Toy photography, particularly of humanesque action figures has become a pretty popular topic over the last year or so. With much of the world still in lockdown and the opportunity to photograph real people still but a dream for many of us, they’re the only subjects we can really rely on. But many of us haven’t owned toys or action figures since we were a kid. So, where does one start?
In this video, toy photographer Jared Middleton walks us through his guide to buying action figures that you might want to photograph. Of course, you can photograph whatever you want, but if you want to create some sense of realism and drama, it helps to know what to look for.
Jared’s guide covers action figures starting at under $20 and goes up to highly collectable and great looking specimens ranging into several hundreds of dollars. He doesn’t just tell you what to look out for, though, but where are good places to get them (although it is heavily US-based, so if you’re elsewhere in the world, you might have to do some digging).
He also talks a little about dioramas – miniature realistic sets – into which you can place the figures to give them some sense of scale, context and immersion into a “real” world. Some of the dioramas and scenery props are available to just go and buy, but you might want to have a go at building up some of your own, too.
Side note: While he’s more tabletop gaming than actual dioramas, Black Magic Craft is a great channel to follow for some great tips and info on building your own sets and miniature props. For more real-world environments, you can’t beat Luke Towan.
We’ve featured quite a few toy photographers here on DIYP, showing off some of what they’ve shot, along with lighting tips, practical explosion effects, and behind-the-scenes tricks to really sell the magic.
Do you photograph toys?