I’ve been using toys and miniatures in my photography since 2008. My work in this field hasn’t always been good, and sometimes it’s still not. But sometimes it’s really good. I’ve had my work in publications and galleries across the globe and I’m very passionate about the subject of toy photography and its deep roots. Because of this I research and write about toy photography and related subjects pretty often and maybe just maybe, you’ll find this info useful in your own life and work.
Let me know if there’s a topic you’d like to see here. More will be added in time.
– Tourmaline .
*Coming Soon* Historic Miniature Photography of a Different Variety
*Coming Soon* Early Depictions of Toys and Miniatures in Art
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it a million times again. Own what you do. Have confidence in your passions. Just because someone else doesn’t understand it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it or that you should hide it.
I recently read this article. A man rediscovered his childhood love of miniature soldiers during quarantine. With his job back on, and Zoom meetings in full force, rather than let his coworkers see his miniature war build behind him on Zoom, he stored away his passion. But then, he wrote about the experience. Some part of him is proud of it, but he wanted to distance himself a bit. Maybe his coworkers don’t look up his name or read his articles, it’s hard to say.
There’s been multiple articles about people discovering miniature photography in quarantine, and they’re being praised – here for example, and rightfully so, but shouldn’t that open the door for more people to, at minimum, pursue a similar passion?Continue reading “Keep Doing You”
Well okay, not exactly. Someone who takes way too many pictures of their cat, yes. But what’s too many really (tell me how many pet photos you have on your phone and then I might just admit how many I have on mine)?
However, a picture I took of my cat laying under a blanket, watching bird videos on my phone (my phone that’s decked out with a pop wallet and pop socket both with pictures of said cat on them) made it into an online exhibit called ‘2020 Self-Quarantining’ back in April. And while I’m completely astounded, I also fully recognize that a cozy cat watching youtube is very good quarantining imagery.Continue reading “I’m a Professional Cat Photographer Now”
I have been enamored by the work of Chris Shaylor of Empire Toy Works for quite some time now. His intricacy, detail, colors, and so much more, intrigue me. I am so excited to share this interview with you. I hope you enjoy learning more about him, or maybe being newly introduced to him. Let us know your thoughts in a comment below!
How long have you been building your wooden miniature playsets? What led you to the medium of wood, the miniature scale, the business?
I started building wood based playsets sporadically over 20 years ago. It was mostly just random scenes/settings inspired by vintage playsets from the 70’s and 80’s. Fast-forward maybe 10 years later and I started getting this itch to one day create an entire functionally playable city. The idea was there but it wasn’t until I was constantly watching Deadwood while also playing Borderlands that the idea really grew into sort of a mission to prove to myself that it could actually be done. I toyed around with the notion of making a sci-fi version of a roadside carnival. Complete with rickety rides and alien carnies but I eventually decided on a full city sized spaceport as it would give me tons of individual play venues to build the city up. I knew if I kept the universe it’s based in generic or rather vague that could have it inspired by ALL the sci-fi movies and TV shows I grew up watching. As a kid, I would jump from watching Blade Runner on VHS to Sanford & Son to Battlestar Galactica to One Day At A Time to Star Wars to Laverne & Shirley and instead of watching them as individual movies or shows, in my head, I would mish-mash it all together. Alien families trying to pay rent or old cyborg junk dealers being chased by an evil empire. So I wanted to create a gritty sci-fi dystopian complex that still had everyday life settings within it. So instead of ‘climatic hero scenes’ I have details like porta-potties and a med clinic with waiting room magazines and coloring books. It’s those little things that you know probably exist in those big cinematic universes but you aren’t going to see them on the big screen. I took a dollhouse approach to its design so there are countless accessibly open venues to play in. My intention was to make it as detailed as possible but structurally hands-on for actual play. It was after I was halfway done with the city, I named Rotgut Station, that I eventually posted a few pics on several toy collector forums. Requests started pouring in for me to create similar structures as commissioned orders and I started making playsets as a side job. Which eventually led into a full time business.Continue reading “Empire Toy Works”