Have you ever been to a toy safari? I’ve been fortunate to be a part of quite a few. From two people to twenty people I find them to be quite an adventure. There’s nothing like stalking people on Instagram and then finally meeting them on a toy safari. I don’t know what it is about the combination of toys and photography that leaves so much to discuss and laugh about but that’s what happens.
Plus you get to play with other people’s toys!
This all started for me a year and four months ago when I attended the Epic Toy Photography Safari in Las Vegas. I was shooting all of my toy photos on my iPhone. I talked my boss into getting a full-frame DSLR for me to use to shoot products but I wasn’t confident I knew how to use it. The correlation between ISO, aperture and shutter speed eluded me. And what does focal length mean? Toy photography was (and is) a great way to gain that confidence. With new camera in hand I headed out with the group and found myself frustrated. Luckily, quite a few people there had gone through the same experimenting I was going through and I was able to ask questions and get feedback. I was often heard shouting, “What settings are you on!?” I learned so much about setting up a shot, lighting, exposure and how to use sticky tack. It was all so much fun.
What surprised me most was how this toy photography thing was a slippery slope into so many other toys. My collection started years ago with a few Joe Ledbetter pieces and Jeff Soto’s Seeker. Then Amanda Visell came out with the Tic Toc Apocalypse blind box series and I was hooked. It wasn’t until I met Leila (@brickandmordor), that Lego mini figures presented themselves as new photographic subjects. What I learned in Las Vegas is that there are so many worlds to play in. I became a Masters of the Universe fan, I borrowed dinosaurs and bought whatever Krashes Kustoms I could from @krash_override. I also bought a lot of My Lil‘ Shietz from @wikitoybox. I’m now such a fan of so many other toys that I never would have imagined owning or wanting. I’m excited to see what figures I’ll meet in Seattle!
If you’re considering joining us in Seattle May 20 – 24, stop thinking about it and do it! There’s sure to be lots of toys, laughter, and all levels of camera talk plus the great outdoor playground of Seattle. I’m excited to strengthen old friendships and forge new ones. Though, truth be told, I just want to see everybody’s toys.