Our Toy Photographers Virtual Meet-Up Is Just Around the Corner!

If you haven’t heard, we’re hosting our first online toy photography meet-up and it’s just around the corner. We’ll have games, presentations, photo challenges (with prizes!) all in one big Zoom hangout! The event takes place over the weekend of January 8–10. You’re welcome to join in as much or as little as you want. Jump in with both feet or be a fly on the wall—all are welcome.

While space is limited, we do have a few spots left. You can sign up here.

Photo challenge

I’ve noticed from past meet-ups, that photos created with a collaborative spirit have added much fun to the meet-up experience. Since this event is virtual, we’re trying to recreate that spirit in the online format. For everyone interested, we’re creating groups of three people whose task is to create a six-image narrative based on a word or phrase you’re assigned. It’s up to the group to decide when and how they will accomplish this task. We will be posting these finished six-image narratives to the blog, and one lucky group will each receive a LEGO of their choice worth $50.

Director / Photographer collaborative photo

It’s been fun working with the planning team coming up with ways to take advantage of our new platform. One of these opportunities is the Director / Photographer collaborative photos. We’re pairing interested folks who will jump on Instagram with one person acting as director of the photo and the other person taking the photo. As these teams come together, we will publish a list of accounts to follow and the times to look for them on Instagram Live.

Schedule of presenters (all time listed are EST)

Eight wonderful photographers have stepped forward to share their studios and their creative process with the community. I couldn’t be more thrilled to offer these talented artists a platform to talk about their passions and share their knowledge with the community.

Friday, January 8

14:00 EST / 20:00 CET Meet / Greet (opening ceremonies)

19:00 EST / 01:00 CET Sunny (@zekezachzoom)

Let’s take a deep dive into Sunny’s toy box! As you’ve probably noticed, Sunny’s photos are character driven, and he’s collected a lot of toys over the years to create them. He is giving us a rare peak into his toy storage room to see how these are organized. There will also be opportunities to see his idea notebooks and his office / studio where he creates his photos. This conversation will be a great way to kick off our weekend. Who knows, maybe we can play a little game of: Does Sunny have…..?

23:00 EST / 5:00 CET Janan (@spideygoeshygge)

Janan is known for his high-key photos taken in natural light. He will demonstrating how he harnesses the power of the sun, but in an indoor environment. He will be demonstrating his technique, including a few of his custom set pieces. 

Saturday,  January 9

0:15 EST / 6:15 CET Shelly & Kristina (@kalexanderson)

Kristina and I have had great fun on the podcast. As a last hurrah we want to share your best of 2020 images on a live podcast taping. We will share our personal favorites and we want to see yours, too! I invite you to submit your favorite 2020 image, plus a few words about why it’s your favorite. Our goal is to share as many of the images as we can in our allotted time. Please send in your images via this Google form to be included in the discussion.

11:00 EST / 17:00 CET Chiara (@skizzo_customs)

Hear the story of how Chiara went from being a photographer of LEGO to an accomplished diorama builder for action figures. Chiara will be giving a detailed look at her most recent creations, custom 3D printing accessories as well as demonstrating a couple of simple techniques. You’re going to want to get a peak into this amazing home studio! If you see anything you like, commission Chiara to create that special backdrop for you!

12:15 EST / 18:15 CET Tobias (tmschiel.com)

Tobias will be giving us a look at the buildings he’s created to realize his miniature Noir Suites stories. Watch how a simple change of light can effect the mood of a scene—all with a simple desk lamp. Tobias has incorporated some interesting tricks into his models that allow him to harness light in interesting ways. It’s a clever technique that really brings his models to life.  

15:00 EST / 21:00 CET Dave (@therealstudiodave)

Dave will be taking us through all the steps of his process from idea to finished image. Along the way we get a peak at his 3D printer, color printer, foam cutter, well stocked crafting table, light box with monitor and his lighting rig. All these areas of his studio play an integral part in his creative process. For you Photoshop nerds, this will be the one to watch!

16:15 EST / 22:15 CET Maëlick (@maelickinthenorth)

Maëlick lives near the Arctic circle which gives him a unique experience with light. Plus he is a dedicated outdoor toy photographer in all weather (read winter!). During Maëlick’s talk, he will explain how light changes throughout the day, and with the changing seasons. Maëlick has also taken his toys on some amazing adventures. This talk will be part toy photography, part science class and part travel log. Honestly, this talk could go anywhere, so I recommend tuning in to watch the fun!

19:00 EST / 1:00 CET (Sunday) Shelly (@shellycorbettphotography)

As everyone knows I love the Lensbaby line of art lenses. This love has brought me to the attention of the company and I recently created a 45-minute webinar for them. These lenses have a reputation for having a steep learning curve. So I thought I would set up a couple of simple scenes in my ‘studio’ and show you how the Composer, Edge and Twist lenses can change the effects you get in-camera. I will also be demonstrating the Omni System, an inexpensive way to bend light and create fun light flares and distortions in-camera.

Sunday, January 10

8:00 EST / 14:00 CET Tom (@tomtommilton)

Tom’s talk will be about adding cinematic lighting effects to your toy photos in-camera. Want to make your minifigures glow from the inside? Tom will show you how. Want to make lens flares in-camera? Then you will want to see Tom’s frankenlens! This is a great way to end our weekend together.

9:15 EST / 15:15 CET Goodby and thanks for coming (closing ceremonies)

I can already tell that this weekend is going to go by all too fast! While the goodbyes will be sad, I can guarantee you will feel inspired and energized by spending some time with your fellow toy photographers. While the weekend will be too short, it will be a lot of fun, we will create beautiful memories together and even a few toy photos.

Socialising

One of the biggest parts of any toy photography meet-up is the socializing. With so much of our community happening online, that the chance to meet in-person is special. Even though everything is topsy turvy these days, I want to honor the spirit of the random connections and conversations. To facilitate that, our Zoom room will be open for the duration of the event. That means that you can drop in whenever you have time and join the conversation. With attendees joining from all over the world, I’m pretty sure there will always be someone hanging out ready to chat.

Conclusion

Our virtual meet-up is just around the corner, so if you haven’t signed up, please do so here. If you have, awesome! Because we are in uncharted territory, there are no rules except to be respectful of others in the community. You are welcome to join us when you can and participate as much or as little as you want. We can’t actually enjoy each other’s company in-person, but we have this amazing opportunity to include as many people as possible in these fun events. While it’s not perfect, it’s a pretty good silver lining!

Are you excited now? Our virtual meet-up is just around the corner!

~ Shelly

A special thanks to Jana and Matthew who have been helping with the planning and scheduling. I couldn’t do this without their help and support. I want to thank all the presenters who stepped up to share their expertise and their creative journeys. I’m so grateful for the time and energy they’ve contributed to bring this event to life. Please show them a little love if you get the chance.

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