Why? The 3 Things I love Most About Lego Photography

Hello Toy Photographers! My name is Kenton Anderson.

Me in lego form.

Since this is my first post on Toy Photographers let me introduce myself. I am a Full-Time Creative Director/Part-Time Photographer living in Salt Lake City, UT. I have been a photographer for about 10 years now and up until recently have mostly done weddings and family photography. Only recently have I discovered Lego Photography and have quickly become obsessed.

Lego photography is so much more relaxing…

There are a lot of reasons why I enjoy photographing toys, but here’s my top 3.

1. It’s Fun

I like to think of toy photography as a semi-socially acceptable way to still be a kid 🙂 I say semi-socially acceptable because there are some haters out there, but they are just too immature to still be kids at heart, or maybe it’s just that they where deprived kids who’s parents never gave them the simple joy of playing with Lego!

For me, I think the fact that I played a lot with Lego as a kid is one of the reasons I find photographing it so fun; the nostalgia. It brings back memories of Christmas mornings fighting over who gets to open the Lego presents first (similar to how I saw two grown men fighting over the latest UCS set at the Lego store on May the 4th!). With Lego my family would create our own worlds and imagine the life that went on within them while thinking… “everything is awesome”. Having fun is the main reason I got into photography in the first place and it’s definitely the reason why I love toy photography.  Sometimes I need to remind myself more of this!

Recreation of my sons room in Lego.

2. It’s Therapeutic

Building and photographing Lego is one of the few things in my life that I do 100% just for me. I think everyone needs to have an outlet. Something you can do when you’ve had a stressful day at work or things are just not running at smoothly as you’d hoped. Something that can ease your nerves and calm you down. For me, this is either playing a game of FIFA or building Lego and taking pictures.

3. It Fosters Creativity

I discovered Lego photography one day on Flickr. Out of nowhere I saw some photos from Vesa Lehtimaki, a.k.a @Avanaut. The photos were amazing to me! I’ve always loved photography, but the moment I saw Vesa’s photos I realized that the way I’d been doing photography had limits. Taking wedding photos you are limited to the venue, or to the places you can go nearby. You are limited to the same two subjects (bride & groom) time and time again, not to mention the occasional bridezilla!

The instant I saw Vesa’s photos I realized that many of those limits could disappear. I was blown away with the little worlds that he could create. Lego is a system that can build pretty much anything without ever even needing to leave the house. You can also make mini worlds with household items (such as Vesa does with baking powder) or things you can find right in your backyard (like Brett Wilson does with moss). This makes it so you can take away many of the limits that other types of photography present. Obviously there is the limit of how much Lego you can buy. For me, I have exceeded that limit probably one too many times ;).

a recent avanaut inspired photo…

Building any world you can imagine is amazing, but equally amazing to me is the Lego Minifigure. Whoever created the Lego minifigure deserves a Nobel Prize. It’s incredible how one figure (made of so few parts) can have infinite possibilities. It can represent so many emotions and so many different types of people. I think the minifigure, for me, is what makes photographing Lego so awesome. Chris McVeigh is one photographer who really does any amazing job of capturing minifigures in so many different situations and expressing so many different emotions.

Every Stormtrooper has a different emotional reaction to seeing the Darth Vader choke hold.

There are a ton of different reasons to shoot toy photography, but to me, these are the 3 that are most important. Oh, and I put having fun as number 1 for a reason!

– Kenton

@kentonanderson

Why by DoctorNvmore

Why?

Why ask Why? Ok, ok, focus…

Why do I do toy photography…….. I do it as a release of creative juices, a release of anguish, and a release for my own personal pleasure. Hmmm… maybe I should reword that…. nah.

My life is not everything I wanted it to be. My early life was wrought with some disturbing events that still haunt me and my current life is a grind to say the least. I’m not meaning to complain, many people have it far, far, far worse. I’ve often felt that all my opportunities have passed me by; traded in for security and a steady income to support my family. There are worse things in life, I know. I work lots of hours and make decent money, which tends to happen if you work lots of hours at one place… So it is what it is and while my focus is mostly on providing for my family, I need something for me. Continue reading Why by DoctorNvmore

Why LEGO Photography?

