Tourmaline .

Miniature Diorama Photographer

Posts from the ‘Words’ category

Walmart Toy Catalog 2019

We listen to Spotify at work and every few songs for the past week there was a Walmart ad talking about the big toy catalog release on November 2. You could go to Walmart, get a physical copy of the new toy catalog and test new toys from noon to 4. So I went to Walmart on November 2. I went to 2 Walmarts on November 2. And then I gave up. No toy catalog (although I’m told they should have it in the coming week or so) and no toys to test (although I hadn’t planned on doing any testing myself).

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Astronaut mech sut hands holding glass orb with face reflected, toy photography by Tourmaline .

Own What You Do

You will have fears

I recently saw a post on Instagram where someone was explaining that they’ve been making toy photographs. They said something along the lines of “yeah I thought it was a weird hobby too at first.” 1. No they didn’t. No one looks at something in a negative sense then immediately picks it up for themselves. More likely they saw that people were making photos of toys, they thought it looked cool or fun, but then immediately thought people might judge them for participating in it.  2. People will accept or not accept whatever they do or don’t. You don’t have to try and normalize yourself and go “wait, wait, wait, don’t worry, I know I’m weird, and knowing that makes me less weird.”

I get being afraid of being judged. We all go through that from time to time or maybe all the time, but owning what you do can be so vital for your mental health. Be proud of your passions. If other people don’t approve, so be it, you don’t need their approval. Enjoy your life and your hobbies and you will meet like minded individuals along the way. Read more

Crop of What We Keep book cover

What We Keep by Bill Shapiro and Naomi Wax, A Reflection

“What makes these objects so evocative for us is that they hold the memories of people, of relationships, of places and moments and milestones that speak to our own identity.”

We like to criticize consumer culture, and with good reason. But as with everything, there is also good that comes with inanimate objects. A finding of ones self through the clothes we wear, collecting memories through the trinkets we keep, and seeking solace through the items of a loved one. Items are icons through which we frame our world.

What We Keep is a collection of 150 stories about well, what we keep. Each page delves into the sentimental, first hand account of a different person, from celebrities and CEOs to food truck owners and nurses, along with an image of their object. And it truly does an amazing job of showing just how emotional we as humans are, and how important tokens of remembrance become in that emotional way of living.

The items this book makes you consider of your own, and the intimate stories from others, make you feel a connection to some thing, someone, some experience.

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Toy Photography and Nostalgia

“There’s a vast difference between inspiration and imitation.”

Jamie Windsor recently released a video on nostalgia in photography, and while I tend to make response posts to things I disagree on, I whole heartedly agree with his video, and there are so many parallels to toy photography – this niche in which I reside. So let’s break this down.

Nostalgia is a very strong emotion, but no matter if we all went through the same things in the same time period, we will experience our nostalgia differently.

Because our feelings of nostalgia are so strong, and can often go hand in hand with our toy collections, it’s easy to want to portray all that we feel within the photos we make. This in toy photography often comes in the form of  recreating a movie scene to the tee with lighting, posing, scenery. While these images can be impressive tests of what you’re capable of as a photographer, the scenes in themselves already exist in the movies we so admire. And because of this, as secondhand toy photographs, they are forgettable. Read more

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. Read more

Toys R Us Store front

Why Toys R Us is Never Truly Coming Back

Sorry to be a downer…

The Rise and Fall

Toys R Us was the first ever big box toy store. A realized dream of its creator Charles Lazarus. Coming back from war Lazarus noticed a hole in the market, considering all the soldiers were talking about coming back and starting families. While his first store, selling baby furniture was opened in 1948, Children’s Bargain Store was transformed into Toys R Us in 1957.

And business boomed. New toys like Barbie and Mr. Potato Head were being produced. And TV toy ads were telling kids to buy from Toys R Us.

Fast forward to the 1980s and Toys R Us introduced its iconic Toys R Us Kid commercial jingle. And Geoffrey the Giraffe had been promoting the brand for 7 years now.

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