Pint-Sized Portraits

A Short Introduction

Toy photography, while in itself a form of fabricated or tableau photography, has a way of spanning across all genres of the medium. This is one of the many many things I love about toy photos. Through toys we can tell stories, document places, record our travels, explore tiny details, the list goes on. To highlight the magic of toy photos and all the things they can come to represent I thought I’d create some posts of different photo genres and where toys fit within them.  

In a sense I’ve talked about architecture and product photography on the toy photographers blog before, but today I’m here to make a case for portraits.


Portrait: a pictorial representation of a person usually showing the face 

– Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Artistic representations of people began with cave paintings and have been a part of all cultures since. Quite simply they are representations of people. Toy figures themselves are representations of the same, and thus so are our photographs of them. 

Learn more about the history of artistic portraits here.

“It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.”

– Paul Caponigro

Plastic Faces

A human face can tell us a lot about the person, through their expression, wrinkles, sunspots, makeup, etc. A toy face is a bit different. Typically expressionless are bound to one emotion, we have to find ways to tell the figure’s story for them through posing, lighting and other props. While toys come in many varieties, using human like figures in your photos can truly help your audience relate – through these plastic, inanimate objects the viewers can see themselves.

And thus, we give toy figures a voice by making portraits of them. 

Do you ever take portrait-like images of your toy figures? Do you take portraits of real people? What do you like about portraiture? Tell me about it and leave a link to a photo in a comment below.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Tourmaline . says:

    Try linking now! Hopefully it works. Would love to see your toy photos.


  2. Trying again to post a comment…not sure why but it seems Askimet consider me a spamming person!


    1. Tourmaline . says:

      This happened to me before too. I was going to spam on every person’s blog. Once people started moving my comments out of spam I was good again. Who knows!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The dark mysteries of technology LOL

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Tourmaline . says:

          All too true 😝


  3. As always interesting post. I’m not into toy photography, but I sometimes use dolls (and other toys) in my photographic project. Attached is not a portrait but an example of my photography:
    Full story about the photo here:


    1. Tourmaline . says:

      Wow, I love this so much! Thank you for sharing! I’ll head over to the full story now :)


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