I have to state that I am not an expert nor professional Photographer but I will share with you what I have learned in hope that it will make it easier and more enjoyable for the readers who want to know more about outdoor toy Photography.
Disclaimer: All the content of this post are written from my own experiences and value and should only be taken as advise and not a standard to follow.
Capturing a still toy should be easy in the outdoor correct? Wrong!
Since you are taking outdoor Toy photoshoot, it is likely you want the toy to be the main subject while the background be filled with the details and activities of the outdoor scene. So asked yourself this question, how are you going to place a scale toy to match with the real world?
While you are challenged to fill your lens with the details of the outdoors and your toy in one frame, some of the pointers below should help you.
Tips 1: Select your Toy wisely
There is a saying "Good looking Models already guarantee good looking photos." that is something we all would easily agree but that may not be all true here. You should choose toys that you like and depending where you are going to do the shoot, bring Toys you think will blend in well with it. Most importantly, a toy which you like and enjoy taking the photo of. Never bring a toy that you do not enjoy just to try to shoot. It is likely you do not enjoy your photo shoot.
If you want to add more live in your photo, you can consider a articulated toy with various facial expression. That would given you more choice and interest in the shoot.
Tips 2: Tripod and Platform
When I brought along my tripod, my photographer friend asked me why do I bring along one? You do
not need to keep very still to take a toy unless your hands are really
shaky. It was only later, they realized that my tripod is not place my
camera but for me to transform the tripod to a movable platform for my
toy. With that platform, I need not go down to the ground level which
most of the time the scale of toy and background will be totally out.
You may create a platform using thick cardboard or other object to place the toy on your palm so you can have a quick shot at some angle.
Tips 3: Blu tack
Blu tack is one of the wonderful invention as long as I have lived as it is so easily place to secure stuff and easy to remove it as well. Why do I need Blu tack for toy photography anyway?
Simple answer would be keep your toy in balance. It is true. Not many toys I know had a good sense of balance and even it is, there are wind and movement in the un-expecting outdoor environment. Having a Blu tack will sure make your heart feel easier especially you placed your toy at some height or edge just so you can take the prefect shot.
Tips 4: Flashlight and light reflector
When you are out in the outdoor, depending on what and how you want to capture your subject, you are very much at the mercy of the lightning. Since your subject is on the toy, it is therefore important to keep a good lighting on your toy itself. That is where having a Flashlight and light reflector can help you.
Tips 5: Friends
I know some people like to work alone or do not have patience friends in their circle but it is a good bonus to have friends during toy photoshoot. Why? For the below few reasons...
When you are taking out your toy and try to compose your picture, you may already attracted curious public trying to see what you are doing. Now I know many will say they don't give a damn but the fact that having a group of friends doing what you are doing will take some attention of the public off you alone so you can have your peace for that few moments to take some nice pictures.
Another reason would be you are so focus on what you are doing and not aware of the danger around you such as the placement of your belongings. So having friends and taking turns to take photos with bigger a peace of mind.
Tips 6: Every photo should tell a story or some kind
This is not official but at least that is what I am going for. It is one thing to look into the photo and admire the colors and details while another level of enjoyable to see the photo being compose to narrate some story that is happening in the photo.
*Guess what SquarePants not happy about?
So these are all the tips I can offer for Toy photography for now. Just enjoy it and have fun and be happy with what you have taken. Don't be surprise that you can produce good looking toy shots too.
What are your thoughts regarding Toy Photography?