Fundamentally Fun

Things have been pretty heavy on the blog of late. There have been some meaty subjects to sink our teeth into, which is cool. But, as I vegetarian, I thought it time to step away from all this meaty content, and get back to my roots. Fun.

Essentially Entertaining

I started posting LEGO photos back in 2012, with simple photos accompanied by silly captions and puns. Scouring the interwebs for puns was the source of inspiration for my photos. If a pun made me giggle, I’d then create a LEGO version of it.

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”
– Dr. Seuss

This was back in my early days on Instagram. It was before Instagram was flooded with users hell-bent on chasing numbers and fixated on follower counts. I think most of my early photos ended up in the feeds of 100 followers. But that was cool, I wasn’t doing it for numbers; I was doing it for fun.

fundamentally fun: "There's no eye in team" - Hieroglyphics teachers. Probably.
“There’s no eye in team” – Hieroglyphics teachers. Probably.

Primarily Pleasurable

I was also given a book around that time by my friend Mark that became a great source of inspiration, Letterbocks Top Tips. This book is filled with ‘pearls of thrift and wisdom’ and is ‘an invaluable compendium of 500 handy hints’. Or so they say!

“Save time when listening to LPs by playing them at 45 r.p.m.”
“When buying a camera, always buy a second one so that if you sell the first you will be able to take a picture of it for advertising purposes.”
“An old television with a toaster inside makes a cheap but effective ‘microwave’ oven. For making toast.”

“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”
– Dr. Seuss

fundamentally fun: Gavin went to an underwater disco and pulled a muscle. Probably.
Gavin went to an underwater disco and pulled a muscle. Probably.

Looking back through some of my old posts, I realised two things; these were taken back when I was stubborn and only used my phone, and they were posted before I’d joined G+. With the chance to reshoot some old photos and share these puns and tips with a new audience, I didn’t have to think up new ideas. I only had to plan the new shots around the puns. That gave me more time for fun. And more time to focus on the photos not the ideas behind them!

“If you never did you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.”
– Dr. Seuss

Fundamentally Fun

Armed with a back-catalogue of puns and a better camera, and a new audience to inflict the puns upon, it was refreshing to revisit my roots. Shooting with the sole purpose of fun in mind freed up my creativity. It allowed me to be freer in my planning and thinking.

With fun the focus of the shots, I found myself having fun shooting them. Toppling LEGO was funny. Uncooperative bokeh was somewhat comical. I don’t think I swore once while shooting! 

fundamentally fun: I went to a zoo. The only animal in the entire zoo was a dog. It was a Shih Tzu. Probably.
I went to a zoo. The only animal in the entire zoo was a dog. It was a Shih Tzu. Probably.

The fun I was having must’ve been noticeable. My younger son asked if he could borrow my camera and take photos using the close-up filters.

But that’s another fun story!

– Brett

Why did you start photographing toys? Is it the same reason you do it now? Is fun one of those reasons?

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  1. I definitely started taking LEGO photos for fun. When I first started, I was pleasantly surprised to realize how detailed minifigs are. Some of them are so photogenic that I can’t help but smile when I photograph them 🙂 It’s a little less fun now that I’ve raised my expectations of my photos and I have made my setups more complicated. Sometimes I think I need to go back to the simpler days!

    I really love the dog photo – especially the colorful bokeh!

    P.S. I used to be a vegetarian too 🙂 but I had to add fish back to my diet because I wasn’t getting enough protein.

    • brett_wilson

      Cheers Lynn.
      From my experiences with these photos, I can only suggest trying to go back to those simpler days. Perhaps the idea of a simpler process will still result in complex results? I think it did for me.
      Plus, I had some fun that I’d been missing for a while. Smiling while importing photos was something I hadn’t realised I’d missed until these photos started popping up on my screen.

  2. I love visual storytelling. Discovering toy photography was the perfect mind meld (thank you, Spock) of the two. And it is an art form limited only by my imagination and technical ability. I could create a quiet, thoughtful image one day, and an action-packed, effects-laden image the next. The setting might be my kitchen stove one day, and Tatooine the next. And like you, Brett, I love word-play and creating images around cliches, puns, idioms, etc., even though I’m sure a good portion of Instagram’s international audience won’t understand it (and who reads captions anyways!). Toy photography lets me do all of that. How can any of that ever not be fun!? 😀

    • brett_wilson

      Your photos exude fun Mitchel. It’s one of the many reasons I look forward to seeing your photos in my feed. The fun you have with them is tangible in the results.
      And who doesn’t like word play? 😀

      • Thanks Brett – the feeling is entirely mutual! I love and appreciate the stories you tell, your humor, use of light and flawless technique. And anyone that uses the word knucklehead in their bio (and elsewhere!) is A-OK in my book! It’s a word I use often…a word that can work playfully or disparagingly. I’ll often use the word in place of much cruder terminology if I’m driving with my kid and another driver does something idiotic. Haha, yep, I basically just wrote a small essay on the word “Knucklehead.” It’s going to be a good day!

        • brett_wilson

          Ha! That’s where my use, and love for knucklehead came from too. I needed a “go to” phrase that I could blurt out when the kids were within earshot. And knucklehead is so perfect in many situations! It’s a wonderful term.

    • brett_wilson

      Thanks Ryan. It’s been a hoot revisiting these puns and focusing on the shots, rather than having to think about the puns themselves. I think that freedom comes through.

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