It is a real pleasure sharing this blog with two people I have tremendous respect for: Me2 and Avanaut. We each bring different insights and working styles to a subject we all love: photographing toys.

Recently Avanaut talked about is penchant for re-editing his photos, months or years after he took them. Considering how much effort he puts into his set ups I can see the value of looking at older photos to see if any gems fell through the cracks.

Me2 also talked about his need to spend days or weeks on an idea before it comes to fruition. To me this is consistent with the elaborate stories he constructs around his subjects.

I am here to tell you that there is another way.

When I pack my mini figs for an outing I will take 20-40 mini figs with me always keeping in mind my destination and their relationships. I put some thought into variouse scenarios that seem interesting, grab a few accessories and head out into the big wild world. I never know what I am going to come back with. I like to see what my muse will present to me in terms of interesting lighting and macro environments.

This photo is a prime example of a character I have been sitting on for awhile. I love Mrs Puff but her body shape and lack of movement has me stumped. When I was crawling around on some lava rocks recently, this channel presented itself and I put Mrs Puff on one end and my camera on the other. Honestly it is my favorite photo from this latest trip. I feel I can put Mrs Puff aside now, I have done her justice and I will move onto one of the other 300+ characters I have yet to photograph.

Frankly I shoot from the hip, not for instant gratification, but because the unexpected is more interesting to me. I like to think of it as cooking. I have a few different ingredients that I mix together and I never quite know what is going to come out of the oven (read “camera”).

So don’t worry if your photographs aren’t pre-visualized or you don’t have elaborate sketches that you are working from. That method works great for some people, but there are many different ways to achieve your goal. You just have to keep shooting until you find the method that works best for you.

~ xxsjc

Hiding from Sponge Bob