Toy photography is a gateway to bring toys to life. Each photograph may tell a story, frozen in time, in a world where toys are made to be the main protagonists. But, the majority gets glued upon a single question — where to start? And so, our article today is dedicated to clearing out your indecisions and to get you to start clicking.
We will be discussing some of the best toy photography ideas in just a bit, but first, let us take a peek at what ideas we are talking about.
To begin with, the bokeh technique is a photography method that can be achieved in a number of different ways. One may use certain bokeh filters or use their photoshopping skills to create a bokeh effect, whereas others may use a monitor/ laptop/ tablet screen with a picture of the said effect as a background to their photography subjects.
But, today we will be discussing a much manual approach to the bokeh technique which goes brilliantly with toy photography. So, to carry this out, the materials you need are fairy lights or Christmas lights, a spacious and low light setting, and your choice of toy.
Place your camera close to your toy on a surface which is at a distance from where you have set up your fairy lights. Use manual focus to focus on the toy, which in turn will create a blurred-out effect on the background that will make the lights seem like small balls of light floating around. You can use a flash while clicking your image if you want or skip that part out. Lastly, edit to enhance your image details and be mesmerized by the results!
Yet another awesome idea is to make your toys levitate. But let us warn you that you will be needing some editing skills for this one otherwise you will be messing up your results. Also, this method goes well with small figurine toys rather than large toys such as stuffed animals and other such toys.
For the set-up, all you will be needing is a tripod, your camera, your toy, and your editing tool.
To start off, set your toy in your tripod stand. Remember that odd angles make the levitation look more legit, but it is optional. So, first, keep your tripod and the toy aside and click a picture of your background in autofocus. Then bring your tripod with the toy and position it before clicking your pictures, once more in autofocus mode so that both your images have the same background sharpness.
Then using your desired editing tool, take the images in two layers and keep the one with the toy in the front layer. Then edit out the tripod and fix the other image details to make it look realistic. And there you have your levitating toy!
Number 3 on our list is using toy reflections. Again, this is a method that can surely be carried out in several different ways. But the main point of the technique is using a reflective surface. Toys with expressions give the best results for this case scenario.
For example, we will be using a figurine toy and a small mirror in a mostly empty setting with sufficient natural lighting.
You can of course do this with a whole storyline in mind but we will be keeping it simple to give you a general idea of how it can be. Firstly, place your mirror in a place where loads of sunlight are present but not too blinding — a windowpane perhaps. Then place your toy in a position facing the mirror and click your image in manual focus mode so that your focus will be on the toy’s reflection rather than the surroundings. Lastly, edit your results and you’re done.
Photography props have been used since the very beginning and in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Though mostly used by humans, since toys have similar characteristics, using props for toys is not a bad photography idea. Most times, this idea is best carried out with multiple toys, but there is no rule stating you must do that.
One can use natural props or man-made props in order to create a realistic and humane scenario with toys instead. For example, a sparkler behind a box labeled as ‘TNT’ can be used as a prop to imitate an explosion in a situation where a toy is trying to run away from the range of explosion.
To start with, set up the type of background in a low light environment and get a small cardboard box and paint the word ‘TNT’ in it using a red sharpie pen. Then position your toy at a few inches of distance from the box and adjust its orientation to make it seem frightened and as though it is running away. Then light a sparkler and place it right behind the box. Then click your picture and edit to enhance the outlook in order to get a fun photography result.
At the end of our list, of leaving the toys in a simplistic background. Often in recent photography trends, we see simple mono-colored matte backdrops and a simple setup being used. This works great for toys, especially toy cars since it gives the vibe that less can also be more.
This photography approach requires simple colored papers which should complement the color of the toys and some optional miniature props.
Remember that proper lighting and choosing the most suitable colors make or break the idea of this photography method. All you need to do is set up the papers to make them seem like a wall and the floor, then adjust the lighting so that your toy is in the spotlight. Or you can make the whole set up under bright light — basically choose whichever looks best in your mind. If you are using miniature props, make sure to keep it simple. Then proceed to click your photos and edit to make them even better. That’s it!
To close the curtains, a piece of advice we would like to tell you would be to get creative, tell a story with your toy photography, and spread the happiness around because toys have been a huge part of our childhood and to capture them in all the different ideas that go around in your mind because toy photography brings back a sense of nostalgia that is surely a joyful treasure.