Monochrome | Polychrome – An Emotive take on Toy Photography

Tourmaline .

Miniatures serve as iconographic objects. Not real people, places or things, but simplistic versions of such. This allows for abstracted views of reality. The perfect medium for creating visual representations of memories and emotions – abstractions of reality within themselves.

Tourmaline . creates emotive imagery by transforming miniature tableaus through her camera lens. Her images draw influence from her midwestern roots and Florida youth.

Tourmaline . graduated from the University of North Florida in the Spring of 2013 with a Bachelors of Fine Art, concentration in Photography, and minors in Art History and Professional Education. She resides in Jacksonville, FL with her fiancé and cat.


Suspend your assumptions. There can be a life well lived inside your comfort zone. She has carved a den of contentment. Everything tailored directly to her truest

As with the majority of my work, these are self portraits, a found identity, a tailored self.

The setting within Monochrome is 1:12 dollhouse scale where 1 inch is equivalent to 1 foot. Meaning, the figure in these photographs is just over 5 inches tall. The figure is a plastic drawing model. Once I had her in my possession I sourced furniture and accessories to create her world. I painted everything a matching tone of grey to that of her plastic. I had the house built for her prior to her arrival.

The 65 images in this series were taken with 1 to 2 studio lights, aiming for a relatively even, but consistent with home interior lighting, feel. Each was photographed horizontally and at a singular aperture. All this to say, balance in focus, lighting, color tone and composition was created intentionally.

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Balance here is removed – with contrast, varying apertures, multiple colors and lighting color casts. Balance is also removed when you mold your life to that of others.

That is not to say that joy cannot be found in new situations, but here, our main character is struggling to find comfort. This is a world without acceptance of one’s self.

The setting of Polychrome is a roughly 1:12 scale, but often off scale, child’s doll house and furniture. I’ve also added other elements from colorful play things. The cats and robot are ever present, the figure’s life is not her own.

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Behind the Scenes

From building the grey house, priming, painting, laying the flooring and wainscoting, to sourcing and painting all the furniture and accessories.

There are also 4 more images on top of the 80 above that will be printed in the book! And truly, the book format allows the story to be told and shown as intended.

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The colorful house, was much less involved, but still required building and the addition of some accessories here and there.

After over a year in the making (longer if you consider the start of the house building) this series is finally complete! And the above forms the basis for a coffee table book currently in the making. Keep an eye on this space as I’ll be announcing when it’s available! And I guarantee the release date will be in the next month, if not in the next weeks. The printed proof copies are on their way to me.

In the mean time, if you’re in the Jacksonville Beach area, go get some breakfast or lunch at the Ugly Cupcake Muffinry & Cafe and check out 5 of my Monochrome pieces on display while there.

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