Toy Photography Communities

MMM

AKA – finding online spaces in which to share your work and exchange ideas.

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Do you create photographs of toys and miniatures? If so, this guide is for you.

*Note that outside of the Toy Photographers Google + community, none of these online spaces are set up for constructive criticism. If that is what you’re seeking you have to ask for it. And know that peer criticism and art critique are entirely separate things. All in all, you need to strive on your own to better your work. These spaces will not do that for you. They are simply ways to get your work seen.

Instagram

Instagram is by far the best place to begin and hone your craft. Various accounts host hashtag competitions daily where you can get over 100 likes per image entered. The more likes, the more likely others are to see your work which means the higher possibility of people following.

Hashtag Competitions

  • Check out @toypops2 for hashtag competitions at 8:30 AM EST and 10:00 PM EST (they convert the time to other time zones for you on their announcement posts).
  • Check out the Toy Group Alliance (consisting of accounts @toptoyphotos, @toyboners, @thetoysyndicate, @btstp_id, @toyunion, @toyartistry, @wheretoysdwell_photofeatures, @rebeltoysclub) for hashtag competitions posting at 10:00 PM EST (they also convert the time to other time zones for you on their announcement posts).
  • Follow @exclucollective for monthly hashtag competitions that sometimes even come with prizes!
  • Follow @toyoutsiders if you photograph your toys outdoors and want to enter into monthly hashtag competitions.
  • @toyartistry_elite has occasional 24 hour challenges where you can hashtag up to 10 images for their consideration.
  • Outside of being a part of the Toy Group Alliance daily hashtags, @btstp_id also occasionally hosts their own challenges.

General Hashtags

Always tag your posts. Always. You can put up to 30 total on each post whether directly in the caption or in a comment below, or split between the 2.

The hashtags I’m currently using:

  • #conceptualphotography #toyphotography #artisoninstagram#pixel_ig #visualcreators#fineartphptography #jnwmini #toyunion#igersjax #toygroup_alliance#wheretoysdwell #rlu_pickedbypaul#toptoyphotos #womenintoyphotography#toydiscovery #stuckinplastic#toycrewbuddies #toyslagram #toyboners#epictoyart #epictoyart #toyartistry#toycommunity #tgif_toys #toysyn #ata_dreadnoughts #toyspotcollector
    • #jnwmini is my own that I tag my work with and #igersjax is a local tag for photographers who live in my city. The first ones you see listed are fine art photography based, and the latter are toy photography based. Some of the toy photography ones help accounts find your work for possible features. I also tag, per image based on subject matter and miniature scale.
  • Other good tags for toy photography (some of these are subject based):
    • #acidrainworld #diorama #toysaremydrug #toyrevolution #toyartistry #toptoyphotos #toyplanet #igfotoys #epictoyart #toyartistry #toycommunity #tgif_toys #toysyn #toyplanet #acba #wherehorrordwells #articulatedcomicbookart #starwarstoycrew #toyslagram_starwars #toyoutsiders #legostagram #toyslagram_lego #bricknetwork #brickleague #brickcentral #legophotography #toys4life #toycollector #toyrevolution
  • More instagram hashtag suggestions based on your subject matter can be found here.

The best thing to do with any hashtag on instagram is to find a handful you like, used by someone who posts similar images, then tap one of the tags and look through the others instagram suggests on the top of the screen. Select the best for your work until you have 30 total and save all those out to a phone note. Then, each time you post copy and paste those tags over.

Google +

Facebook

The main thing on Facebook is to find a community specific for the type of toys you photograph.

Some options are:

Flickr

There are many photo sharing groups you can join if you have a Flickr account.. Find a group that pertains to the subject you photograph. Below, while a long list is simply a fraction of those available. I personally have not had a lot of luck with forming communities through Flickr groups, but it’s great they exist. And if you are more active on Flickr than I am, you may have great luck with these communities.

Forums

Want to learn more about toy photography and the people working within it? Check out these blogs!


Do you create photos of toys or miniatures? How do you get your work seen? Leave a comment below with your tips and I may add them to the above.

Balloon Boy

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#bigstufflittlestuff

I’ve been having fun with a little silly series on my instagram account where I post a miniature along with it’s real life, full size counter part. Thought I’d share what I’ve posted so far, here with you.

