“It’s Not About the Toys” – a podcast with Tobias M Schiel

For 2020 Shelly and I have started a new podcast series. The idea is to highlight some of the creative aspects of photography. It will air one a month and in short be me talking to other photographers about their work, what they do, and why they do whatever they do.

In this first episode of this series I talk to Tobias M Schiel, a German toy photographer about his photographic work. If you follow this blog you know Tobias already because he is a regular contributor of several great series of six image narrative (you find them here). In this talk we talk about two of his six image narratives: Gregor S, and Nemisis. We also talk about inspiration, art and literature. If you are like me and would like to dive even deeper in Tobias work I suggest you visit his blog: Empire of Lights (named after René Magrittes painting), and a webpage tmschiel.com just for his toy photography.

In our conversation we name some photographers and you can find them here:

Gregory Crewdson
Ansel Adams

Tobias and I also talk about:

Franz Kafka (a writer)
Rene Magritte (surrealistic painter)
Eduardo Chillida (a sculptor)
Sam Spade (a fictional character)
Gerhard Richter (visual artist)
Philip Marlowe (A fictional character)

The next episode will be published next month, and then I’ll talk to another photographer from our community. If you have suggestions – tell me, if you want to be my guest let me know.



  1. Shelly

    Tobias and Kristina this was a fabulous conversation. Thank you! So many great topics covered – lighting, audience, inspiration to name a few that I was fascinated by. And K, you may not have wanted to see what Tobias looks like, but I for one am curious!

    Great conversation and I look forward to the next guest!

  2. Janan

    I really enjoyed listening to your story and inspiration behind your art Tobias. I can see the “hope” you portray in your images and the literature background does show in your immersive storytelling

    One thing I’ll be looking to apply for myself is visiting more museums and drawing new inspiration.

    Wonderful new idea to the already great podcast, Kristina and Shelly!

  3. Astrid

    Kristina and Tobias, that was a very inspiring conversation. Kristina, I totally agree with you about Gregory Crewdson. Tobias, I really appreciate your NOIR series and found it super exciting to hear more about how it came about. I would love to look over your shoulder. This conversation is a great start to the new series. Loopings forward to the next one!

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