Confession time; the changing seasons do affect my photography. I will call it a seasonal infectious disorder that is characterized by an irrational exuberance caused by the blossoming of trees, longer days and the sun peaking out from behind the ever present clouds. I didn’t realize how much it affected my toy photography until I was packing toys for a recent outing.

In an earlier blog post, Brett asked: “As the seasons change, do your toy photographs change with them?” I cavalierly thought, sure, of course it does. Who doesn’t take there toys to the beach in the summer and into the snow in the winter?  Ok, a lot of people, including me. Sometimes I find myself on a Hawaiian beach in the winter or high in the mountains of Colorado in the summer where the snow still lingers. On closer inspection it seems that location is not always an indicator of the season.

It’s complicated

Recently I headed out with a couple of friends to one of my favorite locations for a few hours of toy photography fun (Thanks Jon, Wiiman and Cheyanne!) This was my first chance to pack toys for a non-mountain / snow filled adventure and I could feel my creativity pivot in a new direction.

I began choosing figures that spoke to me of spring, new growth, innocence, rebirth, joy and love. Yes, these were the thoughts going through my head as I choose figures including:

  • S4 Geisha Girl who’s cherry blossoms always remind me of spring, rebirth and the fragility of beauty.
  • S6  Minotaur who I love to pair with a sprig of flowers because he reminds me of a book I loved as a child: The Story of Ferdinand
  • S13 Unicorn who I’ve modified with clear wings and sparkles who represents my love of magic.
  • S7 Bunny Rabbit; no spring photo adventure would be complete without at least a few photos of this classic figure.
  • S10 Bumble Bee is another classic figure that fits my mood this time of year.

Of course I also packed a few S12 pigs, a couple of Batman characters, my AT-AT family, a few Mouse Guard figures, the ever present Classic Spacemen, Keiko the robot and a few miscellaneous characters. I felt I had a nice selection to fit my mood and the location. And the choices I made told me that Spring was in the air and I was ready to make a change. There was a frivolity in my choices that has been missing in the last few months.

Sure, I love the white on white of my winter photos. I had a fabulous time exploring this new terrain. But now I’m glad to be moving in new directions. Unfortunately (or fortunatly) I’m behind on my editing and there are still a few snowy white images that would like to be posted. Now that I have a case of Seasonal Infectious Disorder I think I will save these images for the heat of summer. They will make a nice change of pace come August.

Yes, my photography changes as the seasons change, but the answer is more complicated than a simple change of scenery. Now that the weather is warmer I want to tell different stories. I want to tell stories of love, not hardship; stories that feature exploration and high spirits. The stories I want to tell, now that spring is here, will not feature skeletons, wargs or white walkers. I want to revisit the word “seeker” and see where that leads me. I’m sure that boats and reflections will continue to influence my future photos. Over the winter I picked up a few obscure Chima characters that need to discover their stories. I feel energized in a way I haven’t felt in a long time and it feels good.

A Little Challenge

Brett made the observation that in his own photos he couldn’t see the seasons change. So I want to throw out a challenge to my blogging partner to take a moment to see if he can reflect the changing seasons in his photos; no matter what the location. This isn’t one of those serious challenges that demands a blog post in response. This is only an idea to tuck into the back of your head to see what bubbles up. Maybe you will add a few ideas to your to-do shelf.

Thanks Brett for helping me to see that there’s more to the seasons changing than the background. As photographers we make choices in our stories and our characters. These choices can tell a deeper story than the color of the leaves or snow on the ground can reflect. Our stories can be universal in nature or steeped in myth. Changing seasons are part of this story, but not the whole story.

Brett, what say you? Do you accept my challenge?


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