Sick statistics

In all my imagined versions of how 2018 might start, I didn’t think of coming down with flu. And yet, here we are, 11 days into the start of the year and I’ve spent most of them sick and feeling like someone hit me with a truck.

If you are like me and not working or doing anything makes you crazy, you might come up with some hair-brained idea to go through all 365 of your project photos and collate data on them (whilst marathon watching episodes of Castle under piles of blankets). You might even, in the interest of visual data, make a few pie charts.

And you do all of this just so you can make crazy obvious statements like:

I am an outdoor photographer

I used ‘Set’ to indicate a scene either on a LEGO set, or something inside set up for the photo. ‘Real life’ indicates the toy interacting with the real world in some way.

So it turns out, 81% of my project photos were taken outside, mostly in my garden, and frequently (22% of the time) in the perfect eye height branch of our old apple tree. It can be a bit dangerous, especially in the autumn when on at least one occasion, I got hit by a falling apple, but it’s perfectly lined up at eye level so no yoga is involved to take photos.

The old apple tree
Toys, outside on the apple tree branch at sunset. My primary photo location.

I am still a LEGOgrapher

Whilst my toy horizons are broadening, I do still generally photograph LEGO (83% of photos). As my toy collection has expanded though, Playmobil (4%) and Revoltech (5%) crept in. Pop figures were also seen (especially as I kept buying them over the year, despite promises to only ever have a couple!)

Up, up and away go the promises to not buy more toys!
The lady who started my new Playmobil collection. All for the umbrella.

I edit primarily in colour

94% of photos for my project were left as colour photos. This one actually surprised me as I really like black and white photos so I would certainly have expected this figure to be a bit higher. It certainly felt like I had more black and white shots as I was taking them over the year.

I am a creature of habit

There was a lot of repetition in my year. I used the same accessories over and over again (teddy bears and pink umbrellas anyone?), despite having many others available. I guess it’s all about what speaks to me and whether or not I need ‘comfort photography tools’ on a given day!

I also used the same five key figures for almost 25% of photos (my sigfig, Snape, Skellewings, Batman and Spooky Girl). Again, it’s not like I don’t have many other toys to photograph, but something about that particular collection just asks me to photograph it (and mostly comes with me in my Tin TARDIS so was always available).

Reviewing my photos in this way has given me a really interesting look at how and what I took pictures of in 2017. It’s certainly something I would do again as it helps me understand where my comfort zones are and how I could change them. It’s also helped me see that whilst there were a lot of different photos across the year, I did develop some sort of style for my photos (one of the aims of the project).

Have you ever looked at the numbers involved with your toy photography? Did you find out anything interesting or unexpected about how/what you shoot? Let me know in the comments!

– Lizzi
Stepping on Bricks


  1. brett_wilson

    I love numbers, and I love pie charts (Mmmmm, pie!) but I’d be scared to attempt this level of analysis of my posts.
    I’d be fearful to discovery how much ‘same’ there is in my shots! Or maybe it’s a theme, and not repetition?
    OK, you’ve convinced me… When I’ve got the time, I’m going to do a ‘Lizzi’ and analyze what I did in 2017. I like the notion of discovering my comfort zones and then sidestepping them, like falling apples!
    I hope you’re feeling better Lizzi. x

  2. Wow! Nice breakdown (the photography that is…).

    I looked over a lot of my year and I too take many shots of the same figures. This stems from me having ongoing stories of these characters – Jim Bricksters, Lenny the Biker Raptor, Frank the Stormtrooper… and a few others that I can add to whenever I feel like it.

    Glad you got a bit of insight and thanks for sharing – feel better soon!

  3. Donaldsshadow

    I love this. I by far did not take 365/365 pictures this year. But I do notice I tend to gravitate to the same figures. Usually my sigfig but I also like the goth guy and girl(spooky girl). I also like the new ninjago fig either the teddy bear and will use again soon.
    Okay I digress. Thanks for taking the time to write this article. I enjoyed reading it.

  4. Wow, very interesting article and data! I try not to look at too much data related to my photos because I’ll over analyze it (I analyze data for a living) and then I’ll take the fun out of taking photos 🙂

    That’s great that you have an apple tree with an eye-level branch. If I had that, I’d be tempted to take photos outdoors. Sadly, there aren’t many trees around here. We planted some but they are still very small.

    Great post! I hope you get over the flu quickly.


    • Thanks Lynn! 🙂 I did a very surface analysis to be honest. I might take a deeper look one day but this was just for fun and I don’t want to get bogged down in data either!

      I do love the apple tree. I will be really sad when we move and I don’t have it anymore (or it falls down, because it’s really old!!).

  5. I have never been successful at a 365 project. The most I’ve done is a three month’s worth I think… so I applaud your tenacity and your output.

    Weirdly there are many photos I now suspect are taken on your apple tree branch that I didn’t ever connect with a tree branch at all, so while conveniently at your eye level, it was also well camouflaged as other locations to some of us.

    I hope you’re well on your way to recovery from your flu! Thanks for sharing this info with us, it has been quite enlightening and in some respects has made me take a closer look at your awesome work. 😀

  6. Tony Tulloch

    Personally I find it really hard to look back, as it takes my mind away from looking forward. I tend to get a ‘bee in my bonnet’ about an idea (photographic or otherwise) and tend to pursue it until completed. Once that’s done, I’m on to the next thing.

    By collecting data on my past images, I’m sure I could get some insight into where I am going, but I just like to enjoy the ride as it’s happening.

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