Have you ever found yourself looking at your children’s toys and thought to yourself man that would look great in an image? Well I have, I do and I love creating images this way, trying to create a realistic/surreal image which tells a story from using nothing more than a piece of plastic.
When photographing toys, there are so many tricks that can make your scenes look lifelike and realistic. To add an extra kick to certain scenes, you might need to create mini-explosions, all of which can all be done with practical effects. In this video, Norm from Adam Savage’s Tested hosts toy photographer Johnny Wu. He guides you through his process for creating blast effects in his toy photography and shares some handy tips and tricks that you can use in your work.
You may remember Hungarian photographer Lampert Benedek and his fun LEGO photo series. While heavy snow is covering my hometown, I noticed Lampert’s image of a car caught in a snow blizzard. But seeing a BTS image made me realize: it’s not really a car, and it’s not even real snow!
Lampert makes some awesome photos of fast cars, but he uses toys, practical effects, and some clever ideas to make them look real. I chatted with him a bit about how he does it, and he shares some tricks for making these images.
Describing himself as a “guerrilla street toy photographer”, Jerry Business shoots some amazing images with his iPhone. Placing tiny toys in the big wide world, he uses forced perspective to create interesting and often amusing scenes. In this short from SmugMug films, we get to follow Jerry around and listen to him talk about his work. It’s absolutely fascinating.
We’ve already seen some splendid work of L.A. photographer Mitchel Wu. Whether it’s Kermit the Frog or the Toy Story crew, Mitchel’s photos are always humorous and they put the toys in all kinds of silly situations.
For this article, the photographer has prepared a special treat for all the Star Wars fans out there. The official premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi is approaching, and this set of photos will be a perfect warm-up. Just like his previous work, this set is also rich in great ideas, and Mitchel pulls off most of them in-camera. He also sometimes merges Star Wars toys with those from other movies, so expect the unexpected!
I am one of those people often complaining that growing up sucks. Maybe this is why I’m so enchanted by toy photography, and Péter Csákvári is one of the photographers whose work I really love. He combines the adult world and topics with tiny figurines and toys. We featured his ongoing project Tiny Wasteland a few months back, and now he brings a new series of his quirky miniature worlds.
Péter uses mini figurines to create dioramas and combines them with everyday objects to create weird imaginary situations. Although he’s playing with toys, his ideas aren’t something an average kid would think about. Some of his photos are hilarious, but the others explore dark and disturbing topics such as death or murder.
Have you ever imagined your favorite movie and cartoon characters in funny, absurd situations? Brazilian photographer Jefferson Bongarthner has, and he turned these situations into reality.
Jefferson is a toy photographer and his favorite character is Woody from Toy Story. In his portfolio, Woddy and his friends from other cartoons and films get into all kinds of adventures. These photos are really fun, and they are made using only practical effects.
We have presented the awesome work of Mitchel Wu before. After creating crazy “Toy Stories,” he’s back with the adventures of Kermit the Frog. He’s one of the favorite characters of many of us (myself included), and Mitchel’s photos show him in a range of fun and incredible situations.
While one may think it takes a lot of Photoshop to create these photos, the truth is that it was all taken in camera. The splashes, the jumps and the levitations – they were all achieved using practical effects. We chatted with Mitchel about this super-fun collection of photos and the process of making them. Als, he shared with us some of the challenges and joys of toy photography as a career.
Lego characters make the most amazing subjects, they really do. It’s just like photographing people, but on a smaller scale. They’re more reliable, too. They show up, on time, do whatever you want them to, and don’t try to defame you all over the media. So, it’s no wonder they’re such a popular subject.
They’re a particular favourite for photographer Juhamatti Vahdersalo. Although, he’s gonna quite dark with his Lego characters. But why not? Nobody said the world in which toys live has to be all unicorns and rainbows. And these certainly aren’t.
When it comes to amazing miniature photography, Felix Hernández is the man. He often builds his models from scratch using available materials. Although he’s had some works inspired by famous movies (like Star Wars or Back to the Future), this time he was inspired by the feeling of deep solitude.
Felix’s works range from fantasy-inspired to super realistic photos. This time, he went with the realistic look and chose a beach to be his studio. He built a miniature house using materials we can all get – Styrofoam, wood, cement, plus some glue and paint. And as always, I am impressed with the final result and the mood of his work.