Podcast 61: Recreating Your Own Work

After taking some much needed R&R, I’m thrilled to be back on the podcast this week! 

A BIG thank you is in order for Shelly and Kristina, who took over the podcast feed while I was gone and released three great “off-season” episodes on the role fan fiction, humor, and nostalgia have in toy photography. It was both strange and exciting to see new episodes pop up in my feed that I had nothing to do with!

I’m glad to be back on the show, and have a jam-packed new episode that I know you’re going to enjoy. Kristina joined me on the mic to once again discuss recreating photos, with an added twist: The photos we chose to remake this time around had to be our own. 

I’ve often felt the impulse to retake some of my older photos, especially those that clearly show that I didn’t know what the heck I was doing! With years of practice and more technical knowledge, I’m sure I can make my older shots “better.” But, is that really the point of doing a recreation? 

You can listen to the episode now to find out how Kristina and I approached that question, and the important lessons we learned along the way. And don’t forget to scroll down this post to see our images, and the great submissions from some of our listeners.

My Images

For my recreation, I chose to put my newfound appreciation for portrait photography to good use, and re-interpret a photo from 2014.

Kristina’s Images

“Holy Family” by Kristina Alexanderson (2019, 2012)

Kristina not only reimagined an older photo, but was able to create an entirely new third image by combining her two creations- shot seven years apart – into an impressive and moving diptych. 

Listener Submissions

We always love seeing our listeners interpret the monthly themes, and this time was no exception. Thanks to those who dug through their own libraries to join us in recreating an older image. We were impressed by the variety of techniques and thought that went into each one. 

This Month’s Challenge

We’ve learned so much from recreating images that we’re going to tackle the theme again this month. Only, instead of using one of our own images as a reference, we’re going to recreate one of each other’s! If you’d like to join us and get the chance to have your photo discussed on the show, we’d love to see it! Choose a photo from my feed or Kristina’s to recreate, and upload your recreation using the hashtag #tp_recreation by Friday, June 21st. 

We can’t wait to see what you choose and how you reinterpret the photos!


Have you ever tried recreating one of your old photos? How did you approach it? What was the result? Continue the conversation with us in the comments below.

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  1. This was actually a super easy challenge for me. It was like the new photo was waiting to be taken ever since I shot the first one. Now I have two most favorite images!

    Everyone did a fantastic job for this challenge! I saw Kristina’s images as a interpretation of the Anakin and Padme story. The first one would be the beginning of their relationship, with the teddy representing the family that they want, but can’t have. The second image would be right after the twins are born. The second one gives me the impression that Vader isn’t really there. He’s only a shadow, a fear, yet connected still to the other figures in the photo.

    I really like the newest version of the Ackbar photo. It fits his personality quite well. The custom figure is excellent too.

    I look forward to the next one!

    • Kristina

      I love the fact that you had such a successful experience and out of it got two favorite images – I thought it was hard to redo one of my favorite images. Just re-doing images that I love is in it self hard and I hinder myself because of my strong feelings toward the work I decide to re-do. So next challenge to redo some of James’s work is even harder – because I know in forehand that I won’t be the photographer to stand up to his skills, but I look forward to it because it is an opportunity to get to know his work better and him as a photographer more in depth.

      Thank you for sharing that Loveling and insightful interpretation of my images – I could never have seen that in the work, but I’m so blessed that I have viewers like you that do, so Thank you for letting me know.


  2. Great podcast James and Kristina! I really liked the new versions of your classic photos.

    Regarding James image I think what I liked most was how all the hard work on his photography this past two years has helped him define his own style. The first image reminds me of a classic Balakov image of a storm trooper. James where you influenced by Mike Stimpson? If so, the transformation from his distinct style to one you can call all your own is all the more impressive.

    • Thanks Shelly! You’re right on the money with the Balakov question. Mike was one of the first toy photographers I ever discovered and played a huge part in inspiring me to do it myself. A lot of my early work was trying to emulate his style specifically.

      I’m happy to hear that my own style is now starting to come through. It’s certainly more fun and rewarding being myself, and honing my own skills, than trying to be someone else!

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