I have a Wall of Awesome and I think everyone needs to have one too! What is a ‘wall of awesome’ you ask? It’s a place where I hang the toy photographs of my friends. All of these photos are either gifts or I purchased them.
Over six years of taking toy photographs I’ve had plenty of opportunity to support my friends and grow an amazing collection of toy photographs along the way. I’ve traded prints, books and purchased images as a way to connect and support my photographic friends. Now I have what I like to refer to as my Wall of Awesome and I’m here to encourage you to do the same.
The images that grace my wall include gifts from Kristina Alexanderson, Vesa Lehtimäki and Boris Vanrillaer. I also have two images I purchased from Paul S. and Jon Aiken to support their photo exhibitions. I have one more image to add to my wall of awesome – a recent gift from Brett Wilson. My Wall of Awesome reminds me of the amazing friendships I’ve made on this fantastic and crazy journey.
Not all the images I’ve collected over the years have made it onto the wall. I also have 25 photo books (with several more on the way) created by other toy photographers in a basket near my desk. One of my favorites is a two volume collection of Benny’s Adventures in Space by Luigi Priori. (Luigi sent me this custom mini figure that he created to celebrate his own LUG group: Cremona Bricks.) Everyone of these books is a labor of love.
In addition to the framed works and the books, I’ve also traded or purchased many photo prints over the years. I acquired many of them through the photo swaps that are a hallmark of the US Toy Photo Safaris. Next I will assemble these into photo books so that I can display them easily in my office. In my opinion, there’s nothing better than having a tangible example of the talent that pervades this community.
I encourage you to create your own Wall of Awesome. Your wall doesn’t have to resemble my wall. It can be a designated place on you book shelf, it can be a photo book you bring out to show your friends, it could simply be photos pinned to the wall; whatever style fits your budget and your space. Creating your wall of awesome is worth it because this tangible reminder of the incredible beauty of toy photography will bring joy into your life. If you don’t know where to start, ask a friend or a photographer you admire: “Would you like to trade photographs with me?”
You might be surprised who says: “Yes”.
If you have your own version of a Wall of Awesome, what does it look like?
I hope you have an awesome, photography filled weekend!
I have your picture on my wall 🙂
Thank you my friend, I’m honored 🙂
Oh my! Shelly, I don’t know what to say! Thank you oh so very much! It was so sweet of you! I’m really touched…
And the wall of awesome? Such a great idea!! 😀
I’ll start with your photo! 😉
I couldn’t resist this photo. Im hoping this isn’t the closest you ever get to Seattle. We will have to work out true print trade, because I seem to have come up short 🙂
I am actually doing the same. Not at home, because I don’t have space for that and I am renting my flat, but I have one at work. That way, I can share the work of everyone I know with my colleagues. And everyone appreciate it.
I call it my “wall of friends”. It cheers me up when I am not in the mood.
And to stay in the theme of toy photography, I actually used blue-tac to attach them to the wall 😉
You can find the pictures here
I love this! Even more so because these images are from the Hamburg meet-up! I think Wall of Friends is an even better title. Thank you for sharing! xoxo
Thanks Shelly. Indeed most of the pictures are from the Hamburg meet-up, but I also have pictures from other French Photographers from meet-up I organized. Now, I am waiting to add pictures from the San Francisco meet-up 🙂
Tried to put together a photobook to trade. Then I looked at other peoples work and started to think: I am not there yet, not good enough and no theme. Linking to earlier post perhaps my word should be “confidence”.
Hey buddy! I can tell you for sure that the prints you gave me in Hamburg don’t look less awesome than the other photos/books I’ve had on my desk for one month and have been looking at on an almost daily basis.
Thank you, that is very kind of tou to say! 🙏🙏
Stefan, yes please make ‘confidence’ your word for 2017. Creating a book has absolutely nothing to do with being ‘good enough’. It is an exercise in editing which allows you to look at your work in new ways. By editing your images as a random set of your favorite 12 or with some greater theme – you can take a moment to step back and appreciate what you’ve accomplished. The second reason to create a book is to have a ready made gift to share with friends and family. It is a gift from the heart that reflects your passion. You’re far too hard on yourself, just like any artist. We’re never in a position to accurately judge how good our images are; we’re our own worst critics! Im sending you a big hug and I want you to know that your work is appreciated by your fiends (like me) regardless of how you view it. Here’s to 2017 – Stefan’s Year of Confidence! xoxo
So true Shelly! I am quite hard critic on my self, my friends here in town says the same. Confidence is word this year. Thank you for the pepptalk! Hugs!
I feel the same Stefan. With less than a year’s worth of experimental material I feel my image collection is lacking strength and substance. I would like to set us both (and anyone else who feels the same) a challenge: let’s work on improving our art over the next six months and, at Jun 30 2017 create a photobook to trade among ourselves.
Stefan and Tony, while I don’t think either of you have much need to worry about your photography being “good enough” I would offer that when I succumb to these same feelings as yours I concentrate on two things.
The first thing that I do is actively start asking myself, as I look at other photos, “What DON’T I like about this?” This is the greater beast of toy photography. It is easy to see photos and like them – or to see photos and like them and then just pass them by. Forcing yourself to actively figure out what you don’t like about a photo though – even in a photo you like – it is an exercise that will bring benefits back to your own work. Try it. Ask yourself at the beginning of each photo – What DON’T I like about this photo.
The second thing I do is think in terms of a series rather than a single photo. This is a gift I received from hanging around Stuck in Plastic for a while. The move from a single photo to a series will reprogram the way you think about what you are capturing in so many ways. Next time you are out capturing an idea – try looking at it from a series. Instead of “What’s my one capture, ask, what’s my three – or five – or seven series for this?”
Most of the time when I feel like I’ve gone astray I find bringing myself back to these two things will set me good again.
Of course, neither of you has anything to worry about anyway. : )