My First Toy Safari

I finally did it.

Well, I’ve done it, I’ve finally met a fellow toy photographer!

I’ve wanted to do it for years. I’ve watched from afar, read articles on blogs about Toy Safaris in far-away lands and even posted the odd comment on Instagram and Facebook posts.

The thing is, toy photography has always been a very personal and private thing for me. Yes, I’ve chatted online and even sold some of my work, my friends also know about my toy obsession, but the actual creative process was something I’d always done alone. 

Hi, fellow toy photographer …

Now or never.

So when I saw that the next Stuck In Plastic toy meet-up was in Edinburgh, the day after my birthday and only a four-hour drive from home, I thought “it’s now or never!” When the weekend arrived, accompanied by my amazing and ever-supportive wife, we headed up north of the border to see what it was all about.

Did anyone say fish?

On the morning of the meet-up, I was so nervous that I was debating whether to actually turn up or just walk straight past the meeting point and head back to my hotel.

What would these strangers be like?
Would they even speak to me, let alone welcome me into their group?

Don’t you worry about a thing …

It turned out that I had nothing at all to worry about.

Home.

By the end of the first day out shooting, we were all sat in a restaurant together exchanging prints and stories of shoots, the table laden with food and minifigures popping out of pizzas.

I looked around and realized I felt right at home.

If you’ve ever thought about joining in on one these events, I’d highly recommend it. Everyone I met was friendly and welcomed me in with open arms. I’ve come away from the weekend recharged with a new vigor for toy photography.  Filled with new motivation to get out and shoot more than ever.

Chris.

Skærbæk Fan Weekend 2017

A couple of weeks ago, after the fantastic LEGO house  Fan Pre-Opening, I left Boris to go to Skærbæk, a town on the western coast of Denmark, for SFW (read Skærbæk Fan Weekend).

But what is Skærbæk Fan Weekend?

If you don’t know what SFW is, here is an extract from their website to help you understand its history.

SFW Logo - (c) Skaerbaek Fan Weekend
SFW Logo – (c) Skærbæk Fan Weekend

In 2005 the LEGO® Company started a small get together with some AFOLs.
That event was called the LEGO Fan Weekend.
Through the years it developed and growed to a fantastic event. Somehow the LEGO Company decided ten years later not to continue the LEGO Fan Weekend. Seriously bad news for the fans and so three AFOLs decided to take over the organisation:
in 2015 the Skærbæk Fan Weekend was born!
Fans from all over the world are coming together in Skærbæk and share their passion for the brick. No hand-luggage bag is too small that even the AFOLs from oversea are bringing some of their brilliant creations to Denmark.
But not only AFOLs are joining us, through the weekend the event is open for public visitors.

Skærbæk Fan Weekend this year

This edition of SFW was the biggest ever in terms of participants and MOCs (My Own Creations – meaning original creations made out of LEGO by fans). We were more than 740 participants coming from 31 countries (including Australia, Brazil, the US, Japan, Hong-Kong, Italy, Spain, Germany, France ;-),…).

A gathering of people from all around the globe
A gathering of people from all around the globe

Continue reading “Skærbæk Fan Weekend 2017”

A Review of the LEGO Elves Dragons

As soon as the winter started to reach its end, I began to think I should focus on a project during the summer. When Boris announced his plan of making us work on a summer project, not only I already had a few ideas, but I had already started to work on some of them.

Up to now, I’ve been quiet about these summer project ideas. I wanted to take the time to let my ideas mature before releasing anything publicly. The only persons who have seen the result of my summer photography are the old and new friends I met last month in Edinburgh.

But I think it’s about time to give a glimpse of what I’ve been doing for the past four months through a review of 3 LEGO Elves sets. Set 41172 The Water Dragon Adventure, 41175 Fire Dragon’s Lava Cave and 41179 Queen Dragon’s Rescue. (Moreover, last month’s word was LEGO after all!) Continue reading “A Review of the LEGO Elves Dragons”

One Toy To Share In Scotland

After my trip to San Francisco and seeing people using the toys of others to take pictures, I came out with a small activity (challenge, exercice, game,… – call it what you want) and a hashtag for our safari in Scotland. One Toy To Share In Scotland (read #1Toy2Share_Scotland)

One Toy To Share (#1Toy2Share)

The principle is simple.
Someone brings one toy that everyone has to photograph at least once during the weekend. One toy to share (with everyone). Read #1Toy2Share
Simple, right?

