Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cool Toy Photography Ideas For Beginners

One of the cool reasons why adults are into toy collecting is the beauty of toy photography. Of all the many subjects we can use in photography, why use toys?

Toys like action figures have always been a representation of the characters that kids and adults have always admired. It's the best way to bring these characters to life in a way that you can hold them, manipulate them, or simply remind you how awesome they are.

Toy photography enhances the physical value of toys by revealing its true colors, articulation and most of all the artistic ability in each one of us-and the way to bring out these creative imaginations is to capture the actions, the right light or shadows and the story we want to tell through our toys.

Most adults don't play like kids with their toys but instead they delight themselves in doing cool poses with their action figures. Usually creative toy collectors would customize their toy ships and action figures with new paints, additional accessories or make a diorama for it.
Basically toys have always been a way to cheer or entertain a child and that brings them instant joy! The same goes with toy photography. Every time you see one you get that child-like feeling of excitement, admiration, fun, humor and calmness.
For me when someone takes a toy photo, he or she is in good mood. Now this good feeling can radiate back to the viewers of their photo. Try looking at toy galleries at Instagram or flickr and see what I mean.

Want to cheer someone up? You might want to try toy photography.

So let's begin by exploring these cool toy photography ideas and observe how they did it.

1. Using Backdrops To Your Subject

ARX-7 Arbalest
Credits to Clement Soh

In the above sample photo, they used the Mechanical Chain Base. It's a backdrop tile that can be connected with each other to form a custom-sized backdrop. 

Figma Nanoha Flies!
Credits to Sparkey Davis

Some vehicle toys come with cardboard backdrops in the box so be sure not to throw them away. You can also try large printing your own backdrops and have them glued to a hard flat surface. Another tip is to use your computer desktop as backdrop by downloading space or landscape wallpapers. Turn the brightness level down of your monitor to avoid the backlight effect.

2. Going Outdoors With Your Toy

Artist: A. Pants; Title: Muscle Beach

3. Using Your Camera's Macro Function

Road Trip, Imagining...
Credits to Ben

When They Said All Terrain They Weren't Kidding.  
Credits to Changa_Lion

4. Use A Light Tent or Mini Photo Studio

Credits Phototrend

Above is what they call a Dome Studio. It's a mini-studio or light tent where you can get a balanced amount of light and a more pure gray or white background like those you see in professional studios. The gray cloth above is reversible to white so you can benefit from dark or light subjects to appear better.

My life in Lego -Studio Shot-
Credits to Matt Shannon

5. Pose Them With Your Pets

Bedtime Stories
Credits to Sharon Wright

Feeding time 12/52
 Credits to James Eagle

6.  Action and Fight Scenes

Superman VS Batman
Credits to an lee

7. As They Are In The Real World

Credits to Mac Logue

Let's go surfing  
Credits to Stéfan

8. Rocks, Roads, Grass and Sand

Credits to Mark Holden

Cherilea German motorcycle with sidecar  
Credits to Harry Hendriks

9. Using Depth Of Field

Credits to Eric

| One small step for Zap |
Credits to jrorci

The Depth of Field is the process of focusing the camera's lens on the subject making it appear more sharper which distinguishes distance of objects from each other. This creates a blur effect background making the subject stand out.

10. Put Some Humor

Playing The Hero 
Credits to JD Hancock
There's No Place Like The Death Star 
Credits to JD Hancock

11. Busy Tiny People

"the grip I get..."  
Credits to Teymur Madjderey

Mini Slice of....  
Credits to SoloJLm

12. In The Night And Dark Shadow

Credits to Nicolaas

WALL-E: Huh? 
Credits to Tim Norris

13. Bonding Time With Daddy

A family moment

236/365: This is LEGO Sparta?  
Credits to Salvador Maniquiz

14. A Little Help From Photo Editing Softwares

Marvel Super Heroes  
Credits to Paul

Credits to Jed

You have learned much, young one.  
Credits to Kevin Chan

There are lots of online tutorials to achieve these effects with no extra plugins required. Just remember not to overdo them in your photos because it may drive attention away from the subject.

Here are some important factors to consider in toy photography:

1. Imagination
2. Technique
3. Right amount of light
4. Appropriate background
5. Good camera lens and familiarity with settings
6. Photo editing software
7. Patience

Hope you guys have learned some new ideas in this article. The above photos are from various talented toy photographers from flickr and I would like to pay credits for their contributions. To visit their galleries, just click on the owner's name below the photo.

Happy Toy-Picture Taking!

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