I arrived home and jet lag kicked me like a pissed off mule. Yet through the foggy haze of time travelling back to the future, memories of the Oregon Toy Photography Safari still shine through. Here are some of my personal highlights from one of the best times I’ve ever had.
We’ve mentioned toy photography yoga before on the blog. But I was blessed to witness toy photography tai chi on the sand of Oswald State Park’s beach. Well, it appeared as tai chi but it was actually Austin (@toy.at.heart) rehearsing poses to ensure they were “articulate accurate”. For someone who comes from a LEGO photography background, observing toy photographers posing and ensuring all points of articulation were spot on was fascinating. I’ve never locked my knees and elbows and practiced my “LEGO 7 points of movement” tai chi before! But seeing poses rehearsed, figures adjusted, and the resulting articulated perfect shots, I am now a devotee of toy photography tai chi.
Taking down the mighty David (@fathersfigures) in the “dipping for Deadpool” game, devised and created by Cindy and Leila (@coneydogg and @brickandmordor), that ended in a nail-biting second “wiener off” after scores were tied at the end of regular play will forever be one of the highlights in my sporting career!
This victory was made even more special upon witnessing David in toy photography setup action. How many times have we found a perfect log or rock to shoot toys on, but the shadows were wrong? Or the background sucked? Well, I now know how to remedy that situation. If nature isn’t as you want it for a toy photo, simply hoist that colossal fallen tree, and shift it!
Krashes Kustoms. Everyone received a Kustom Minifigure. Dennis (@krash_override) also gave me some of his Kustom Porgs. These instantly became my new favourite Toy Photography fodder. Their photogenic qualities were only matched by Dennis’ incredible generosity and amazing talent.
Next Level Dipping
Sharing toys. I got to share toys with Josh (@papjov) and have him take my shot of his white elephant Jason wiener dipping up a notch with the suggestion of using his beer tankard too.
Collaborations. Watching Toy Photographers work together on shots was a hoot. Be it holding reflectors, blasting compressed air into water, shooting atmosphere aerosol into frame, or throwing sand, the accord of these partnerships was a fitting summation of the weekend. I too got to experience the joy of collaborating, throwing sand at Dave’s (@TheRealStudioDave) Tusken Raider for his shot.
Holding hands with Dave as we embarked on making the dash around the point between waves for the Hug Point falls. Talking craft beer with Jenelle. Kiwi’s laugh. Hands down the best cuddles from the weekend came from Leila. Jess’ amazing tamarind candy. Eric making me laugh and showing me his hulking man beast. The super cool talk shared with Doug as we made our way through the forest to the beach, and had to stop to finish it, as our fellow Toy Photographers filed past for the sand.
Cindy’s infectious enthusiasm, for everthing. Nick teaching me about Shiners and how to open them (I looked like a local in Austin!). The look of joy on Law’s face as I handed him his Tim Tams for the best Brickheads self-portrait (I expect documentation of the Tim Tam slam evening). Jazer making me laugh and offering to show me around LA (sorry I couldn’t take you up on the offer…this time). Gwen and Cameron introducing me to Goldfish. Yes, some came home with me, and yes, they also have made their way into my boys’ lunch boxes. Post swim coffees with Melisa in the mornings.
Of course, these aren’t my only memories of the weekend. They are just the ones that make their way through the jet lag haze. If I forgot to mention you, it’s not that I don’t have wonderful recollections of our time together, it’s the jet lag.
A Special Thanks
It’d be remiss of me not to give a special thanks to my partner in Toy Photographers, Shelly. Your generosity, organisation, humour and passion I already knew. But I had no idea of their extent. You not only made this weekend amazing for everyone, you also made my time in Seattle beforehand and the trip back so incredibly memorable. Thank you, my work wife.
Oh, and thanks for letting me steal the Danbo from you in the white elephant.
Thank all y’all
I made the trip to the Oregon Toy Photography Safari knowing some from online and knowing of others, but I left knowing I’ve made some lifelong friends. I learned about people and I learned so much about their toy photography. The memories will never fade. Thank you.
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