Tuesday, July 26, 2011

May I Borrow That Toy?

When I was little, I heard about a kid who photographed her toys in a makeshift studio in her room. I thought it was brilliant! As an only child, I lacked the constant source material to photograph that siblings could offer. However, toys were never in short demand! I remember arranging stuffed animals on a stool and trying to be as artistic as I could with my little kid skills as I snapped away on my like 110mm camera. Now, again, I was a young child so my lack of employment meant I had to make that roll of film last. Those 24 exposures were precious!

As an adult, I use a digital camera and far more flexibility in how many pictures I take before I'm out of space. While I'm not trying to turn my place into Teddy Bear Portrait Studio, I do find value in photographing toys. Not only do toys frequently offer an array of color, but they can be good practice for honing one's technical skills. Lighting is still important. Composition is still important. Mood and purpose are still important elements that can and should be brought to each picture. It's also great practice in trying to invoke some kind of emotion to an inanimate object.

If you've been looking for an excuse to collect toys (or "action figures"), you can now say that they aren't childish items, they're helping you hone your skills!

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