Many moons ago, adults who collected toys were dubbed immature, geeky, or something equally unflattering. It was virtually unheard of for these collectors to venture out from the comfort and protection of their dens and basements, to frolic in the sun with their precious possessions.
Thankfully those days are long gone, and today toy collectors are free to go out on photo walks and explore their surroundings with their favorite toys. Toy collectors are also venturing into putting together their own home studios exclusively for toy photography.
Toy collectors are also a fast-growing sector of the digital camera market, with many figure geeks also purchasing expensive camera equipment to better take portraits of their daughters, armies, collections, or whatever they call them.
However — as many actual real professional photogs will tell you, it’s about mostly technique and not equipment that nets you fantastic photos at every turn. Experience also plays a key factor, since familiarity with your camera’s capabilities allows you to unleash its potential.
Here are a couple of practical tips shared by fellow toy geeks and digital photo enthusiasts — gleaned on years of experience with taking pictures of resin, vinyl, and PVC, on how to take better — if not excellent, toy portraits and photographs:
You can start with basic tools- a point and shoot camera with manual controls and a flashlight or desk lamp will do.
— JM from angrylittleboy
You’ve got to have steady hands, else use a timer and a tripod.
— Khursten from Otaku Champloo
Learn to focus. The macro setting is your friend.
— Kaoko from Kitchencow
Lighting adds drama — especially natural light. Watch out for the golden hour (4-5pm in our timezone), where the lighting is not too harsh and all the colors are warm.
— Cla from Flickr
If your toy has articulation, be creative with posing and angles.
— Kyameel from In/Animate
Use other toys as props for your toys in their photos — like Sylvanian Family or gashapon.
— Yue from I am Pinkist
Treat them as if they’re a real person and make them look alive.
— Nina from Just Wandering
Don’t forget to have fun with your toys.
— Xine from Toypusher
Thanks to everyone who shared their tips 😀 I’d like to give a special shout-out to Cla who lent her beautiful toy pics for this post. Do you have toy photography tips of your own? We’d love to hear them! Please leave a reply in the comments box so we can all learn a new trick or two. Thanks and I’m looking forward to your responses!