Cinematic. That’s the word that comes to mind with even a quick glance at Tom Milton’s (@tomtommilton) images. Look further, and you’ll probably have a question: how does he do it? A few parts vision and inspiration, a boatload of talent, a fair share of intention—oh, and a really big and heavy camera setup! 

In this episode of the Toy Photographers Podcast, Shelly Corbett (@shellycorbettphotography)interviews Tom, someone whose work she’s admired for years. We’ll learn how Tom creates his images using two lenses (yup, two!!)—a fairly standard prime and ananamorphic lensbolted to that one. Manually focusing not only but two lenses and balancing a setup that weighs quite a few kilos, Tom’s images represent his style, vision, and intent. 

Listen in as Shelly and Tom discuss:

  • Tom’s background as an artist and his journey as a toy photographer 
  • How Tom’s setup and process forces him to slow down and how slowing down influences his craft
  • The ways photography—and toy photography in particular—encourage you to look at the world differently
  • The role of everyday objects, familiar places, and DIY ingenuity in Tom’s images
  • His influences—from the cinematographer Roger Deakinsto Star Wars, LEGO, and popular culture 
  • The amazing year Tom had in 2021—including winning the Lego Build and Capture Photo Contest 2021on Flickr with this incredible image
  • How Tom attributes his range and ability to a matter of choosing what’s right/best to tell the story he wants to tell
  • Tom’s favorite memories of 2021 (and it’s such an inspiring answer)
  • Tom’s take on social media and his creative vision
  • The two blog posts he’s written in the last year that stand out to him the most: “How Far Would You Go to Photograph a Toy?”and “Welcome to Mustafar”
  • Goals and vision for 2022
  • Advice for new toy photographers

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts after listening to the episode; leave a comment below or join our communities on MeWeFacebook, or Instagram! Also, please be sure to visit  the blog for all things toy photography-related! 


Here are a few of the images discussed in this podcast.

THE camera
I think carbon-freeze would be warmer than this (Reframed)
That wasn’t part of the deal
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration
Luminosity class
Maybe I can help you. I am Boba Fett