The end of each month is a time when toy photographers look back on the months images. They share their favorite photos from the month, as well as the ones most loved by members of the ever growing community. For me, this past month was quite interesting as I participated in the December Click-a-Day Challenge with Shelly Corbett.


The challenge

Shelly invited members of her Facebook group Finding joy through creativity, as well as members of Toy Photographers MeWe community to join her in a 31-day photo challenge. I was intrigued so I decided to give it a go. The reason I like participating in various challenges is because they provide plenty of inspiration and new photo ideas, but also force me to step out of my comfort zone and look for different ways to improve my photos. Unfortunately, I didn’t join until the sixth day of the challenge, but after that I didn’t miss a single day.


The idea behind this challenge was quite simple – every day we’re given one word that we can interpret however we want. It was only important that the photo represented the given topic of the day. Seems simple, right? That’s what I thought at first, but I have to admit that there were days when I had no idea how to present a certain theme. I would create two or three scenes and not be satisfied with any of the photos I took. I always seemed to get my best ideas when I thought I was going to give up on the days challenge.

Limitations fuel creativity

Of course, there were days when the ideas came naturally.  At the beginning of December, I found the Kinder Surprise toys I used to collect as a child. Although their mobility and facial expressions are more limited than Lego minifigures, many of these figures were perfect for certain prompts. It was enough to see a figure and I would know exactly when I could use it and in what situation. The limitations of both Kinder toys and Lego minifigures did not hold me back. On the contrary, they encouraged me to think, to try harder and be more creative.


Lessons I learned

One of the important lessons I learned is that lighting is very important to a good photo. A perfectly staged scene can look pretty bad if the lighting isn’t set up right. Also, it can drastically change the mood. Some of the best photos I’ve posted online are actually the tenth or fifteenth version of the same scene. After setting everything up, I would move the lights around and take dozens of photos. I did this until I was happy with the outcome.


Reflections should also be taken into account. Sometimes it was impossible to avoid them. But I tried to make at least the faces of the figures clearly visible, without glare. By positioning the lights at certain angles or using paper to block and bounce the lightI’m able to minimize reflections.

Through the window

When I look at the photos I took in the past month and compare them with some of my earlier work, I can see how much I have progressed. And not only me, but also the other participants. That’s why I’m glad I had the opportunity to participate in these daily challenges along with other members of the community. I hope that the coming year will bring more exciting challenges that will help me improve my photography skills.

Happy New Year everyone!

Zoran Pesic (IG: Bricktoygrapher)

A smile you love