I love toy photography! And sharing the knowledge I’ve gathered over the past 10 years brings me great joy.
Toy photography is a fun genre that touches on so many other parts of the photography world. I’ve discovered that skills learned while photographing toys transfer to your other photo areas. These might include macro, still life, nature, and portraiture. Toys are the perfect subject to practice lighting and portraiture with since they are infinitely patient.
For me, the story telling aspect of toy photography keeps me inspired. Creating with toys is a giant game of “what if?” And with so many different types of toys to choose from, they can be a great way to connect with your viewer. We all have childhood memories of our favorite childhood toys or even the toys from our own children. Whatever the connection, we use this attachment to connect and share.
Because toy photography has many similarities with graphic novels I approach my workshops from this viewpoint. Story telling is king and the “Why” is almost more important than the “How”. There is always plenty of time to explore how each challenge is solved, but we also look at why certain choices were made and how the image was approached. This makes my workshops suitable for photographers of all skill levels.
I always encourage my participants to choose toys that are meaningful to them. Many of the challenges will ask you to draw on your personal experience. And using toys that you enjoy, will make the experience more fun and hopefully meaningful. With each challenge you will be developing skills that you can draw on during future toy adventures.
All my workshops are presented via Zoom and limited in size to allow for plenty of sharing and questions. I strive to create a supportive and safe atmosphere. We learn by sharing and having fun together. These are truly transformative workshops!
The Workshops – an overview
If you’re curious about toy photography or just starting on your toy photography journey, this is the workshop for you! This six-week workshop will cover all the basics of toy photography. We will discuss everything from the history of toy photography, where to source toys, and all the major skills to create dynamic scenes. Each week we will share the photos created using skills learned in the previous week.
When you’ve completed this course you will have a strong understanding of all the current techniques being used to make toys fly, create practical effects of all kinds and how to light indoor and outdoor scenes. One private mentoring session is included with this workshop. More details can be found here.
The Idea Factory is a 12-week workshop that looks at where ideas come from. Each week participants will be challenged to create an image from one of the weeks prompts. As a group we will explore different ideas around toy photography. These include recreating famous artwork, pop culture mash-ups, self portraiture, two image stories and mythology. We will learn to create work that has multiple layers and meaning. Each week participants will be invited to share images they create including a behind the scenes look at the set-up. By sharing the thought process, obstacles and successes behind each image we expand our learning opportunities.
This workshop is perfect for anyone looking to strengthen their storytelling skills, who is new to the genre or needs a creativity boost. For more details about this workshop, please check here.
I love the book The Artists Way! While this book has been around for over 25 years, the lessons and activities are universal to the creative struggle. I’ve taken this journey myself and discovered, and even laid to rest, many of my own creative gremlins. I’ve developed a set of tools that help me in the inevitable set-backs and u-turns in the creative process. I also have a sound creative identity that acts as a foundation to build from. But all that growth doesn’t come easy. This is a 12 week journey that invites participants to look inside themselves and adjust their perspective on long held beliefs. Does this sound like a lot of work? It is…but its worth it!
If you would like more information about The Artist’s Way workshop, I invite you to contact me to set up a 30 minute phone call. Together we will decide if this is the perfect option for you.
This will be twelve-week exploration of myths and metaphors as seen through the lens of toy photography. Each week we will explore a specific cultural myth, metaphor or symbol. We will:
- Learn the difference between a Myth and an Archetype.
- We will explore the how stories help us make sense of the world
- Explore how these ‘ancient’ stories still infuse our culture
- We will explore the idea of cultural appropriation
For each session I will be providing you a list to choose from to ensure we cover a wide range of stories and symbols. When you present your images you will be asked to also present a brief description of what you learned (100-200 word max) and a behind the scenes look at your photo. You will notice that even weeks are a continuation of the week’s challenge. Ive learned that this is a lot to explore in one week. So on the even weeks, we will be sharing work in progress, other ideas, or presenting other projects. These will be more free form discussions around the photography presented.
This is the perfect workshop for the intermediate toy photographer looking to bring additional story telling skills to their work. We will learn to bring additional layers of meaning to your images as well as build upon the stories that infuse our collective conscious. Be prepared to take your story telling skills to the next level with this workshop!
For more information about this workshop I invite you to check out this page.
This workshop is inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell.
One of the goals I have with my photography is to make an emotional connection with my audience. But I also like to explore my own emotions through my photography. I like to think I infuse my work with a range of emotions that span worry, fear, joy, relaxation and calm. This workshop is designed to explore a variety of emotions to see who we can tell stories that create a directed response from the viewer.
What will happens when we look at the twelve most common emotions head on? What kind of images can we create? When we infuse an image with our interior emotions can we create a stronger connection with the viewer? Is there a difference? Let’s find out!
This workshop is for the experienced toy photographer looking for a challenge or anyone who has taken Creating with Intention.
The newest addition to my toy photography workshops delves into the basics of storytelling. For this workshop I will be expanding on the concepts learned in Creating with Intention, Myths, Metaphors and Symbols as well as Inside / Out. In twelve weeks we will quickly touch on the basics of story development and character development. In addition we will be looking at how to move our character through time through three methods of closure. By the end of our twelve weeks together you will have completed a short visual story that can be expanded at your leisure.
This workshop will be a fast moving and require you to create several images a week. Since I will be covering a lot of ground quickly; this is the perfect workshop for the toy photographer looking for a challenge!
You can find out more details including the weekly challenges here.
If you have a specific project you’re working on that is above and beyond what I cover in any of the other workshops I recommend starting with Individual Coaching. We will meet one-on-one twice a month to work on topics important to you. Because Ive been a self-employed artist for over 25 years, I know how important goals, accountability and motivation are. Sometimes we all need help reaching the next level. Individual coaching is perfect fit for your unique needs.
If you would like more information about working one on one, I invite you to contact me to set up a 30 minute phone call. Together we will decide if this is the perfect option for you.
Have you taken one of my workshops and enjoy the support offered? Maybe you have a creative project that you need support with that doesn’t fit into a specific workshop? If this is you, I invite you to consider my Creative Support Group. This small group will meet for weekly check-ins as well as group support and camaraderie. In addition to these weekly meet-ups I will be meeting with you on a bi-weekly basis to help with individual planning and support as needed.
The Creative Support Group requires a six month commitment. If you would like more information about this group I invite you to check here, or contact me directly for a short conversation.