Even before I ever started photographing toys, I was in awe of Preiser’s catalog of miniatures that populate model train sets at a staggeringly small 1:87 to real life (commonly known as HO scale). Though I’ve never shot these figures myself, some of my favorite toy photographers use them.


It should come as no surprise that I fell in love with the work of Astrid Heyland, who goes by @hey.light on Instagram. Astrid cleverly mixes these HO scale miniatures with LEGO minifigures, real-life objects and food. She puts craftsmen and artists to work with a witty sense of humor and and eye for poppy colors.

Instagram Preiser toy photography by Astrid Heyland

“Community” by Astrid Heyland

This was a truly unique podcasting experience for me. We were joined by Astrid’s god-daughter, who helped with translations and clarifying turns of phrase from Astrid’s native German to English. Despite a bit of a language barrier, we had a fun and relaxed conversation. We were just two people from across the world talking about our love of toys. It helped that Astrid is very kind and speaks passionately about her love of photography and her precious Preiser figures.

Thanks to Astrid for the nice conversation, and thank you for listening! If you want to know more about Astrid, you can read her “Why?” post on the blog, and follow her on Instagram and Flickr. Then, continue the discussion with us in the comments below!


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sword swallower preiser toy photography by Astrid Heyland

“Sword and Sweets” by Astrid Heyland