Toy Photography on the Cheap

I wrote this post a million years ago and never published it. In going through my 36 post drafts, most of which are barely written ideas, I stumbled on this one and it seems like the perfect time to share. Sure, maybe you can’t go shopping at the dollar store, or maybe you can but should avoid it anyway, but I bet your have tiny trinkets, bits of paper and some sort of camera (your phone) around your house with you. So gather up some items and start photographing!

I shared my $5 photo (see link below) post on facebook with a similar prompt and got a couple cool responses. I definitely want to see what you come up with!


I’ve talked before about the readily available photo props within the magical walls of dollar stores. You can read my post ‘The $5 Photograph’ here.

For that post I set a limit of $5, i.e. 5 items. I ended up with a bag of marbles, plastic dinosaurs, metallic poster board, a flashlight and a magnifying glass and photographed each scene with my phone camera. I set these limits to prove a point, good photos can be made with inexpensive supplies and a creative mind.

Now, while I do have some more expensive photo props, namely a few 1:12 scale dolls I’ve acquired lately, I still stand by my claim, once you have some sort of camera available to you (even a disposable one), you can make good photos without spending a lot of money.

In March, October and December the Dollar Tree (US readers will be familiar with this store) has fairy garden and mini village accessories for Spring, Halloween and then Christmas. These aren’t always amazingly painted, but they’re pretty good quality for their $1 price point and I normally pick up one or two when I notice they’re in.

I’ve acquired a Halloween bridge, fountain, gazebo, a ghostly girl, mad scientist, and some gargoyles, a fairy table set, gazebo and bridge. For some reason I can’t recall getting any Christmas themed items, but if I have they’ve likely been mixed in with our Christmas village stuff.

With that, hopefully you’ll enjoy the gallery below and maybe you’ll be inspired to make some of your own dollar store photos.

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