2013, A Look Back

2013, the year I graduated from college.

change: confidence

This image was from my first go-round at my senior project. It wasn’t a success, according to my professor, and after grappling with it a bit longer, I agreed.

Continue reading “2013, A Look Back”

Creating Emotional Toy Photographs

Photography is all about light, composition and, most importantly, emotion. – Larry Wilder

I aim to make emotive photos that elicit an emotional response in the viewer. Whether I’m successful in that or not is really up to you, but I feel, to a degree I am.

It starts with emotions I feel poured out into the photo. Lighting, color, blur, setting, posing, all play their part to then make that vision a reality however.

So here’s how I go about this task.



I tend to return to figures without facial expressions and with limited detail. The more blank the figure, the more I feel the viewer can place themselves within the story. The human mind is wired to find faces, and human features. So as the photographer, I don’t have to offer much in the way of human iconography in order to get the viewer involved – bringing their own experiences to the scene before them.Continue reading “Creating Emotional Toy Photographs”

How I Began My Toy Photo Journey

Most of us mini enthusiasts can attest that we’ve loved the tiniest of objects from childhood. I, myself, absolutely adored Polly Pockets, and still have much of my collection to this day.

Add to that, a passion for photography I discovered around the age of 14. My family and I took a vacation to the Smokey Mountains. We stayed in a KOA cabin for a week and hiked daily. My dad and I even climbed the side of a waterfall. Through all those hikes, and even the waterfall climb, I carried my mom’s camera with me, loaded with Kodak film. Upon arriving home, and getting the 2 rolls developed , I fell in love. I made 2 collages of the images I liked in poster frames and hung them on my bedroom wall for years to come. I still have them in my closet now.Continue reading “How I Began My Toy Photo Journey”

Monochrome | Polychrome – An Emotive take on Toy Photography

Tourmaline .

Miniatures serve as iconographic objects. Not real people, places or things, but simplistic versions of such. This allows for abstracted views of reality. The perfect medium for creating visual representations of memories and emotions – abstractions of reality within themselves.

Tourmaline . creates emotive imagery by transforming miniature tableaus through her camera lens. Her images draw influence from her midwestern roots and Florida youth.

Tourmaline . graduated from the University of North Florida in the Spring of 2013 with a Bachelors of Fine Art, concentration in Photography, and minors in Art History and Professional Education. She resides in Jacksonville, FL with her fiancé and cat.


Suspend your assumptions. There can be a life well lived inside your comfort zone. She has carved a den of contentment. Everything tailored directly to her truest

As with the majority of my work, these are self portraits, a found identity, a tailored self.

The setting within Monochrome is 1:12 dollhouse scale where 1 inch is equivalent to 1 foot. Meaning, the figure in these photographs is just over 5 inches tall. The figure is a plastic drawing model. Once I had her in my possession I sourced furniture and accessories to create her world. I painted everything a matching tone of grey to that of her plastic. I had the house built for her prior to her arrival.

The 65 images in this series were taken with 1 to 2 studio lights, aiming for a relatively even, but consistent with home interior lighting, feel. Each was photographed horizontally and at a singular aperture. All this to say, balance in focus, lighting, color tone and composition was created intentionally.

Continue reading “Monochrome | Polychrome – An Emotive take on Toy Photography”

Miniature Marvels at the St. Augustine Art Association

There’s a new miniature show that just opened, and it just so happens to be local to me, and have one of my pieces in it!

I found out about the Miniature Marvels show on Sunday, February 24th and immediately got an idea for it. I’m typically pretty against creating new work for shows, but was passionate about making this particular piece. I’ve never felt I could just print photos small for a miniature based show, and am not a miniaturist per say, so I just don’t enter them. This idea however allowed me to combine actual tangible miniatures with my miniature diorama photography.

The only problem was that pieces had to physically be turned in, no later than 4 pm on Wednesday, February 27th. So with the quickest turn around ever I got to work, making ‘ a miniature gallery of photos of miniatures.’Continue reading “Miniature Marvels at the St. Augustine Art Association”

Making it Grey

I have these moments off and on, when I’m working on a new series and I think to myself – “this is it, this will be my best work, this is my niche,” or something of the sort. The fact that I’ve had similar thoughts multiple times means maybe I was wrong, or maybe there’s never a perfect ah ha moment. But in any case, I thought it’d be interesting to look at the series of works where I’ve had these elated moments, and compare what they each have in common, and what they separately bring to the table.


This began as a fully black and white series, and is a much larger series than what I’ve chosen to include here. I’ve come to however like the red break lights shining through in some of these. All in all this series is a voyeuristic take on the mysterious film noir look, made with HO scale (2cm tall) figures and accessories and lit entirely by electric miniature car headlights.

Miniature Architecture Studies

These are simply dimly lit grainy close ups of tiny buildings, both HO and N scale. They also have a noir feel, and although there is an absence of people, the constant window views have a voyeuristic aesthetic. 

I have played with these themes in color imagery as well, and it seems to be a shooting style I return to when taking an experimental approach. I normally plan out what I shoot, but little buildings seem to strike a different kind of inspiration.


This is a series that is still in progress. I’ve been working on it since around June, and have a good bit more planned (at least at the time of writing this). It again is black and white. This could still be considered a voyeuristic look as we are seeing an intimate portrait of a life, but it has a different feel. The camera is closer, and sees fully inside the house without the need for shadowy environments or window shots. While a different approach, and I could simply consider it a progression of my work, I more think this is simply a different way to show an intimate portrait. The woman walking along the road in the headlights glow above is simply going about her life as well, we just never really know what’s fully going on in other people’s lives, in their heads, and I’d like to think while the Headlights images allow the viewer to imagine what’s happening in the pictured figure’s life, the Monochrome images allow the viewer to relate and insert their own experiences into the life of the pictured figure.

So, desaturated narratives. Maybe that’s my niche.

What’s yours?

Shop my Survival Series and More!

As some of you know I’ve had art in a show at D. Thomas Fine Miniatures.

My 5 part series of HO scale and board game war miniatures was a part of the BadAss miniatures show, and it was such an honor, as the quality of miniature work in that show was spectacular.

From the D. Thomas website:

Tiny art without boundaries.

Defiant, quirky, and slightly uncomfortable.

Welcome to the disobedient dollhouse.

BadAss Miniatures presents emerging perspectives in the miniature arts; an exhibition of original works in miniature form contributed by over 30 artists from across the United States and abroad. Featured works represent a novel movement that challenges the status quo in the miniature art form through the presentation of unconventional ideas and concepts and the quirky, outlandish, surprising use of miniatures. “BadAss” aims to push the envelope on the traditional (rethink the dollhouse!) with an edgy and bold attitude showcasing jaw-dropping, surprising—maybe even shocking—miniature badassery to hit the 21st century.

See more of the featured work here.

I tell you all this today, because some of that art, including mine, is available for sale!

If you need some more minis, or mini art in your life, be sure to check out their store – just click the screenshot above, or find my piece directly here!

Introducing Monochromous

I’ve been working on a new series I’m tentatively calling Monochromous. And I’ve had the honor of having a portion of that series featured on the Exclu Collective.

Check it out, and read about my process here: https://exclucollective.com/2018/09/09/exclu-rewind-tourmalinenow/


See even more images on my facebook page here:

MONOCHROMESuspend your assumptions. There can be a life well lived inside your comfort zone. She has carved a den of…

Posted by Tourmaline . on Tuesday, September 4, 2018


And stay tuned for a behind the scenes video coming soon!