” books for Pixar, The Force Awakens, Rogue One, The Incredibles, Wonder Woman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Man of Steel, and Mad Max: Fury Road.

Apart from the images – which have been helpful even for simple shot compositions – the actual text provides knowledge that I might have otherwise overlooked. Those details then help fuel the stories I tell!

LEGO Books

The other half of my shelf is filled with more specific books about LEGO. Things like Matthew Reinhart’s LEGO Pop-Up, a Journey through the LEGO Universe or our friend Vesa’s LEGO Star Wars: Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy.

Daydreaming of Hoth

Because these books specifically highlight LEGO – my photographic subject of choice – they are a bit more successful at igniting my creativity. I’ve been inspired by Vesa’s work for years, and I can’t tell you how valuable it’s been to have it accessible in such a tangible way.

lego books

I’m also a big fan of DK Publishing’s books like I Love that Minifigure or the character encyclopedias for LEGO Star Wars and LEGO DC Comics Superheroes. They usually come with a rare minifigure, and are packed with character details and minifig information. I’ve added many a minifig to my collection because I saw them in these books, and have since taken dozens of shots with them.

The Cult of LEGO

cult of lego

Last but not least is a book called The Cult of LEGO. Rather than simple referential information, it’s about the history of LEGO fandom. The book is chock full of information about various subsects and communities, and has countless photos of amazing LEGO builds and artwork.

Nothing sparks creativity for me like viewing the work of others. It inspires me to up my game, improve my skills, and tell better stories!

With Christmas just around the corner, perhaps you should consider adding these to your wishlist. Or buy them for a fellow photographer or artist!

Do you have any referential or art collection books that you use to spark your creativity? Tell us all about them in the comments below! 

– James

If you’ve made it this far, come continue the discussion over at our G+ community! And while you’re at it, subscribe to our weekly email round up so that you never miss a post!

Sharing

Firstly, thank you Shelly for inviting me to be a regular contributor. I look forward to coming up with materials to contribute to this blog. For my first piece, I would like to share my experience of doing talks and workshops on toy photography.

It all started at a local comic convention 2 years ago when a teacher popped by my booth and asked whether I would be interested to have a sharing session on toy photography with her students. Toy photography was one of the modules she taught as part of the art appreciation program in her school. I said yes without hesitation. This chance meeting motivated me to prepare a presentation that has since become indispensable for future talks. Continue reading Sharing