An Introduction to Toy Photography


Toy Photography. A world that you control. A unique form of art using toys and a camera to display scenes, or character portraits, made by the creator. 

With so many genres of characters to choose from, the possibilities are endless. From Spider-Man to Bat-Man, Popeye, to My Little Pony, collectors and toy enthusiasts from around the world, of all ages, come together to share their love and passion for the toys. Anything from taking hours setting up elaborate scenes and getting the lighting just right, to smashing a figure down on the desk with a lamp, is acceptable in the toy community. When I started in toy photography, I used just a desk lamp and some homemade backdrops. As we grow as toy photographers, so do our collections. Most (guilty as charged) wind up with numerous dioramas and props to use in various ways to express creativity.

Toy photography allows us to express ourselves using toys and photography. We can present our ideas of certain characters to the world through our photos. Toy photography will enable us to make our own stories or use the already existing stories and try to recreate them using toys. Using different lighting techniques and styles, creators can create unique scenes. Adding effects using fog machines or vapes is very popular and helps bring a photo to life. Pyro-Techniques are also used by many to create fantastic action scenes. Having multiple lights helps create great depth to a set. While using fog or vapour for the atmosphere, lighting helps make it more visible on camera and look better

Some take things to the next level with a sponsorship. A few known sponsorships in the toy photography world are toy companies, Extreme-Sets, Diorama Prints, and sometimes, hobby shops etc. will give sponsorships. Sponsors can help the photographer acquire new dioramas, etc., and provide the diorama companies photos to use in their marketing strategies.  


Collectors from around the world display their art online on various social media platforms. Instagram is home to a large toy community that has encountered a massive disruption with the new algorithm changes over the past year. Collectors of all ages support one another’s love for the toys in the community by commenting, liking, and sharing their work with others. The toy community on the social platform VERO is growing and is worth checking out. 

I personally have been posting toy photography on Instagram for about two years. Instagram offers a massive community of toy photographers from around the world. There are numerous toy community pages on Instagram such as ToyPic Community, The Misfits Collective, Toy Talk and, the tr4k community. The larger community pages repost people’s work on their pages, get spread across a vast network of followers, and boost post reach for artists. In addition, comments fill the threads with thoughts on the scene or overall photos taken; it is a very supportive community. 

Earlier this year, a toy photographer well known to the community (Tusken Traiders) unfortunately passed away. Tusken’s favourite character was Deadpool. So, for a week, Deadpool toy photos were tagged from around the world to support our friend’s passing in the community; it was very cool to see.  

Toy photography is an excellent hobby for anyone. Getting creative is fun and satisfying when you look at your finished artwork. In addition, the community is very supportive and helps boost your morale with positive energy.

Hulk Smash! – This image and more can be seen on my Toy Photography Page on Instagram @thebearded.collector


All the information talked about in this blog was written off the top of my head and there not websites that I used for gathering information. Toy photography can be seen on Instagram by checking out some popular hashtags below: 

#themisfitscollective, #toypiccommunity #toyphotography #toygroup_alliance #wheretoysdwell

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