How do you do toy photography?

-or- Why I Won’t Write a Toy Photography How-to Post -or- How do I get started in toy photography?

Okay, before I’m called out, I’ve written one before – How to Make Realistic Images of Toys and Miniatures. And I guess maybe I can’t say I won’t ever make a super specific one again, but I certainly won’t write “How to Make Toy Photos,” or “Getting Started in Toy Photography.”

My entire post for either of those would read –

  1. Grab a toy
  2. Grab your camera
  3. Take a picture with your camera of the toy

I get that people want and need tips for getting started in things, but I don’t like acting like toy photography is a totally separate thing from photography in general. Having a basic knowledge of photography and your camera is essential. I can give lighting tips, but I don’t know your camera model, better to google your camera model specifically.

Once you have a basic understanding, choose your subject, toy or otherwise, and take pictures. Didn’t turn out how you wanted? Try again. Find a specific stuck point that you can’t get around, search for that specifically or ask someone. Then go back and try some more.

You’ll get the hang of it eventually and find more techniques as you work through issues. No one can give you an end all be all guide to making the images you want to make.

I’m a testament to the first toy photos you make not being good. I was proud of these at the time (I was 17), but they’re not good. I recreated them 9 years later (A Reflection – go there to see all of these images) and the growth is obvious. I didn’t know toy photography was a thing, I had no reference point, I’d made very few photos at this point in my life and certainly never any posed ones (My First Photography Foray). I liked toys and miniatures though and I was discovering a love for photography, so I went for it. I had to stop, correct, try again on all these photos, but I got them made. And you certainly can too.

So maybe this is a how to post. Try, try again. Just that.

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