This exercise will show how people are using their creativity while using the same model.

#1Toy2Share_Scotland

For Scotland, I was the one who brought that toy. Since most of us are using LEGO minifigures in our pictures, I thought it would be interesting to use something a bit different for once. Something a bit bigger.
So, I went with a bird  (the Osprey) from the toy company Four Horsemen Studios and some accessories. Once again, it was a line of toys that I discovered in San Francisco and that I loved immediately. They are very well made and full of details and colors.

Accessories
The accessories that came with the bird. Look at those amazing wings…  – Photo credit: Julien

So, let’s see what we came up with during our days.

Continue reading “One Toy To Share In Scotland”

And the winners are …

Where Is Anton.

Our latest creative contest #WhereIsAnton together with LEGO Ideas ended last weekend.  It was a real success with hundreds of photos tagged on Instagram. Since then, we’ve been browsing through all the awesome entries on Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Flickr and even 500px and LEGO’s own gallery to find the winners of this challenge.

Sleepless nights, painstakingly looking for chromatic aberrations, sensor dust, creative compositions and cheer creative fun kept your jury awake. A shortlist of nominations in different categories lead the jury to an almost all night hangout session to come up with the final nominations, some special category nominations with an extra honorary price and the ultimate three winners of the LEGO Idea House sets we are giving away. But first we want to thank ALL of you, for taking part in this fun creative context and we will for sure do it again.

Without further ado, time to get to the nominations … Continue reading “And the winners are …”

SiP goes Scotland was a blast!

SiP went Scotland.

It’s been more than a week since our toy safari in Scotland became history, but we haven’t reported about it on the blog yet. Between the Where is Anton contest, the LEGO House opening, Skaerbaek and the Ninjago Movie madness, it’s finally time to tell you how great this weekend was.

Here’s a little summary of our adventures.

Friday Morning

In the morning the ones to arrive first in Edinburgh met for a quick walk to the castle, while some others tried to fix the transport of the day (an adventure on its own). After some quick lunch and food toy photography, it was time to take the first real dip into the hometown of Harry Potter himself. We managed to visit some of the key Harry Potter locations in the city center such as Victoria Street, Candlemaker Row, and Greyfriars Kirkyard.

The first toy photo of the safari in progress!

Greyfriars Kirkyard

Kirkyard or fancy word for historical graveyard is a toy photographers dream, and before you knew it everyone was exploring locations, leaving no stone unturned. Well, kind of. Continue reading “SiP goes Scotland was a blast!”

A visit to the LEGO House

A long time ago, in a faraway land …

A good three years ago, I traveled to Billund to visit the factory as part of the release of the original LEGO Movie and a little building contest we won. The center of Billund was turned into one gigantic building site and a vision of what was about to come was revealed. However, it is fair to say that the epic building wharf was what left the impression. A whole city center being redesigned. Fast forward to the latest RLFM days this spring, and we saw the inside of what is now known as the Home of the Brick.

The wharf, three years ago. September 2014 when we visited Billund.

When we visited earlier this year, we got an epic preview of the LEGO tree, and have shared some images before. Not all was ready.  The Master Gallery was still waiting for its guests to arrive. The activity rooms were still very much WIP (read Work In Progress). A lot of work was still ahead for the LEGO House Crew to make it all come together just a few months later.

A good hour before the doors would open this Friday.

And then there was last Friday. The avant-premiere of the official opening of the LEGO House with 600 AFOLs gathering in Billund to explore the House first hand. The real fire drill before the house will officially be opened next Thursday for the world to explore. And what an opening it was. Continue reading “A visit to the LEGO House”

Anton Among The Waves

An Awesome Lake

My original idea for the Where is Anton contest was to go to the mountains and find an awesome lake. Maybe even take the lakeside lodge set I recently built and work that into the picture.  However, because of the crazy weather lately and the limited time, I instead resorted to something I could capture at home. Continue reading “Anton Among The Waves”

Only 4 days left …

Where Is Anton.

As some of you may have noticed, we are running a little creative photo contest here on Stuck In Plastic. We asked you to be on the lookout for Anton and share his adventures and sightings around the globe with us. And the images are pouring in. You still have four days (and that includes a full weekend) to get your Anton in. One fantastic toy photographer who did not wait until the last minute was Marco, our Adult Photographer from Italy. Continue reading “Only 4 days left …”