Why not spread a little toy photography magic and create a unique holiday card? With the holidays just around the corner this is the time when I start thinking about my own annual holiday card. What image will I use this year? I love sending a custom card to my friends, family and clients! It’s a fun way for me to spread a little holiday silliness and celebrate the season. It’s also a great way for me to showcase the fun world of toy photography. It’s almost like toy photography and the holidays were made for each other!

I understand that for many sending greeting cards is a dated tradition and a lot of trouble. I couldn’t agree more! Yet, I still enjoy creating and sending a new card each year. I know that my cards are well received because my friends often tell me so! I truly hope they will serve as a gentle reminder of the magic of the season.

Where do ideas come from?

I’m often asked where my ideas come from. Honestly, I don’t really know. But I know when I have an image I like. Why? Because the set up will make me smile or generaly happy. I’m sure you’ve had the same experience.

When I first start thinking of potential photo ideas, I will put myself in the main character’s place. What does Santa do for fun and relaxation? Who does he interact with? What other animals might inhabit the same universe? And those mischievous elves!! What trouble have they gotten into too? And as always, what pop culture mashups can I create with toys? 

The beauty of toy photography is that anything is possible!!

Or maybe Santa escapes the madness of the toy shop and goes fishing? 

Just thinking about the mischief that elves can get into puts a smile on my face.

Then I think about holiday specials I watched as a kid and I think about the island of misfit toys and what that might look like. Christmas songs are another great place to get ideas for images. I wonder what “I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus under the mistletoe last night” might look like as a toy photo? When I start playing the “what if” game, the fun really begins!

Holiday Gift Ideas

Besides unique greeting cards, toy photography can also be used to create special gifts for a friend or family. My dog has a best friend and I had fun creating this image as a gift for the owner. Now we each have this fun image to commemorate the friendship of our dogs. 

Other creative ideas to share the magic of the season:

  • Create and frame a portrait of your child’s favorite toy.
  • Create a shadow box with a toy photo featuring your child (or friends) favorite toy and include the actual toy.
  • Recreate a family memory with toys and share it with those involved.
  • If your kids balk at a family portrait create minifigures that look like them and photograph them instead!
  • Write a short story starring your child’s favorite toy and take a few photos to illustrate that story. Bonus: print the book to share!

Connect with the magic

What I like about photographing toys is that I can never take myself too seriously. And when I combine toy photography with the holiday season, I remember to view the season through the eyes of a child. It’s that special time of year when me and my inner child still believe that anything is possible. 

One of the many joys of using toys as models, is that now I get to share that feeling of possibility and joy with family and friends. By reconnecting with my childhood sense of wonder I’m able to find the joy, gratitude and the true meaning of the holidays for myself. 

I want to challenge you to capture your own holiday magic through a toy that you have a connection too. This could be your own toy, your child’s toy or maybe it’s a toy you always wished you’d owned. Take a photo of this toy enjoying the beauty, joy or playfulness of the season. I truly hope that this act of creativity will help you spread a little toy photography magic too!

PS – If you’re having greeting cards printed by a third party you may want to see if they have any restrictions on what they will print. I have heard of companies (Zazzle I’m looking at you!) who wont print any images with LEGO minifigures in them. *sigh*