The first LEGO I remember playing with was a dusty shoebox full of hand-me-down bricks that were colored either white or red. There was nothing as fancy as a hinge or even a plate in the mix. It was just classic 2 x 2 and 2 x 4 bricks, along with a few scattered 2 x 10 pieces that seemed massive by comparison. These LEGO bricks really were just bricks in the most humble sense of the word. I stirred the white and red pieces with my hand, creating the churning storm-like sound of plastic against plastic for the first time. Continue reading Why LEGO Photography?

10 Reasons Why Toys are Fascinating

I’ve been studying various sources to get snippets about why toys are so fascinating to toy photographers and the general public alike. So far I’ve absorbed On Longing by Susan Stewart, The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bechelard, the documentary Marwencol, and various videos, articles and artist statements by and about miniaturists and toy photographers. Continue reading 10 Reasons Why Toys are Fascinating

I’m a toy collector and photographer and I’m OK with that

(or why George Lucas has a lot to answer for…)

My good friend Brett asked if I’d like to write a few words for the blog about why I collect and take photographs of toys. Who am I to refuse a bearded Australian?

It’s one of those questions I’m always fascinated to hear the answer from others I’ve met online, and hopefully my random ramblings might resonate with other middle aged people with ‘understanding’ partners. Continue reading I’m a toy collector and photographer and I’m OK with that

With friends like these…

Ever since I learned about Shelly’s new blog (she was kind enough to let me know about it before it became active) I’ve been wanting to write something. She used to post to Instagram whenever there was a new post on Stuck in Plastic and I always thought: “I should go ahead and read those posts, they are pretty good”. However, I seldom had the chance/time/non-laziness level to do so.

This is not the case with her new blog! I try to read the articles as soon as they’re published. I try to comment something meaningful and participate… whatever I can. Brett’s posts are always inspiring and they always make me smile. I sense the same “Dennis the Menace” spirit in him that I see in my dad. Shelly’s posts make me question things I don’t always think about. I know I can always learn something from her. Continue reading With friends like these…

Why? by Tyroga

Why do you photograph Lego?”, “What’s with all the toy photos?”, “Your little men are funny… what got you into photographing them?” – Questions I’m asked all the time.

I started photographing my Lego back in 2012 when I came across Lego’s Series 4 Minifigures at my local Coles supermarket. Continue reading Why? by Tyroga

Why? by Jennifer Nichole Wells

Hi everyone,

My name is Jennifer Nichole Wells. I’m 26 and reside in Jacksonville, Florida. By day, I’m an administrative assistant. Nights and weekends I photograph (and obsess over) toys.

Why create? Well that’s easy, sort of… because I have to. I have a drive within me, a hunger, which will not be tamed, except through making things. I believe artistic expression is such an important part of the human experience.

But why toys? That’s a whole other story… Continue reading Why? by Jennifer Nichole Wells

Why? by James Garcia

“Why?”

That’s a question that’s been looming over me since Shelly first asked that I use it for my introductory post to this shiny new blog. At first I thought it would be easy to explain why I do what I do. I take photographs of LEGO, because I love LEGO! Simple. Submit post. Move on.

I was so wrong. The more I thought about it, the harder I had to search for the answer. What once was a simple, one word question became something much bigger.

Continue reading Why? by James Garcia

Why? by Tony Tulloch

”Never have I found the limits of the photographic potential. Every horizon, upon being reached, reveals another beckoning in the distance. Always, I am on the threshold.”

W. Eugene Smith

I know it’s a bit passé to use clever quotes to start writing. But then, I tend to follow inspiration, not fashion. This quote, from the incredible man and photographer that was W. Eugene Smith, really sums up my creative photography. In fact I wish it wasn’t so sometimes, as I tend to throw myself into that thing that pops up on my creative horizon. That thing at this point in time is toy photography, especially Lego toy photography.

Continue reading Why? by Tony Tulloch