Earlier this week I was browsing the #stuckinplastic IG feed when my flicking finger stopped on a refreshing bee image that instantly connected with me. I don’t know what it was that made me stop. Was it just the physical combination of blue and orange that triggered an emotional reaction in my limbic system ? Was it the simplicity of the image with the blue sky, the sea and the photographic skills of the artist. Or was it a deep connection with childhood memories of yet another bee called Maya that made me stop. I don’t know. And most probably it was a little bit of all, and here I was. Looking at a gorgeous image that connected with me and managed to grab my flicking finger to stop and let me read the caption: “It’s “March of the Lego Bumblebee” here on IG. Here’s the buzz: snap a picture using your bumblebee figure (or a bee MOC if you don’t have the figure) coupled with any word or phrase that has the term “bee” in it, and tag it #legojustbee.”
The tag got my curiosity taking the bee-st of me, and before I knew it, I was bee-deep in the bee-feed of @MissMindyLou full of bee-zines, and I knew I wanted to share the fun with all of you. I bee-messaged @MissMindyLou and asked her why she decided to create the bee-buzz-iness in the first place …
Me2: What was the inspiration behind my #legojustbee tag?
Mindy: To be quite honest, #legojustbee came about somewhat organically. As a new toy photographer myself, I have always enjoyed a theme to focus on. I’d certainly considered starting my own tag before, but I also knew I didn’t want to force it. I’d done a themed photo series in the past, but it was not anything others had joined in on. Yet I’d hoped to do something to bring people together at some point, but wasn’t sure what it would be or what it looked like yet.
Then I took a picture of Bumblebee Girl. I had her sort of hiding behind some new spring flowers and captioned the photo “Bee Sneaky“. With that picture, an idea was born. I instantly fell in love with the idea of a “just bee” and from there #legojustbee was meant to bee.
Me2: Did you anticipate the engagement ?
Mindy: Initially, it was something I was just going to explore on my own, but as the ideas flooded in, I knew it could also be an idea worth sharing and so I opened it up to my followers and the community at large and asked then to engage. As more bees began to get involved, I was amazed to see how many clever and fun variations of “just bee-ing” that others came up with. There were so many ideas I had not even thought of just waiting to be developed and photographed.
Beyond all of that, people seem to really adore the Bumblebee Girl figure, and that made exploring the theme both accessible and fun.
The positive feedback and enthusiasm that I have received and experienced in relation to the #legojustbee tag has been both gratifying and thrilling to me. I really enjoy feeling the connection with other toy photographers that a shared theme can bring.
Truthfully, I could not be happier that others have enjoyed #legojustbee alongside me. Toy photography has been a wonderful journey for me thus far and I truly look forward to what the future brings.
Me2: So what brought you into LEGO Toy Photography ?
Mindy: You know, it’s funny. I hadn’t played with Lego in years and have never thought of myself as much of a photographer. However, when my five year old son became obsessed with LEGO after receiving an advent calendar for Christmas 2014, my love for LEGO was also rekindled. I would watch him build and create wonderfully clever little scenes or characters and was so proud of what he’d done that I wanted to share it with family and friends. In order to do so, I began taking pictures and recording both his creations and his comments about what he’d built and posting them on my much neglected IG account.
It did not take long before I realized there was an extensive toy photography community on Instagram (IG) that was made up of people all over the world doing the very same thing I was doing (albeit with much more skill and finesse), and that motivated me to begin developing my photography skills a bit more. At the same time, I was rediscovering my own love for LEGO and by the summer of 2015, I had started collecting Lego and building my own creations and scenes to photograph. Thus began my journey with toy photography.
Over the course of a very short period of time, toy photography has developed into a true personal hobby that I enjoy very much. As a busy mother of two young boys, it is a hobby I can nurture alongside my kids, who play with LEGO on a daily basis, or on my own as a way to recharge my batteries. In 2007 I traumatically lost triplets late into pregnancy and in the summer of 2015, I lost my father. The repercussions of the trauma I suffered and the arrival of my sons made it difficult for me to nurture the existing hobbies I had, so I lost myself a bit in the process. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by the way toy photography has given me a place to both focus my energy and heal both my heart and soul. Sometimes, I grab my little travel box of Lego and head out to the park with my kids to take pictures while they play. Other times, I stay up after they are in bed and take pictures late into the evening. My photography skills are a work in progress, but I feel good about how far I’ve come and am both excited and extremely lucky to be part of the amazing toy photography community on IG.
Me2: Thank You, Mindy for sharing your story with us on #legojustbee
And you can still participate in this fantastic bee-fun by tagging your bee images to #legojustbee until the end of March !
Happy Bee-ster !
[instagram-feed type=hashtag showcaption=false hashtag=”#legojustbee”]
PS. Keep on tagging your beautiful images to #stuckinplastic
I noticed that so many people joined this challenge, and the results are amazing.
I love this post! Thank you Boris for featuring such a charming challenge! And a big thank you to Mindy for sharing her story. I was touched by this line: “However, I have been pleasantly surprised by the way toy photography has given me a place to both focus my energy and heal both my heart and soul.” I think art and creativity can be a powerful healing tools. I have seen it in action many times. It was nice to see it play out here in such a fun and creative way. Huzzah!