With the help of a couple of awesome folks I’m trying something new in 2017 in our Google+ Community. Beginning this month we’re sponsoring and promoting a monthly photo challenge.

Through these challenges, and other information we’re planning on sharing, we’re creating an informal version of this blog. The goal is to create a community where we can take the discussions started here and expand on them through photo challenges as well as sharing our toy photography experiences.

On the blog we try to inspire you by sharing our creative journeys, but there is little opportunity for you to show us what you’ve been up to. The G+ Community is a place for you to ask for feed back on your images, a place to talk about a favorite toy figure or the LEGO set you just picked up and why you think it will make a great photo. It’s a place for us to learn from each other.

I’ve teamed up with Jordan (+AliceinCleveland) and Tony (+TonyTulloch) to create a vibrant community of like minded toy photographers who are interested in sharing tips, tricks, behind the scenes photos in an effort to get better at our mutual hobby.  There are many places you can go  to show off your amazing photos and receive likes and compliments like Facebook, Instagram and Flickr. But what social media platform can you engage with that will help and inspire you to take your photos to the next level?

My partners Jordan and Tony bring very different skills to the table. Jordan is great at asking difficult questions designed to get you to think about the meaning behind your photography or your creative process. While Tony is a self taught photographer who will be able to share his extensive expertise of photography technique and cameras to help you see your photography in new ways. I’m super excited to be working with both of these creative individuals!

Our first contest is thematic in nature: we want to see your Holiday related toy photos. For a complete list of rules, how to enter and our small reward for the ‘winner’, check out this link.  I would love to see some of my favorite toy photographers post their holiday themed photos into the G+ community to inspire those who have already joined our community.

Why G+ you ask? Because G+ is a fabulous and powerful platform to share your creative endeavors.  Another big advantage to G+ is that the folks responsible for promoting G+ are interested in actively promoting individual toy photographers and our community. They’ve reached out to me to express their excitement about what we’re already doing and want to help us “grow this vertical”. I’m actively working with one of the Community Managers to find ways to support and encourage our community not only on the G+ platform but also through our upcoming photo meet-up in San Francisco. (Seriously, how cool is that??)

If you’re still on the fence about G+ here are a few concrete reasons why I think you should give this platform a try:

  • It will give you a world wide audience
  • You will have access to official G+ promotion of your collection
  • G+ will create a “Topic” specifically for toy photography to make it easier for new fans to connect with us and our community
  • Built in Analytics are coming
  • You will have access to an amazing community of diverse creators  that will inspire you and that you can learn from (this is the most subtle and the most amazing part of G+)
  • By using collections you can promote different styles and topics of photography under one profile

With the support of the all powerful Google we have a chance to build an amazing community of toy photographers. We have everything in place to do this, except for a few intrepid adventurers willing to explore beyond the comfort and safety of Instagram, Flickr and Facebook. I hope you’ll drop by our toy photographers community, join in our holiday competition and of course give G+ a try.

Creating this community with the help of Jordan and Tony is just one of many reasons I’m excited about 2017.  I have faith that in time we will grow this community into a quality group that enjoys sharing and talking about their toys while waiting for our next opportunity to meet in person.

Sure, you can call me a dreamer; but trust me, there are big doings on Google+.

~ Shelly

The Christmas Unicorn – sometimes you simply have to believe.

If you have any questions about how to set up an account on G+ you can read my earlier blog post on the subject or you can ask me specific questions. I’m here to help you and welcome you to this wonderful and inspiring social media platform.