Although I would call myself a toy photographer, most of my shots are of LEGO. I’ve had affairs with other toy brands from Galaxy Squad Star Wars figures to Playmobil to plastic dinosaurs, but I always end up back at LEGO.

I think the reason is quite simple: the freedom of expression that LEGO provides. I rarely photograph a stock LEGO set, it’s always a minfig pulled from one set or a scene thrown together from my collection of bricks. There aren’t many other toys that allow that flexibility.

If someone told you they were going to show you a photo of a toy dinosaur, or one of the Transformers toys, you’d probably have an idea of what it was going to look like, roughly. How about the same with a LEGO photo? It could be anything! A house they built, a stock set, maybe a castle, spacecraft, Star Wars vignette, super hero or an infinity of other options. You can make a complete, interesting photo completely in LEGO that’s nothing like anything anyone has ever made before (that’s not to say people always do, but there’s the possibility!).

That’s what you get for being a construction toy of course, infinite possibilities are a selling point. Are there any other construction brands that offer the same scope as LEGO though? As far as I know there’s nothing that comes close to the variety of the LEGO themes.

There is a downside to having infinite possibilities: there’s no need to branch out and try other things, you can stay in your comfortable world forever. I’ve often thought that I should be experimenting with other areas of photography, not getting too dependant on LEGO or toys, but then I do this for my own enjoyment. I’d rather be good at my little niche of photography than be average at a bunch of others. I can take a passable landscape or portrait shot, but the process doesn’t get me excited. Photographing LEGO though? When I have an idea for something it’s all I can think about. :)


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7 years ago

Mike, I fully agree with you that the “endless” possibilities LEGO offers us as part of being a construction toy add to the magic LEGO has to offer. There is one additional magic that LEGO seems to offer and that is that it brings a kind of universal language and emotion to the table of our photography that seem to connect the audience with the story teller. If we would use clay as our construction toy (did anyone say Playskool) we would not have that universal language that LEGO seems to be giving us and only a few would be… Read more »

7 years ago

I’m totally in the same boat as you, Mike. I’ve tried my hand at other forms of photography, but never really found my stride or hit that “a ha!” moment until I started photographing LEGO. There’s just something so versatile and imaginative about LEGO, yet immediately recognizable at the same time. That’s part of what makes it so fun, I think.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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