Ah, Easter on the Surfcoast of Australia! The Rip Curl Pro (third event on the World Surf League World Tour) at Bells Beach, the last week of the school holidays with holidaymakers enjoying the lingering summer warmth, crowds, gridlocked roads, jammed supermarket aisles, logjams at normally quiet cafes spilling onto footpaths, and the queues at the local bottleshops evoking panic that they might be sold out of beer! In our case, Easter denotes the tradition of stocking the cupboards and fridge, hunkering down and never leaving home; just like an Easter zombie apocalypse!
As it was the last week of the school holidays, I’d planned to take my boys out on a mini toy safari. They’d been out with our toys taking photos whilst I was at work during the first week of their holidays. My wife had messaged me to let me know what they were up to with the opening line, “like father like sons”. I came home to two excited kids wanting to show me the outcomes of their morning’s adventures.
So, my initial excitement, and pride, had me planning a trip down the coast to find rocks and sand, and into the bush to find moss and waterfalls.
Then I remembered, Easter!
There was no way I was leaving the property to battle the crowds on the Great Ocean Road just to take some toy photographs. No way!
So, with the ominous hordes beyond our fences, and the promise of a toy safari, there was only one solution I could think of; have a toy safari at home!
Sure, we’re lucky enough to live on a 80 acre property, but having more area doesn’t mean there’s more amazing places to photograph. The majority of the property is made up of paddocks for horses and cows. There are really only a handful of spots that I like to shoot toys. Well, I like to shoot toys everywhere, but there are only a couple of spots that I end up with photos that I’m happy with.
Once the summer heat subsides, we are blesses with some wonderful moss that grows in the shade of trees. I love shooting on moss; it matched the scale of toys better than grass, but it’s a challenge to shoot in the shade that it needs to thrive. I do have a little trick to combat that predicament, but I’ll save that for another post.
It was refreshing to get out and shoot without having to step foot into the chaos of a busy coastal location during one of its busiest times of the year. It was an added bonus that I got to explore and hunt for new mossy harvests.
It’s not the same, but being at home has its advantages.
Don’t get me wrong; the upcoming San Francisco Toy Photographers meet up sounds amazing. I’m incredibly jealous of those who’ll be attending. And yeah, I love attending the Brickstameet meet ups. It’s always a hoot to get out and shoot plastic in new places with other toy photographers. But within the confines of your own backyard, be it 80 acres or a backyard courtyard, magic can be found and adventures can also be had.
Do you have a favourite spot in your backyard to photograph toys?
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