New Beginnings

In the next few days I’ll be flying out of state for some on the job training for my new position. I won’t have a ton of free time, but I’d like to be prepared for when or if I do. So here I am as a not-travel/outdoor toy photographer contemplating what to bring and what to shoot.

I want to make photos there that I couldn’t here, to have a reason for the location and find a way to interact with the new environment.

“The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.”

-Elliott Erwitt

I’ll be there for a photo job, so I’m thinking maybe a 2cm tall photographer or two is apt. And as it’s a new job, the first full time position in my desired field, while it’s exciting, it’s also been a bit of an overwhelming prospect, so my dollhouse doll I often use to symbolize strained emotions could be of help.

Then there’s equipment to consider.

I’m of the mind to bring more than necessary and switch out, rather than be stuck without. So, on the packing list goes my slr, macro and kit lens, point and shoot, their respective chargers, batteries, etc. Then, while I’m not going to lug this huge laptop with me, my ipad will have to secure its place in my bag.

What’s more is that this job change for me is a new beginning.

And in that I want to make photos in my journey that represent the broad open world, new experiences, new adventures and breaking from the mold.

In preparing to leave my current job, and making sure the office is set in the absence before my position is filled, and wrapping my head around finally making the move I’ve been itching for for years, I have been so caught up in my head that I haven’t made any photos at all for weeks. And I don’t mean just no photos, I haven’t been doing anything outside of my required routine. And once I get set not doing anything, it’s easier than ever to continue in that loop.

So for so many reasons, whether the travel photos turn out good or bad, it’s important I create them.

“To invent your own lifes meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.”

-Bill Watterson

You travel and outdoor photogs, any suggestions for me on toy or equipment variety?

What meaning have you sought to represent in your photos?

Jennifer Nichole Wells


  1. brett_wilson

    Firstly, congrats on your new adventure!
    Unfortunately, I’m probably the worst person to even attempt to answer your question. Every business trip I over pack toys, and every business trip I return without a single photo taken! Somehow business monopolizes my time? Funny about that!
    The only advice I’d offer is to pack what you think will work with the location you’re going to, and some that probably won’t. When I attend toy photography meet-ups, the toys that I never thought would work in the locations we visit are usually the ones that do?
    Oh, and if time permits, a little local toy shopping can often offer up some novel outcomes too.
    Safe travels and happy shooting!

  2. Jennifer the only advice I can offer is less is more. You will never use half the stuff you bring so pair down your choices so you can focus on the important stuff with your limited time. Also whenever I’m on a trip and I know my attention will be divided (family vs toy photography) I will usually only photograph with my phone. I can be faster and more spontaneous. While they’re supportive I have a hard time being a tourist and a toy photographer.

    Whatever happens don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t take any photos; its happened to all of us. You know the saying: the best laid plans…

    Cheers and safe travels!

  3. Brickprawnz

    Can’t say much equipment wise but you could get explorer/adventure-based figurines to represent the new journey you are embarking on. On top of which, you could get some expressive ones to convey your emotions from time to time. Also, I think Brett would agree that limiting your figurines to a few would help.

    Hope these pointers help and all the best for your new stint!

  4. Great post, Jennifer, and congrats on the new gig! That’s super exciting and I hope it goes well for you.

    I tend to overthink it when I pack toys to take on my trips. I always pack too much and find that I hardly have the time to take photos (especially if it’s a business trip).

    My go-to figures are always the sig figs I have of myself and my wife (for fun travel selfie purposes), a Stormtrooper, and at least 1 or 2 figures that are location-specific. So if I’m going to the beach I’ll grab a shark or lifeguard, if I’m going hiking I pack the figure with the backpacking gear, etc.

    That way I can have a fun, casual picture taken with our sig figs (and I don’t have to care so much about the quality that way, meaning I can just quickly shoot on my phone), and something to ensure that I get the best out of wherever I’m going. And I just love Stormtroopers, so I tend to keep one in my bag at all times, just in case. 😉

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