Tourmaline .

Miniature Diorama Photographer

Toy Photography and Nostalgia

“There’s a vast difference between inspiration and imitation.”

Jamie Windsor recently released a video on nostalgia in photography, and while I tend to make response posts to things I disagree on, I whole heartedly agree with his video, and there are so many parallels to toy photography – this niche in which I reside. So let’s break this down.

Nostalgia is a very strong emotion, but no matter if we all went through the same things in the same time period, we will experience our nostalgia differently.

Because our feelings of nostalgia are so strong, and can often go hand in hand with our toy collections, it’s easy to want to portray all that we feel within the photos we make. This in toy photography often comes in the form of  recreating a movie scene to the tee with lighting, posing, scenery. While these images can be impressive tests of what you’re capable of as a photographer, the scenes in themselves already exist in the movies we so admire. And because of this, as secondhand toy photographs, they are forgettable. Read more

Color your World: Blue Violet

Welcome back to this weekly Crayola color based blog challenge!

This week, the color is Blue Violet.

  • Between now and next Tuesday share a post inspired by the color on your own blog or social media. A poem, flash fiction, photo, drawing, whatever you’d like!
  • Link back to this post and include your post link in a comment below so that I can share your link next week.
  • Tag your blog post ‘coloryourworld’ so others can find your post in their WordPress Reader.

Check out the CYW home page with links to all weekly challenges as they post.

Read more

Creating Emotional Toy Photographs

Photography is all about light, composition and, most importantly, emotion. – Larry Wilder

I aim to make emotive photos that elicit an emotional response in the viewer. Whether I’m successful in that or not is really up to you, but I feel, to a degree I am.

It starts with emotions I feel poured out into the photo. Lighting, color, blur, setting, posing, all play their part to then make that vision a reality however.

So here’s how I go about this task.

Figures

Fog

I tend to return to figures without facial expressions and with limited detail. The more blank the figure, the more I feel the viewer can place themselves within the story. The human mind is wired to find faces, and human features. So as the photographer, I don’t have to offer much in the way of human iconography in order to get the viewer involved – bringing their own experiences to the scene before them. Read more

Color your World: Blue Green

Welcome back to this weekly Crayola color based blog challenge!

This week, the color is Blue Green.

  • Between now and next Tuesday share a post inspired by the color on your own blog or social media. A poem, flash fiction, photo, drawing, whatever you’d like!
  • Link back to this post and include your post link in a comment below so that I can share your link next week.
  • Tag your blog post ‘coloryourworld’ so others can find your post in their WordPress Reader.

Check out the CYW home page with links to all weekly challenges as they post.

Read more

Being in the Game

I originally wrote this post, and published it on Toy Photographers in 2017, but it constantly remains oh so relevant.

The very first play in The Photographer’s Playbook asks the reader to figure out what game they’re playing. So, I say to myself, “I’m creating because I have a creative drive.” But this needs to go deeper. What are my goals, how do I intend to achieve them, and what is the best way to go about this? All things I have very vague answers to in my head.

And then I remembered a quote from Netflix’s The Incredible Jessica James, spoken by real world playwright Sarah Jones.

“And you’re doing it. That’s why we’re here right? This is it! There’s kinda not more to it than that.”

And maybe, if there’s a way to be content in that answer, that’s really all there is to it. I am creating art, so I am an artist. Forget the fine art world, selling, amassing a huge following – I am exactly what I set out to be. That’s great and all, but in no way does it feel that simple. Read more

Color your World: Blue Bell

Sorry for the delay on this one, I didn’t realize it hadn’t gone out.

Welcome back to this weekly Crayola color based blog challenge!

This week, the color is Blue Bell.

  • Between now and next Tuesday share a post inspired by the color on your own blog or social media. A poem, flash fiction, photo, drawing, whatever you’d like!
  • Link back to this post and include your post link in a comment below so that I can share your link next week.
  • Tag your blog post ‘coloryourworld’ so others can find your post in their WordPress Reader.

Check out the CYW home page with links to all weekly challenges as they post.

Read more

On Measuring Success

By dictionary definition, success is ‘the accomplishment of an aim or purpose (it’s also ‘the attainment of popularity or profit,’ but let’s focus on the first one for now.

I think the path to creative success begins with a pride in your work. Are you creating work that you love, that fills your creative craving? Maybe your work isn’t always your definition of complete perfection, but can you look at your latest image and think ‘this is it, I’m getting it, this is where I need to be?’ If not, why not?

Maybe there’s something wrong, or something missing. Maybe it’s a matter of finding your passion. You’re a toy photographer and you are fascinated by toys. Great, but what else do you love? Whether movies, animals, morning light, combine it with your toy photography and you’re one step closer to creating images you love.

I get so excited about my new images and ideas, and then a few months, weeks, or days later I hate them. A few stick, but some I just wonder what I was ever thinking. Over time, I’ve come to see this as a good thing. I stop myself from deleting them from social media, I instead have chosen to learn from those bad apples. Read more