a Picture and the Story behind it

During today´s commute I had some time to think about this month´s word.


I remembered Me2´s introduction quoting the Project Management Institute stating that projects have a definite beginning, a limited duration and an end. And I also remembered that sometimes projects may fail. And then I thought of..- well, it was another thing, but long story short:

My thoughts started with this month´s word Projects and ended with a certain picture I took the other day.


When planning for a pic I´m usually thinking of a certain scene or situation that I´d like to see as a photo. Then I´m thinking about the minifigures and props required, a place where it could be arranged and the weather, the light, etc.etc. If it all comes together at best I end up with a pic. I never thought of these plannings as Projects; maybe they are, maybe they are not. (Though they are definitely something else than this month´s little Project with three pics.)

Anyways, the one pic my thoughts went to today is another kind of Project to me (though it does differ from the above mentioned definition).

Had there been a working title it would have been “The essence of social media”– “Had there been” as I didn´t even know it would become a Project when it started.


Quite some time ago I saw that a fellow IGer shared a pic of a book he had just read. I was curious because the book was in English and we´re both Germans. He was very passionate about the story and instantly sent it my way when I asked about it. Now, being a lazy and slow reader I don´t usually read books in a different language but gave it a go.

And oh, how I enjoyed it.

The book was “The  Martian” by Andy Weir.

Being a fan of the Classic Lego Space theme the book had me hooked instantly. To this day I never managed to watch the movie with Matt Damon and I´m not quite sure I ever will as the book created many beautiful images of Mars in my mind. I thought about trying to shoot a scene from the story in Lego where the protagonist finds an abandoned rover on Mars; but as I wasn´t too pleased with bricks/props I had back then I put the thought aside.

After some months of discussing “The Martian” with other Igers I was sent a MarkWatney (the story´s protagonist) minifigure  by an English gentleman. And after some more time a wonderful American friend sent me a Matchbox model of the NASA Mars rover Curiosity! Finally I had the props I needed for the image that I´ve had in mind.

All that was left now was finding a sandy scenery (a beach) and some sunlight (day seven of my holidays).

For the second time in one blog post I´ll try to tell the long story short:

This image I´m writing about may appear to be just a snap taken on a beach. To me it is the result of my (long-term) Project “The essence of social media” as it contains the contributions of four different people from three different countries and only two of them have ever met in person. (A huge thank you to the other three- you know who you are!)

When Watney met Curiosity.

Have you got a long-term project?

Have you ever tried to collaborate with one or more people for a single project?

Or maybe you´d like to share a link to it in the comments?

I´d love to read about it and your experience.


PS. Two little LEGO Projects

This month here on Stuck In Plastic our word is projects and so we were happily surprised to discover that the LEGO Group is not just running one but actually two beautiful projects right now for all the RLUG/RLFM groups out there that are celebrating the brick and minifig in all its glory.

The very first one is really tailored to the creative photog in all of us and is some sweet little Easter fun with the chance of winning a nice little LEGO Easter Egg. The LEGO group will innocently draw 10 winners out of all this creative plastic goodness, so this one really has us written all over it.
Taking pictures of plastic.

Here are the rules as posted by the one and only Kim of LEGO on the LAN (LEGO Ambassador Network).

“Dear Ambassadors, 

Our colleagues creating global campaigns have asked us to ask you to participate in this year’s #LEGOEaster campaign and share your amazing pictures online using the #LEGOEaster hashtag! 

Once we pass Easter, we will do a Lucky Draw between all the pooled images (read on). We will pick 10 raffle winners, each getting a goodie bag with LEGO related Easter awesomeness and a medium sized LEGO set on top.

What’s required?
Take an Easter themed LEGO picture (inspiration can be found using an internet search engine or by taking a look at the work done by Stuck In Plastic  and Toy Photographers or some of the other Instagram communities we have here on LAN).
Upload and share the image online (Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook etc), using the hashtag #LEGOEaster
Share the image in the Flickr Pool “RLUG #LEGOEaster Campaign” as a raffle ticket for the Lucky Draw.
Add your first name and RLUG/RLFM affiliation (sic. that would be #stuckinplastic, just saying) along with the #LEGOEaster hashtag in the comment for the image to validate your Lucky Draw entry.
One entry ticket per picture shared in the Flickr pool – please note that you can only participate once with each image – taking pictures from different angels and uploading them does NOT give additional tickets for the Lucky Draw.

Once the Lucky Draw has been completed the winners will be contacted via Flickr Mail asking for their full name which the Ambassador for the given RLUG/RLFM then will be asked to approve as a member of their community before the prize ships … “

Now that is a lot of text and has all the elements of a little project.

It has a clear end date: Once we pass Easter.
So post before Easter.
Easter this year is on Sunday 16th April. Continue reading “PS. Two little LEGO Projects”

Save The Date- the 2017 StuckInPlastic ToyPhotoMeetUp

Time is rushing by at the speed of light. A London Toy Safari is just around the corner, most people will already be looking forward to a well-deserved summer vacation and Christmas is displayed in most everyone´s calendars, too.

There´s only one event that is missing: the 2017 Stuck In Plastic Toy Photo Safari.

This year it will take place on the weekend of September 15th/16th/17th.

If so far you´ve only ever read about past toy safaris and thought “Well, next time…” then this is your chance. Reserve the date.

If you´ve already been either to the BalticToySafari or the Hamburg meet up (or both?) then you know what will be waiting for you.

