After a two year break from writing regular blog posts, I’ve found my voice again. While I may not have as much time to devote to writing, I feel like I have something to offer to the toy photography community. 2021 is the year that Im putting everything Ive learned in 2020 into action. The blog is a group effort, we all support each other. I’ve launched Creating with Intention workshops which push me to delve deep into the creative process. While my connections to my real life friends have ben strained by a year of separation, my creative life and on-line friendships have never been stronger. If 2020 taught me anything, it’s to be grateful for even the smallest successes and to show compassion in this time of intense change.
Well, we all know what happened in 2020…the Covid-19 world wide pandemic hits and everything changes. There will be no in-person meet-ups for the foreseeable future, no more art shows and in-person selling for me and traveling with toys is out of the question. But the year was not without its moments! Because of the pandemic lots of changes happen on the blog. One of those is that I started podcasting more. I love taking the time to have an in-depth conversation with fellow toy photographers. We may not be able to connect in person, but Im committed to finding new ways to connect over this fun hobby! 2020 is also the year that I became a Lensbaby Trailblazer and later an Ambassador. This has led to opportunities I never even knew existed! I was invited to participate in Lensbaby’s first photography conference. 2020 is the year that learn to own what I’ve created: blog, podcast, community and toy photography emissary.
After five years and over 400 blog posts my need to write about my toy photography journey begins to slow. My commitment to toy photography hasn’t wained, just how I want to express myself. While I was working this out I had plenty to keep me motivated and enthused. 2019 is the year I travelled to Melbourne Australia to meet my friends Brett and Tony Tulloch and attend the Melbourne toy photography meet-up. Much like the earlier LEGO House opening, this will go down as one of the highlights of this crazy adventure. Words can never describe the joy and the connections experienced during those two weeks down under. 2019 is also the year I turned over the management of The Toy Photographers Blog to Alan Rappa and a talented team of toy photographers. Stepping back from the day to day running of the blog has allowed me to concentrate on my own work and move into exciting new territory!
2018 was an amazing year! I started the Women’s Brick Initiative with Alice Finch, The Seattle Meet-up documentary was finished and Toy Photographers began our relationship with LEGO Ideas by creating content for the Ship in a Bottle launch. This was also the year that Brett Wilson joined my at the Oregon Toy Safari. To be able to meet my toy photography friends in person, will never, ever get old. After working with Brett for several years, and often being called his work wife, it was amazing to hang with him in person. 2018 was also the year that Lensbaby begins to take over my photography journey.
With the help of my friends Kristina and Brett Wilson I left Stuckinplastic and launched my own toy photography blog. While I clearly love the Lego mini figure, I want to create a more inclusive community of toy photographers. All toys and all photography levels, are welcome at The Toy Photographers Blog! The year was filled with more in-person meet-ups, more articles to inspire inspiration and photo challenges to help stretch our members. The highlight of the year was attending the LEGO House grand opening with Kristina and my fellow Lego Ambassadors. It was a special day where I was able to see many of my friends for the first time in person as well. It was an incredible experience. 2017 is also the year I begin experimenting with Lensbaby lenses. With toy photography, you really never know where it will lead you, but always somewhere fun!
This is the year my friendship with Swedish photographer, Kristina Alexanderson begins in earnest. To this day Kristina continues to be one of my best friends, truest supporter, insightful critic and photography mentor. We’ve had many adventures together both in the United States and Sweden! 2016 is also the year that toy photography is noticed by The LEGO Group as StuckinPastic is recognized as an Official Fan Media sigh. Our community Google+ really starts to take off and my relationship with Bricks Culture continues to bring the art of toy photography to a larger audience. After 300 blog posts, Im starting to find my writing voice too!
2015 was a truly epic year of toy photography and creative growth. This was the year that I helped to curate the first LEGO only toy photography show at the Bryan Ohno Gallery, the first time my work appeared in a major publication (Bricks Culture), I faced down many of my inner creative doubts and my love / hate relationship with Instagram began. When I reflect back on these posts I can see how much change happened over the year. 2015 also introduced the concept of Toy Safari’s or meet-ups. These in-person events will always hold a special place in my heart.
On February 14th, 2014 I started writing about toy photography. My blogging career started on the first toy photography blog I started: StuckinPlastic. At the time I couldn’t even begin to imagine the crazy journey I had embarked on. By writing about toys, photography and the creative process I began to understand my own motivations. Im not sure how many of these posts stand up to the test of time, but I wouldn’t be the person I am know, without each and every one of them.