I’m so pleased to announce the upcoming, inaugural Toy Photographers Online Meet-Up! Mark you calendars for January 8–10, 2021 for three days of round the clock photography, toys and fun! (Ok maybe not truly 24 hours of fun, but darn near close!) While all activities will be online and properly socially distanced, this won’t stop us from connecting, sharing our toy photography set-ups and collaborating!


The best memories of past meet-ups have often been associated with the social interactions. While we can’t directly play in each other’s toy boxes or help by holding a reflector, we are working on a few excellent alternatives to inspire collaboration and unique photo fun. To facilitate the sharing of knowledge and encourage a collaborative spirit, we’ve planned the following:

  • Opening ceremonies (aka social time)
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Collaboration challenge
  • Demonstrations
  • Guest speakers
  • Group-directed photo opportunities
  • Show and tell
  • …and plenty of unplanned socializing opportunities

Guest speakers

Because we’re virtual rather than in-person, we have the opportunity to expand our social group. No longer are we limited to folks who can take time off of work or travel long distances! Below you’ll find a few of the guest speakers and demonstrations I’ve lined up already. Some of these activities will be formal, while others are a simple sneak peek into the lives of some of our favorite photographers.

  • Tobias, our resident noir master, will give a tour of his “studio” and show what goes into his dioramas.
  • Chiara, has branched out from toy photography and now creates amazing dioramas. I look forward to a tour of her workshop as well as hearing how she was pulled into the fascinating world of dioramas. I’m sure you will pick up a few tips!
  • Dave has offered to show us his studio and talk about what goes into his photo illustrations. Maybe a quick lighting or Photoshop demo will make it into his talk?
  • Sunny will be giving us a look into his extensive toy box. Remember, toy envy is real!
  • Janan takes amazing photos in his “office.” He has graciously offered to show us how he creates his dreaming images using natural light in an indoor studio.
  • I will be giving a detailed demonstration of Lensbaby lenses. If I can figure out the tech, I will be giving you a glimpse of what I see through the camera lens. This will be especially instructive as I go through a variety of Lensbaby lenses so you can see what each one can do.
  • Maëlick will be demonstrating how to keep those creative juices flowing in the winter!
  • …and so much more!!!

In addition to sharing information and giving you a look at what goes on behind the scenes of our toy photos, we will be covering popular photo topics, such as macro photography, lighting and how to use a flash in your photos. As our plans come into focus, we will update you on any new or updated events.

Activities and prizes

One of the many fun aspects of our meet-ups are the collaborative opportunities. The Toy Photographers Online Meet-up will be no different! To encourage collaboration across the digital divide, we will ask attendees to pair up or create small groups. These teams will then draw words from our virtual hat and be challenged to create a six-image narrative before the end of the weekend. We’ll share the results at our closing ceremonies and a few of them will be published on the blog!

Of course because of the generosity of the LEGO Group we will also have some fun prizes to give away during the event! Who doesn’t need more LEGO in their lives?


Another favorite aspect of our Toy Photographers meet ups is the latest Krashes_Kustoms. I’ve been working with Dennis this year to create another unique custom to share with attendees of the Toy Photographers Online Meet-Up. These will be available for order pre meet-up and sent to you after the holiday mail crush.

Sign up

Unlike past physical meet-ups, there is no charge for our 2021 Toy Photographers Online Meet-Up! Hopefully this will allow as many people to attend as possible. There is at least one silver lining to this global pandemic. We will no longer be bound by time, distance or money! While the event is free and all are welcome, we’ll be capping the number of participants to ensure a pleasant time for all involved. Be sure you register to be included in the fun!

If you’re interested in attending the 2021 Toy Photographers Online Meet-Up and getting your year off on the right foot, I invite you to follow this link. I will send out periodic updates to everyone who has expressed interest.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you at our first online meet-up!

~ Shelly

If you have any questions, suggestions or general comments about our meet-up, please leave them below. Since this is our first on-line event, it is a work in progress.