I’m a Toy Photographer, Not An AFOL

Yesterdays post by Pinar, explaining what LEGO sets she likes and why, made me take stock of the sets I am attracted to and why. I will be frank, I am a toy photographer who specializes in LEGO, not an AFOL. I know, sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.

Pinar and I have similar tastes in the sets we like to purchase and play with but for different reasons. Her favorite sets revolve around the licensed sets for Pirates of the Caribbean, The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings and Star Wars because she enjoyed either the movies or video games that support them.  I like these sets because I can play with them in ways that go beyond the original source material.

It doesn’t take a big leap of imagination to turn the antics of Jack Sparrow into some serious pirate play. Star Wars can work both as a metaphor for life with the anonymous Stormtrooper or reflect a love of space and exploration.  I love the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit franchises not only because I love the books but because I am a big fan of fantasy and magic. I love to bring that sense of the improbable into my photography.

It was obvious The Lone Ranger franchise  would struggle, not only because  it is a mediocre movie, but who plays cowboys and Indians anymore? Talk about an outmoded stereotype. Luckily we where given the Tonto mini figure who remains one of my favorites to photograph. What a face!

With the imminent arrival of Scooby Doo I cant help but think of the far superior Monster Hunters theme. With the introduction of a Scooby Doo haunted mansion, we have an updated version of those classic monster hunters only now with Scooby and Shaggy doing the ghost hunting.  It will be interesting to see if this theme has legs beyond a few sets.

All this brings me to my favorite Lego line to photograph: Chima.  For me, as a photographer, I find their lack of pop culture baggage to be refreshing. The figures are some of the most intricate and beautiful LEGO has every created and they are a joy to photograph. I love the birds with their wings, the elephants, lions, crocodiles, spiders…the list goes on and on.  They are a photographers dream. I have watched a few episodes of the TV show that supports the theme so I have a general idea of the back story; butI find that it is just as easy to create my own.

I feel sure that LEGO knows what it is doing with all these different themes and licensed sets. No matter what your tastes or needs are, I know you will find something to satisfy you; whether it is a trip down memory lane or inspiration for a new photograph. It is this diversity that keeps LEGO strong across all age groups

~ xxsjc

What is your favorite theme to photograph? 

What is your favorite theme to collect?

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cindy dockter
8 years ago

I agree with you Shelly, CHIMA!!!! The most beautiful LEGO made.

SillyBrickPics™ (@SillyBrickPics)

Interesting Shelly! Personally, I suppose I would have to say that I’m a toy photographer AND an AFOL. That said, however, I can’t honestly say that I would be purchasing nearly as much of the, as best said by Will Ferrell in the LEGO Movie, “highly sophisticated interlocking brick system” products as I currently do. I guess I am a toy photographer first, with strong AFOL tendencies. I won’t lie here, when I see the postal carrier coming up the walkway with a box in hand, that I know is the most recent LEGO purchase I have made, there is… Read more »

Cole Burden
Cole Burden
8 years ago

As a television geek, and especially UK television, I am over the moon about the up and coming Doctor Who set(s). I have a funny feeling that, when the DW Lego sets appear, they are going to be a dominant feature of my photography. The current (official) Doctor Who figures available, which I have used a few times, are okay but not true Lego and the available Doctor customs, as good as they are, are a tad expensive! However, there are a few other classic UK TV series that could lend themselves to Lego sets, but it’s highly unlikely as… Read more »

Cole Burden
Cole Burden
8 years ago
Reply to  Cole Burden

PS: As far as the AFOL aspect, I wouldn’t consider myself as such. I would collect Lego if it were the right theme, as above, but I don’t buy Lego for it’s own sake. It has to be relevant to a photograph’s subject or simply to convey a joke.

8 years ago
Reply to  Cole Burden

I think Top Gear could be a perfect candidate to expand the Lego City with. The crazy adventures of Jeremy, James and Richard !

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