Why? by Hey Light

Hi everyone, my name is Astrid, I‘m 56 years old and I‘m a toy photographer from Bremen in the north of Germany. I‘ve been taking photos since I was a teenager and I like many kinds of photography for example people (mostly family and friends), travel photography, street photography, macro, …

But most of all I love TOYS, especially small and cute toys as Smurfs, Minions and Lego Minifigures. Do you know KINDER Joy? These chocolate eggs with a surprise in it? I collected all the figures for a long time! Currently my favorite toys are tiny figurines from the field of model railway (H0). They are not much bigger than a fingernail. By now I have at least 300 minis and these are by far not enough to tell all the stories I have to tell.

I love toyphotography because I like to tell stories and create scenes. I like to be inspired by topics and challenges. Diving into another world and taking pictures is relaxing. There is only me, my fantasy, my camera and my figurines … no more everyday life … perfect!!! Therefore a lot of my pictures are made in my room at home. BUT when I travel, I take all figurines with me. I take what is locally, make a connection and take photos wherever I am. Mostly some people are watching me and sometimes we‘re coming in contact. That’s wonderful too.

How it all began

In 2005 my teacher in photography put a bag with frozen little fishes on my table. My task was to take photos of them and so my first toy photo was created. On that day I made many other photos but this one opened my heart for toy photography.

A couple of years later another photography teacher put a bunch of photo books on my desk. I was asked to choose one of them, analyze the photos and make photos in the same style. I picked a book of Slinkatchu, a brilliant English street artist. Since then I shoot mini figurines in scale 1:87. At first I have taken 2 photos always. A photo macrograph and a picture that gives a broader perspective.

Meanwhile I take photos with the mobile phone mostly and tell my little stories with merely one shot. I’m in love with a lot of toys and therefore I combine them from time to time.

I draft my ideas (and I really have a lot ideas on my mind) in the app PAPER so that they don’t get lost. And sometimes a completely different picture emerges during the creativeness process.

At the end of 2016 I knew that my mini figurines should travel the world rather than lie dormant on my notebook. So I decided to dive straight into the IG Adventure. You will not believe it but in the beginning I drew a dot into a world map for every heart I got … and YES my mini figures really travel around the globe. I am still soooooo happy about every single ❤️, every comment, every follower and every feature (though I gave up the world map idea in the meantime 😉).

Warmest thanks dear Shelly @shellycorbettphotography for the chance to contribute on this fabulous blog!

Astrid (@hey.light)

Check out Astrid’s Instagram account for her saved Stories. She has compiled her behind the scenes videos together into an amazing behind the scenes peek at her creativity. 



    Dear Astrid, I Love your pics and your story. Your “Making of” shows that everything you do with your camera and the figurines is carried by your phantasy, warm heart and photo-technical Skills . Great combination!

    • Astrid

      Thank you very much for your kind words JP. I am very pleased. You’re right, my characters are really tiny. But maybe that’s why they are so interesting for me 😊 have a nice day 🙋🏼

  2. brett_wilson

    I love your story, AND your photographs Astrid. I especially love the model railway miniature figures. The ‘ginger harvest’ and the’ bottle top boat’ photos are wonderfully whimsical!

    • Astrid

      Dear Brett, the bottle top boat is one of my absolute favorite pictures. How nice that you like it too. Thank you very much for your great praise. I’m really happy.
      Above all, I am so glad that I discovered your group with toyphotographers. You’re doing a great job. Happy Humpday 🙋🏼

  3. What a great post! As you know Astrid, I’m a huge fan of your photography and can’t wait to dive into these details in your podcast episode. It was great to get the chance to hear your story here. You inspire me to try out shooting those H0 figures myself someday.

    • Astrid

      Dear James,
      you should definitely take pictures with these minis. It is a special challenge, even though they are so small … but we will certainly talk about that 😉 Thank you very much for your kind words!!! Many greetings from Germany Astrid

  4. Hey Astrid! What a fantastic piece you’ve written. It was great to get to know your story here and how you came to toy photography. You already know I love your work and these pics are no exception. You’re work is very inspiring to me — though my head isn’t as full of great ideas as yours. Those train model figs are magical. Thanks for sharing and posting.

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