What Kind of Background Do You Use for Your Toy Photos?

There’s no limit to the number of backgrounds we can create for our toy photos. We all have several “classic,” go-to variants in mind when selecting the right space for each subject, but if we change that toy or genre, the setting must change, too.

Natural (outdoor) area

When we can find a beautiful location for outdoor photography, nature does everything for us. The setup is ready—then it’s time to paint with natural light or shadows, and work with depth of field and visual effects.

The lonely man in the desert
The Sands…

One-color paper

Paper is frequently used to display brick-built creations. It’s simple, bright and pleasant. It’s also useful to set the mood when shooting minifigure portraits.

Seiganto-ji, Japanese building
Seiganto-ji, Japan

Darkness

Next, let’s explore darkness. This black field was the perfect choice for such an exotic character. I started with a stony wall behind this LEGO minifigure, but the pale underground creature didn’t look clear enough among the stones and shadows. So the ice cave wizard chose a darker place for his natural habitat.

The Wizard of the Ice Cave
The wizard of the ice cave.

Painted background

Here is the stony wall I mentioned earlier! I took my first toy photo (below) with this background – I painted it to illustrate a story about ancient tribes and dinosaurs who lived in friendship.

The prince and the dinosaur in the cave

Brick-built / handmade composition

LEGO characters’ adventures often take place in brick-built or handmade rooms and sets. With this and the other backgrounds mentioned here, the possibilities are endless—and they’re just the beginning! Just remember, every diorama depends on the characters within or in front of it.

Three wizards in the small shop
Magic wand maker’s shop

What kind of backgrounds do you prefer? What variants do you use for different toy photos?

Ann @megacolormix

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13 Comments

  1. Tomasz Lasek

    Great post and pictures Ann! Thanks for this list!
    I use most of the backgrounds You mentioned, except the painted one. I didn’t try this one yet. But I often use a digirama – an image displayed on the computer screen, sometimes it’s also combined with brick-built environment.

    • Miss__Feklista

      Thank you very much for your kind comment, my friend! Always glad to hear your positive feedback. Digirama is an excellent way to create a background! I use the computer sometimes, this method helped me with the small builds. 🙂

    • Miss__Feklista

      Thank you for your comment, Sabrina! Indeed, outdoor photography is a rich source of inspiration. As for the desktop, there are some undesired “tricks” with the light on the display.

  2. A thought provoking post, Ann – thank you for that. It helped me realize that I tend to avoid working with backgrounds.

    Of course, there’s foreground, middle ground and background in every picture (if it shows smoe sort of space). But I try not to designate something as background; I rather try to sort of let the picture run into a spacial depth … the next room seen through a door, an interior seen through a window. If there’s a wall, I try to make it part of the picture but try not to see it as ‘mere’ background (although it technically is, of course). Maybe that’s why I prefer lots of perspective, and with it, interior and urban scenes in my toy photography – much like in your last picture where there I also see something that seems to go beyond the background.

    I think that space is one of the most interesting things in photography. When I still tried to do some abstract work, I tried to scrape any spaciality from my pictures (make them ‘flat’), now theat I do toy photography, I seek spacial depth. You can do both with a camera.

    • Miss__Feklista

      Thank you very much for your attention to the post and interesting comment, Tobias! I’m glad to read about your approach to the photos!

      I always enjoy the way you show the background in every Six Image Narrative: the spacial depth lets the spectators imagine the space and follow the characters.

      When the background is painted with shadows and interior/urban scenes, every picture can express the “to be continued” idea. 🙂

      Thank you for your positive feedback again!

  3. Pixel_Bug

    Wow, awesome post!! It was very thought provoking and also very inspirational. I am very armature myself having only just recently getting into toy photography, and my backgrounds need work. ^w^ I have been experimenting lately with green screens as well, but I love how by just using a bright piece of colored paper it really brings out everything in the photograph.
    I really don’t have a background that I prefer, but I think my favorite is the nature scenes in the great out doors. they look amazing!!
    Have an amazing day!

    • Miss__Feklista

      Hello! Thank you so much for your attention to the theme and your comment!

      Nice to meet you and find out about your choice! Yes, the colored paper can add some great mood to the scene! It would be interesting to know more how you work with the green screens – sounds like a cinematic creativity! 🙂

      Have an amazing day too!

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