Humility in a Toy Box

Humility is a word often overlooked in toy photography. Or maybe it’s forgotten. But when acts of humility occur, it reawakens my faith in the strength of the toy photography community.


the quality of having a modest view of one’s importance
freedom from pride or arrogance
– the quality or state of being humble

As toy photography gains traction and its devotees gain notoriety and the associated perks of backings and endorsements, personal goals and achievements seem to take priority over community. Humility takes a backseat to ambition and drive.

In this seemingly dog eat dog world of toy photography on social media that has members striving for likes, battling fellow toy photographers for followers and finds toy photographers vying against their comrades for sponsorship and endorsement, it appears that acts of humility shine, like a rare diamond in the rough.

Humility in the rough

Recently I was refreshingly reminded that humility is still alive and well in toy photography.

As conversations around the upcoming Oregon Toy Photo Safari heat up in the Google+ community, a simple offer rekindled my faith in humility. Something I thought was lost in toy photography.

David Valdez (@fathersfigures) shared a post under the “What Should I Bring?” topic.

I’ve talked to a few other attenders, but I’ll offer it here as well:
My collection isn’t that unique, but is there anything you’ve seen in my photos that you would like to shoot? If it’s not too big (ex: Iron Giant), I’ll bring it along!

Humility in a Toy Box
Humility in a Toy Box

As I read David’s offer, it stuck me how generous, bighearted and humble it was. Not only is David making the journey to attend the Toy Photo Safari again this year, but he’s also offering to bring toys for others to shoot.

How cool is that?

Thanks David, for your offer, and for restoring my faith! Hopefully I can repay your generous offer with Tim Tams!


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  1. Father

    Awe, thanks Brett!
    I assure you, I still struggle with all those awful feelings of the negative aspects of toy photography: Jealousy, greed, vanity, etc. I just try to bury them deep inside.
    During the last couple meet ups, I’ve found that sharing toys and trying to shoot things you might not normally shoot can be one of the best aspects of a gathering of friends such as this!

  2. Lovely thoughts Brett. One of my favourite things about toy safaris is sharing and finding of toys. Sifting through someone else’s toy box is a matter of trust and friendship and makes the act of allowing it that much more meaningful.

  3. Touch my toys and I cut you. Oh wait. I mean: I’m so excited to share my toys. I LOVE sharing toys. Do it all the time. Just ask my 8 year old son who stares longingly at my toys like a kid at the outside window of a closed candy shop. Yeah. I got this. I’m in… Sharing, humility, love, world peace. YESSSS.

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