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 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.
- 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.
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.
- Toy Photographers
- The Weekly Photo Project (not toy photo specific, but a good general photo community)
The main thing on Facebook is to find a community specific for the type of toys you photograph.
Some options are:
- Miniature People Photography
- Acid Rain – The Last Line of Defense
- Acid Rain Base
- BTSTP | Behind the Scenes Toy Photography | Indonesia
- Lego Photography Portfolio
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.
- Anime, Figures, and Robots Toy Group
- + Toys ( 玩具,おもちゃ )
- Modern Miniatures
- Action Figure Dioramas
- BEST photos of Models..Railroads, DieCast, Dioramas, and MORE..!
- Diorama Dreamland
- dioramas for action figure
- HO scale
- Life in Miniature: Model Railway & Diorama Figures
- Miniature Worlds
- N scale
- Skeleton Toy Figures
- Small Worlds
- Star Wars – Your best shot. (One a week)
- Star Wars Action Figures & Dioramas
- Legos in the REAL world
- Lego Minifigures in the wild
- The Fighting 1:18th
- The RPF Photography Thread
- Sideshow Freaks Forum of Sideshow Collectors Art Show Thread
Want to learn more about toy photography and the people working within it? Check out these blogs!
- Stuck in Plastic
- Toy Photographers
- Toys in Focus
- Exclu Design Collective
- Mitchel Wu Toy Photography
- —ooh and mine of course, specifically the My Mini Monday category
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.
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