Starting March 20, I am hosting monthly online meet-ups in our associated MeWe community. These gatherings are a direct result of the fun we had in January. No one wants it to end! These regular meet-ups give us an chance to continue sharing and learning from each other. With the pandemic seeming like it will never end, such opportunities to connect (even virtually) take on a higher importance.

To accommodate our expanded toy photography family, the monthly meet-ups have been separated to accommodate as many time zones as possible. Initially I was concerned that if we had two events, they would be repetitive. But I underestimated the creativity of this community. Last month I invited the MeWe community to join me in planning these online events. As our conversation unfolded, two very different and compatible visions for these monthly online meet-ups developed: Skill Sharing and Creative Collaboration. 

Skill Sharing

As our community grows and more people discover toy photography, there is a real thirst for knowledge. The Skill Sharing group is dedicated to learning techniques and hands-on demonstrations. A few of the topics we’ve lined up for the coming months are:

  • Favorite photography gadget we couldn’t live without. 
  • A ‘flying’ demo: three photographers, three solutions
  • How to photograph in low light
  • An introduction to vintage lenses
  • Storage and display solutions
  • Micro lighting

To get us started, David Barnes, a former food photographer, will be demonstrating toy photography with an elaborate studio set-up. David is going to give us a peak at a a professional studio photographer in action. He’s going to bring his toys, props and basic tools, and we will be able to watch and ask questions. To contrast this, Sabrina Perry will be demonstrating a more do-it-yourself aesthetic. Much like our director / shooter games during our January meet-up, attendees will contribute plenty of direction.

Creative Collaboration

Instead of skill sharing, our second monthly online meet-up emphasizes creativity and ideas. The big hit of the January meet-up was the Six Image Narrative collaborations. We challenged three photographers to work together and create six images based upon a unique word prompt. This second group will continue that spirit of collaboration, but with additional learning elements. How do you create a story? Where do ideas come from? How do I create a six-image narrative? How can I create a story board? These are a few of the questions we will try to answer in the coming months.  

Some potential topics for the Creative Collaboration section are:

  • Six Image Narrative brainstorming session – led by Tobias Schiel.
  • How to finish a photo series
  • Behind the scenes peak at the process and setups of various community members

Just like our January online meet-up, we’ll offer plenty of opportunities to see other photographers’ studio spaces and brainstorm and analyze the creative process. If you’re looking for creative inspiration, you don’t want to miss these sessions.


The monthly online meet-ups will take place on the third weekend of the month. They will be invite-only through our MeWe community events page. The two sessions will take place at the following times:

  • Skill Sharing: Saturday 5 p.m. PST / 8 p.m. EST
  • Creative Collaboration: Sunday 7 a.m. PST / 10 a.m. EST

If these 90-minute meetings sound interesting to you, I encourage you to join our MeWe community. There you will find the dates and times listed in our Events tab and a current Zoom link attached. You’re welcome to drop in for one or both events. Or you can join us when we have a topic that interests you. Of course if you are interested in sharing your own creative or technical process, we would love to hear from you, too. 

Just like a Wild West saloon, I have no idea what will happen at these events. They might be a free for all—ideas flying by so fast that it will be hard to write them all down! Or maybe they will be quiet affairs where we chill and watch a master toy photographer at work? Whatever happens, I know they will bring entertainment, laughter, camaraderie and refreshments (if you bring your own). Because these things always happen when a group of toy photographers get together!

I hope to see you there!

P.S. – If you have problems finding your way to MeWe, let me know. If you would like to present a topic, please reach out and we can discuss the details!

Toy Photographers is hosting monthly online meet-ups through our MeWe community!
Photo: Tobias Schiel.