Meeting old and new friends, all passionate about our favorite plastic toy and photography  of every level (from pinhole camera’s over mobile phones to DSLRs and beyond- the R in DSLR is getting old); the chance to exchange not only ideas, but share toys, tips and tricks and even gear- you name it; a casual atmosphere amongst like-minded people where no one is judged for taking photos of toys; and last not least the chance to create memories that may last a lifetime.

But before you start jumping around your house shouting “TOY PHOTO SAFARI, TOY PHOTO SAFARI!” and charging your camera batteries (better not forget to) there´s one more thing we´re asking you to.

Past discussions have narrowed this year´s possible destination to a top three and we want you to tell us your favorite:

The west coast of SwedenIreland or Scotland.

Please think about where (they all have a fair chance of rain) you´d want to get together with us in September and share your thoughts in the comments below or on any of the social channels we hang out .

All entries until next Sunday, 26th of March at noon, will be taken into account.

Looking forward to your replies!

The SiP Crew

On the subject of projects… and pandas

Why do we do projects?
Why do we start photographic projects?
Why do we launch ourselves in the daunting task of taking pictures on a regular basis or with particular constraints?

It’s intimidating, stressful and exhausting.
So why do we do it?

'Every project has challenges, and every project has its rewards.' - Stephen SchwartzClick To Tweet

When you tackle a project, you know that it will not be easy.
You will suffer but in the end, you will learn something from it.
Continue reading “On the subject of projects… and pandas”

Sticks and stones may break my bones (but rain will never harm me)

The other day I went for the most beautiful time of the year (that is beside Christmas and toy photo safaris):  holidays!

Preparations had been made:
a house had been rented on a small island;
tickets for the ferry had been booked;
the annual torture of picking a small selection of minifigures (who had been extra good all year in order to be traveling along) had been overcome.

When the time had come we hopped in our family car and went to our desired destination. Unlike the several holidays before this year I had made some plans on sticky notes for what plastic/where to shoot. I was familiar with the local conditions and knew exactly where I wanted my models to pose.
The camera gear had been packed.
Nothing could go wrong, right?

Well, almost… Continue reading “Sticks and stones may break my bones (but rain will never harm me)”


Twins (or look-a-likes) have something magical.

I grew up with Jansen and Janssen (Thomson and Thompson in English, Dupond et Dupont in French) in the TinTin adventures.
Of course, there are more.
From historical twins like Romulus and Remus, over the more fictional twins in literature (Wikipedia gives us a list of over 200 fictional twins) to the ever perpetually surprised explorers.

I like twins (or look-a-likes) as characters in my stories.
They have something magic I just cannot explain.
They are just that.
Magic. Continue reading “Twins”

Our friend Mr Gill

I don’t remember how I first got the rumor, sometime in early 2015, that Stockholm was getting a real LEGO store. I rejoiced at the prospect of a brand store experience instead of getting my sets off unloved mass market shelves in the back of Toy R Us:es or even more boring, online shops.
Then I saw an address and went there to find something I didn’t expect.
Someone was building a LEGO-only independent toy store!

David meets Mr Gill

Before I met Mr Gill, I met his sigfig

When Mr Gill opened his store on March 21, 2015, he brought something new to the LEGO scene in Stockholm. A place for fans to gather, a place where we could geek out together, and a place where anyone who’d say “it’s just a toy” got so much more than the bricks. Continue reading “Our friend Mr Gill”

How can I (be) inspire(d)?

I started taking pictures of toys because of others.

At first, I had seen the work of Chris McVeigh, AvanautSmokebelch and Brett Wilson among others and what they created inspired me.

I wanted to do like them, but not exactly like them.
I was inspired but I did not want to copy.

I believe that our imagination does not have any limits so why going the simplest path and just copy the work of others.
We are creative people, so let’s create.

'There are really three parts to the creative process. First there is inspiration, then there is the execution, and finally there is the release.' - Eddie Van HalenClick To Tweet

Let’s focus on the first part.
What are my inspirations?
How do I get my ideas?

What is my recipe for making pictures?
What are the ingredients that inspire me?

As I said in my last post, I can get photo ideas everywhere so I write them down not to forget them. My ideas arrive when I don’t expect them: at work during a boring meeting (the best time I get my mind to float away…), during my daily commutes, in my shower (I don’t have waterproof sticky notes, though), …  Continue reading “How can I (be) inspire(d)?”

The Sound of Wandering

I have three distinct main sources of inspiration and each relates in some way to toy photography. That makes it very convenient for our sticky note exercise.


I love traveling and until recently, most of my pictures were taken while traveling abroad. Even though I’ve always thought that the place I used to call home has a great photographic potential, I never really managed to find the inspiration I needed to take photos at home. But in addition to the need of a change of environment, there is simply the fact that I love the world. The Earth is a great place with such a variety of landscapes and people. Even if I can’t travel, the Internet is there to inspire me. It’s an open window on the world, with almost unlimited photos, videos, and text created by people. There is not a single day that goes by without stumbling on something truly inspiring, something that makes me think that I need to get out with my camera.

Wandering in the North


Although I don’t have a very broad cinematographic knowledge, it’s the only form of visual art that always had a great impact on me. There are a few movies that had such an impact on me when I was a kid: Star Wars, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, the Tim Burton movies from the late 80’s and early 90’s are the first to come to my mind. Continue reading “The Sound of Wandering”