View this post on Instagram

#mac #littlemac #miniature #apple #bigstufflittlestuff

A post shared by Tourmaline . (@tourmalinenow) on

View this post on Instagram

#toothpaste #littletoothpaste #bigstufflittlestuff

A post shared by Tourmaline . (@tourmalinenow) on

View this post on Instagram

#key #littlekey #bigstufflittlestuff

A post shared by Tourmaline . (@tourmalinenow) on

View this post on Instagram

#scale #littlescale #miniature #bigstufflittlestuff

A post shared by Tourmaline . (@tourmalinenow) on

 

Keep up with all my future photos in this little series by checking out #bigstufflittlestuff. You should share your own too!

Instagram

Have you ever participated in a hashtag competition on instagram?

I’m sure I take them more seriously than I should, but I honestly really enjoy them.

F-Stop magazine hosts one for each of their new issues. i.e. their latest issue is on the theme of humans v. nature, so they’re currently sharing images tagged #fstopmagazine #humansvsnature.

Back when the theme was #blackandwhite they even shared one of my pictures!

 

Safari Ltd., a company that makes toy animals, doesn’t host a competition, but they do share images their customers have taken of their products.

 

My newest obsession is the Edward Hopper House’s weekly competitions. The idea is to post an Edward Hopper inspired image that also meets that week’s theme. So far they’ve had #hopperhomes, #hoppersummer and #hopperred. I haven’t won any, and I don’t expect to, but it’s still fun to find an image that fits or to create something new. My Bates House and Windy images were partially inspired by these themes.

 

With my new publication, fēlan, I’m going to try to get one going for the theme of each issue. Right now it’s #felanlove.

https://instagram.com/p/4HW2jjQPJx/?taken-by=felanzine

 

So what instagram hashtag competitions do you know of/participate in?

 

#photojaxhoods entries

Photojax 2014 is coming up (January 24th-25th) and this years hashtag project is #photojaxhoods where you take pictures of your neighborhood. The deadline was originally January 5th but has been extended to the 20th. So far I’ve entered 4 images- landscape isn’t really my thing, but I still wanted to enter a few. Live in the Jacksonville area? You should submit too!

Entry Guidelines

See these images and more on my instagram account.

The Hashtag Project: #craftbeer

The Hashtag Project: #craftbeer

Title: #craftbeer
Description: #beer #beertography #beerwego #craftbeerporn #beerporn #craftbeerculture #craftbeeradvocate #craftbeernotcrapbeer #beerischeaperthantherapy #beerisculture #beersinparadise #brew #homebrew #craftbeerdrinker #craftbeerlife #hops #malt #craftbeergeek #craftbeernerd #craftbeerlover #craftbeerdrinker #craftbeerlove #craftbeerart #craftbeerphoto #craftbeerheaven #craftbeerlife #craftbeerornothing #craftbeersnob #craftbeerrevolution #craftbeeronly #craftbeernation #craftbeerenthusiast #craftbeergasm #craftbeeradvocate #craftbeerjunky #craftbeercrusaders #craftbeeraddict #craftbeerinstagram #craftbeerpic #craftbeerclique

Here’s the image I didn’t end up showing at Hop Art. I had all intentions to- hence creating it in the first place- but I got really ill and was unable to print, frame and deliver the piece. Thankfully this is the first time I’ve ever let being sick stop me, and hopefully it won’t effect me too much in the future- but on to bigger and better things.

I created this photograph of a 1/2″ tall beer using resin and red and green food dye poured into a dollhouse pub glass. I mixed clear resin with corn starch for the foam. I then placed the little beet on a playmobil plastic “wooden” bench, shot the image in my table top studio with my macro lens and voila (and I edited it a bit).

I have a little mini series stewing called The Hashtag Project. There will be installments here and there (this is the first!). The idea is to take hipster-esque images with my DSLR of miniature things (craft beer, record player, anything nostalgic, etc.) and to title and describe them using tags that would typically be found on images of these type on instagram (the tags are kinda of funny). Overall it’s a mini commentary on today’s photography. I’ll give you a more defined artist statement as the series progresses. Stay tuned!

*Do you have any ideas for subjects for images in this series? Do you know or use any hashtags that I failed to list in the description? Let me know!