Photographs Not Taken: A Book Discussion

In Episode #96 of the Toy Photographers podcast, Kristina and I take a step back from toy photography and look at the bigger picture of being a photographer in “Photographs Not Taken: A Book Discussion.” Photographs Not Taken: A collection of Photographers’ Essays is edited by Will Steacy, an American writer and photographer. He’s gathered together an amazing group of professional photographers who write briefly about photographs that they have NOT taken. 

These photos are “missing” for a variety of reasons: the wrong situation, a failed attempt, missed opportunities or they are simply memories. Whatever the reason, the themes running through the book are familiar to any photographer. We all make choices about when and who we photograph. Because of this, we thought this book and its themes would be relevant to our community of toy photographers.

In the introduction, Lyle Rexer writes: 

Yet these days every photograph taken by people who do it for a living arrives inside a set of quotation marks, a bracketed form of perception that says: “Don’t’ trust me!” and “Should I really be showing you this?” and “Should you really be looking?” Above all, “Does it matter?” 

While Kristina and I do not take photographs for a living, these are some of the same questions we ask ourselves. It is through this lens that we approached the podcast “Photographs Not Taken: A Book Discussion” and our own relationship to toys. I hope you enjoy it. 

Up next

Up next, Kristina and I take on Mythology. If you want to join in the fun, tag your photos #tp_podcast_mythology (ours directly) by December 3. While mythology might seem like a dense subject, there is plenty of room for interpretation. The toys of our childhood are ripe for reinterpreting these classic myths. To help inspire you, check out this article on 30 of the Most Famous Tales from Greek Mythology. As you look at the images, imagine replacing the figures with your favorite Star Wars characters. Let’s have some fun with this one!

Thank you!

As always, thank you for listening to our podcast—especially episodes like “Photographs Not Taken: A Book Discussion,” which is seemingly out of left field. Like all aspects of the Toy Photographers blog, the podcast is a labour of love. If you appreciate the effort all our volunteers put into creating content for your amusement and education, please tell your friends. Spread the word, rate our podcast, and feel free to suggest content ideas or contribute to our Six-Image Narrative series.

And a special thank you to Joshua Kittleson for editing our ramblings into something listenable. You’re the best, Josh!

~ Shelly

2 Comments

    • Thanks for the comment Joshua. Honestly I listened to it today and I was wondering if we went too far into the weeds. Im so glad it resonated with you! And yes we have another one planned. Not sure when we will get to it, but its on the radar at least.

      Like you, I will probably listen to this one again. I learned so much about myself and what is possible with toy photography!

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