It’s not easy being a toy photographer.
If you happen to take photos of Lego outside I’m sure you’ve had a few awkward moments. You know the ones I’m talking about, the ones where people look at you in that weird “What are you doing?” sort of way. Or how about the time you told your friends (or family) that you photograph toys and there only response was a blank look.
We have all been there.
Instead of feeling ashamed of this wonderful hobby, each one of these interactions is an opportunity to engage, educate and hopefully create a connection with a like minded individual. The trick is finding a way to connect in a way that is both accessible and informative.
I’ve been rather glib when people ask me what I do, I simply respond that I take pictures of Lego. They immediately give me that blank look indicating a total lack of understanding until I whip out my iPad and show them. Generally their response is enthusiastic and we have a great conversation.
After reading “Show Your Work!” by Austin Kleon I realize I have to do a better job. I need to be respectful of my audience and myself by providing an answer that better describes what I’m doing, is brief and accessible. I was considering going with “I’m a bookkeep that takes pictures of Lego mini figures in the wild.” This is not entirely accurate but it would certainly start a conversation.
I’m proud of the toy photography community I am a part of. I want the world to know what an amazing art movement this is. So I am going to stop being glib and take more time to help people understand what is going on.
In the mean time, the next time you’re lying on the ground and getting “that look” from some passerby, know you are in good company.
- Have you ever been stopped on the street and asked what you are doing?
- Do you feel foolish lying on the ground to get that perfect shot?
- How do you describe your photographic hobby to you family?