Whether it’s taking time, or making time, getting some toy playtime can lead to some toy photography time that you didn’t know about. Playtime with toys can be not only cathartic, it can also be invigorating and energising when it comes to finding toy photography stimulus.

1. an object, often a small representation of something familiar, as an animal or person, for children or others to play with; plaything
2. something that serves for or as if for diversion, rather than for serious practical use.
3. made or designed for use as a toy.
4. to amuse oneself; play.

My desk at work is strewn with a constantly changing selection of LEGO and toys. It’s where a lot of my inspiration comes from. I bring a new batch of toys each week to play with and see if their stories emerge from our playtime. I’ll find myself playing with LEGO or figures while I try to figure out coding problems, mentally map out solutions, debate whether I should send that email or censor it, or sometimes when I probably should be paying more attention during phone calls.

If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?
– Albert Einstein

Finding time for toy photography isn’t always the difficult part; its finding the inspiration. If I can find that inspiration from playing, then that frees up my time to shoot. I’m not staring at the toy shelves on a weekends cursing at the toys to tell me their stories; they already have when we were playing together.

Time gets wasted every day
I watch the minutes tick away
My brain is melting like a
chocolate ice cream bar
Screeching Weasel – My Brain Hurts

From this playtime, ideas evolve, stories unfold, and inspiration is sparked. A seemingly childish “pew pew” of gunfire, embarrassingly uttered across the open plan office, can lead to a photo I didn’t know existed. Some silly role-play on my desk can evolve into a story that inspires a photo. A randomly grabbed toy on a Sunday evening can sometimes inspire a photo that would never have happened if that toy was at home on its shelf all week.

Jennifer has written about how to fix your photo funk. Shelly has asked what have you created today? And now I’ll ask, “when did you last play with your toys”?

– Brett

*My desk just got some more toys to play with as a box of the Ninjago Collectable Minifigures just arrived from our friends at LEGO! Stand by for the review and a giveaway!

When was last time you played with your toys? Or are your toys purely subject matter for your photography?

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