Traveling and Toy Photography

12:08 AM

I got this newfound love for travelling and ever since I started going places, I always make a point to bring at least one or two travel buddy with me. Being a toy photographer, the hardest part in travelling was choosing who to bring! I know I only got a few toys, but I was really debating on who's gonna go with me and as much as possible, I do not want to play favorites LOL.

I find travelling and toy photography a good mix because it gives a different atmosphere to your toy photos as much as the feeling wherein you're on a different place. When you're just at home, you're content with taking photos of them in your elaborate dioramas and crafty setups. Or even your table, you're already comfortable with that. However, it still depends on what you're up to. I'm the type who likes the outdoors and I'm really comfortable taking them out for a photoshoot, wherever, whenever. ;)

For those who would like to try exploring the world with their toys like me, here's a few tips on how to take your toys on your travels and have fun at the same time:

1. Tell a story
You're seeing the world with your travel buddy (your toy) on your side, make it a great subject for toy photography outdoors! If you're not too prissy putting it anywhere where it could be dirty or get scratched, put in somewhere where you'd know the focal point would be the place you've been in. This is for your viewers to see that you've been there and your toys will speak for the place itself.

My Danboard at the Nasugbu Beach, Batangas

Kirino and Sawako at the beach in Aniao Beach, Baler, Aurora.

Mayoi and Speedy sees a waterfall for the first time at 7Falls, Mambukal Mountain Resort in Bacolod

The Minions at Burot Beach, Calatagan, Batangas.

2. Know your gears
This is all about the technical stuff about the camera you're gonna bring. Whether you prefer to use a point and shoot camera or a DSLR, it's fine; as long as you know it's technicalities and other stuff. Heck, it's not about the camera anyway -- it's all about talent, skills and creativity combined when it comes to toy photography, or photography for that matter. Bottom line is, it's all about rule number one. ;) For me, I prefer to use a prime lens for toy photography because of the DOF (depth of field) and sharpness it brings. It's pretty cheap too!

In addition, I also like to use my landscape photography gears whenever I need it.

I used it here on Momohime's photoshoot. I wanted to capture the sky without the exposure of the afternoon sun so I used a graduated filter.

3. Practice taking shots on a good angle
Getting a good angle for any shot makes a picture even more dynamic in toy photography. A good composition makes a great photo. That means sitting and ducking or even lying on your stomach on any surface won't matter if you want to take a good angle. You definitely want that great shot of an iconic landmark/landscape where you are, practice taking photos with your toy as your main subject. So practice! Practice! Practice!

Here I am, squatting on a river bed to take photos of Momohime in Anawangin Cove, Zambales.

The result ^_^

..then taking photos of Taiga on a busy street.

My Android Mini on the road at the Manmade Forest in Bohol.

Don't be shy, they would never understand what you're doing anyway. Hahaha! You're there to travel, take good photos.. that's it. Don't be afraid to get dirty yourself when doing so! Just think of the awesome shot you'll get afterwards. ;)

4. Handle them with care
Every toy collector/enthusiast knows that their precious toy is not a "toy" but a "collectible figure". I always tell my godchildren this when they visit me at home and then start oogling at my humble display at my room. Now for traveling, keep your babies safe in a container where it can't be squished or damaged in your luggage. When you take them out to take photos, always be cautious of your surroundings.

 A nendoroid can be submerged on sea water without damaging its paint. 
Just look at Taiga and Kirino here, chilling at the Aniao Beach.

..and the Palmtop Tiger submerged underwater at the Panglao Beach in Bohol.

Mayoi having fun at the beach at the Alubijod Cove, Guimaras Island.

I noticed a Figma's paint job is slightly thinner than Nendoroid, so Mayoi's foot got tiny scratches after I let her sit on the beach after this shoot. Heck, I don't mind. She looked awesome anyway.

However, do this with caution and this is not recommended for anyone. When I'd say anyone, those toy photography enthusiasts who are so afraid of a little scratch hahaha! If you are those kind of people, just be content taking photos at home or anywhere you're comfortable. You see, accidents do happen and be prepared for some mishaps that may go along the way, like scratches, dropping them and having their paint smudged.

5. Take lots of photos!
This is the part where you'll have tons of fun! Doesn't matter if 3 or 5 shots looked seemingly the same, but trust me all of them will be different when it comes to closer look. ;) You just need to pick which shot has the best story, angle and composition. Anyway, you're traveling so take lots of photos and take those memories home with you. Remember, it's always about rule number one why you're taking your toys on your travels. ;)

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  1. wow! they look fantastically PEACEFUL and quite!! I went to a beautiful windy beach with my gumi nendo last time and her right hand was blown by the wind to somewherre faraway TTwTT

  2. @Satsukiree
    OMG that's so tragic! o.O So Gumi is now handicapped! T_T

  3. Love your posts!! :)
    I would like to try that kind shots one time! :)

  4. I love your blog and Kixkillradio because you both bring different approaches to figure photography. These travel shots are great and so unique!

    Totally agree that bringing a figure along can add a lot to travel photos. I always like to have a subject in my photos so my shots don't look so much like random scenery. Feels like the time's about right to go on another adventure with Sunred! You're right about accidents too - last time I traveled with Sunred, his beer got detached from his hand haha

  5. Yup, I completely agree with everything of the above.

    Taking figures out and about is one the reasons I love figmas so much. So many nice things you can do with their poseability and different accessories.

  6. it's really refreshing and inspiring to see all your fantastic shots. your works are most interesting...

    i've added you to my blogroll~

  7. @Willys
    Thanks! I've added you to my circles! :)

  8. I just found out about your blog today.You're an awesome toy photographer in every ways. You've said the exact words I always wanted to blurt out when I'm doing my own shoot too. It's kinda embarrassing at times because people stares at you like "is she a kid?" (which obviously I'm not anymore) ...I adore how confidently you take them with you.I wish I'll be able to build my own confidence also to show the world that I love my toys IDC what people would say ! >.<

    Great Job there keep this up. You're an inspiration :)

    1. Thanks for your kind words! The first few minutes while doing a toy photoshoot outdoors are kinda embarassing LOL, I even get people crouch in the same position like I do just to see what I'm up to hahaha, but yeah, just be confident, and don't mind what they think LOL they won't be able to see the awesome output anyway :D

      Never lose your passion!