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What Toy Photography means to me

I will start by introducing myself, I am Callum also known as Skapari_toyphotography. I started Toy Photography back in March 2020 during the first Covid lockdown, like many others.


I started out by collecting Star Wars The Black Series which introduced me to a whole new world of collecting and photography. I soon started collecting Marvel Legends after my amazing partner bought me the Retro Green Goblin. I vowed to only stick to Spiderman, oh how that got out of hand!


My first shots

Like many other people my first shot isn't anything to rave about, but it started my journey which I am very grateful for.

I started with a simple shot of Bly in my back garden, this is the shot I would say was my first step into the Toy Photography world.

I soon started playing around with effects and backgrounds. Which opened up a new realm of learning new things and a whole heap of trial and error.


Some of my inspirations came from Sirdork and SgtBananas. Johnny Wu (SgtBananas) has a book called Ten Frames per Second, which shows his work and has a background to how he took it and ways you can try and take shots.



Making my work my own

I like to think I now have a recognisable style amongst the Toy photography community; by being brutal or focused in on just the figure with minimal background.


It took me a while to find my style though. I like to try new things all the time so I take inspiration from music. I incorporate songs or bands into the theme of a shot, my most recent example of this would be my Lord Zedd shot inspired by Iron Maidens Somewhere in time album cover.


It's not always easy to have an idea for a shot, taking inspiration from others or things you may like, that have nothing to do with the figure can be a great starting point.


Music, Films and locations I would say are the first things I think about when planning a shot.

How the community helped me

The Toy community has grown massively other the past few years, some have come and gone but many have stayed. I have met some great people along the way Steve from Centurions_Corner who I started talking to when we were both going through stuff in our personal lives and Fraser from Fraserfigures both amazing people, who I can call friends for life.


Obviously Steve is the Co Founder of Toy Photography UK with me, so it shows what this community can do. It helped us so we are giving back by growing the community in the UK.


My favourite shots

I find it incredibly hard picking my favourite shots I have taken; as over the years I have taken about 1000 shots, Some bad and some good, we are our biggest criticisers afterall.


My favourite shot of recent would be this portrait shot of Iron Spider, taken with all natural sunlight (it's good to make the most of it) sometimes sunlight can be your best friend but in some occasions it can be your worst enemy.


I personally love doing outdoor shots, I would say its probably my favourite location for shooting.


By looking at this shot you can see what I mean by a main focus on a single figure with minimal background; a style you will find quite a lot in my portfolio.




Another favourite of mine would be this shot I did of Jangos helmet, with the brutal part in the background, I believe I took this shot in 2021 when I did a series of Geonosis inspired shots.


Starting Toy Photography UK

In April, myself and Steve were in talks about growing a community of toy photographers in the UK where photographers can meet new like minded people and collaborate with each other.


I like to think that it is working, we are getting new people every day joining the group on Facebook. We now have a community of 177 people and growing. We have people of all experiences and ability, but that doesn't stop you all helping each other out.


So a big thank you to all of you for making Toy Photography UK what it is already in only a few months.


Summary

So in summary the Toy Photography community helps many people in different ways, I hope Toy Photography UK is giving that extra inspiration to all of you as well.


- Callum

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