“They say that none of us exists, except in the imagination of his fellows, other than as a intangible, invisible mentality.” – Edgar Rice Burroughs

If you’re posting your toy photography images to social media I can only assume you want your work to be seen. Maybe you want it to be appreciated, or even have it acknowledged by a ‘like’ or a quick comment. But what happens when your work isn’t seen? Maybe its even ignored.

It hurts.

What happens when you participate in one of the twice daily ToyPops (where the concept is to trade like for likes) and receive less than 100 ‘likes’ from the over 300+ participants?

Well that probably hurts too.

How do you feel when you watch your friend’s account explode with followers while your account consistently loses followers.

If you’re like me, you probably feel discouraged.

It’s painful to think that the images that you work so hard on (and take pride in), are not seen or even worse, are simply ignored once they’re posted. 

“I’m so scared of dying without ever being really seen.” David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

Does this sound familiar? Well you’re not alone, there seems to be a general frustration with Instagram and dare I say all social media. Interactions are down, organic growth is nearly non existent and likes and comments are a fraction of what they used to be. Critics will blame the new algorithm for this change, and I’m inclined to agree. But I also believe there are other issues influencing these downward trends. These include changing social media habits, an over saturated community and other demands on our attention. Long time active users seem to be moving on, which is part of the inevitable growth of artists and creatives. Social media platforms are a constantly shifting sea of personalities.

An Antidote

I know that social media can be frustrating. While I’m not prone to depression, sometimes the frustrations inherent in social media can send me into a tail spin of self-doubt. Not a healthy place for any creative to be. But I do have an antidote that I would like you to consider. Please joining me May 25th – 28th, 2018 in Cannon Beach, OR for a family friendly toy photographers meet up.

There is nothing more fun than putting the social back into social media. Imagine a large house right on the Pacific Ocean filled with some of the silliest and kindest people you will ever encounter on this planet. Toys will be shared, photography tips will be exchanged and most importantly, life long friendships will be made.

The Overview

Yes, I realize that the weather can be fickle on the Pacific coast in May. Because of this, I will be renting a large house that can act as our home base. I have also made this decision because some of my best memories of the past three meet-ups are around our shared meals. We will be having at least one group meal (think Thanksgiving toy photography style), and hopefully more! This event will also involve less driving; yes I’ve been listing to your feedback! Even with less driving, we will still have lots of diverse locations to photograph our toys in.

Other bonus activities:

  • Opening Festivities and a proper meet and greet
  • You will receive a unique Krashes-Kustom designed especially for this event by Dennis Taylor
  • Loot from LEGO
  • There will be Photo Challenges with prizes!
  • A White Elephant Gift Exchange
  • Our popular Print Exchange

Wiiman has been to every toy meet-up and now has this fun collection of unique LEGO inspired custom figures. (Photo credit Wiiman)

With six months to plan, save, and arrange time off I hope to see many of the past participants as well as a few new faces. Consider this your confirmation that we will have another epic gathering in 2018. I will open registration when we get closer to the event. In the mean time I hope you will mark your calendar and start planning an epic journey to the Oregon coast.

Silver Linings

While I can’t make the current user experience on any social media platform more enjoyable, I can offer you this small silver lining. When you meet other toy photographers in person there is no need to explain yourself. You do not have to feel shy about bringing out your toys and photographing them with your lunch. Best of all, you will be surrounded by talented photographers who will inspire and help you improve your own craft. If this doesn’t sound better than beating your head against the stone wall of social media, I don’t know what will!

If you want to be seen, if you want your work to be noticed and you want to make meaningful connections with your fellow toy photographers – then you will want to mark your calendar for May 25th – 28th, 2018. Social media is no substitute for real life connections.

Trust me, you don’t want to miss the 4th annual Toy Photographers meet-up!

I look forward to seeing all my lovely, in real life friends (both old and new!) next May on the beaches and in the woods of Oregon.


PS – I know that for many of you this is simply too far to travel. I will be working with interested parties to see if we cant get an east coast or mid west version of this event going. I also got wind of a possible meet-up in New York City. If any of these become a reality, I promise, you will be the first to know. As I said before, building community is our number one priority in 2018. 

Don’t forget to sign up for our weekly newsletter. This way you wont miss a single important and inspiriting post!