Have you ever wondered how to integrate LEGO photography into your local con? I know I have! I love championing LEGO photography. I think it’s a great hobby, a wonderful creative outlet and a great way to be involved in the wonderful world of LEGO, especially if you’re not a master builder. So when I come across a great idea that helps to spread the word about our fun hobby, I want to know more and share it with you!
On March 25-26 2016, Brick-A-Laide, a LEGO Fan Event, took over the Adelaide Convention Centre in Adelaide, Australia. A few friends I know through our wide spread LEGO photography community created a LEGO display and introduced attendees to the wonderful world of toy photography and I want to share their story with you. I asked Narelle (rellie16) and 42 (xlii) the masterminds behind this wonderful exhibition and few questions about the event and what led them to this new way to interact with potential fans.
What is your connection to LEGO and the Mini figure?
What inspired you to create the hands on workshop at Brickalaide?
What was your goal in creating the hands on display and photography workshops?
Did many people participate in your activity?
Tons! Many more than we had expected!
What kind of people were attracted to your photography display? Kids, adults, men, women, any teens?
Everyone, people of all ages & genders. There wasn’t one specific demographic that stood out as being more prevalent than the others.
Did you find you were introducing new people to the craft, or were you talking to a lot of familiar faces?
The number of new people greatly outweighed the number of familiar faces. Also, the amount of people who hadn’t thought about taking photos of LEGO as a creative outlet was considerable. Parents were also happy that it was something that the kids could do out in their own backyard for very little money.
What kind of information did you want to share with people? What skills were you hoping to teach?
We wanted to share the idea that you don’t need to spend lots of money to enjoy LEGO; you don’t NEED to be a builder. Our main idea was that people can just use their phone to take a photo, you don’t need a DSLR or other fancy camera to take a good photo. 42 had some pictures canvas printed on the wall behind the displays and explained that they were all taken on an iPhone. The amount of people who were surprised that an iPhone could take such a good photo was amazing. We were showing people how to position the phone / adjust lighting / focus on objects to get the shot they wanted. We had little boxes set up in front of the displays to demonstrate to people “this is where you need to sit your phone to get a good shot” and encouraged people to move the characters in the scenes, or to substitute a character out and put their own sig fig in the scene. We wanted them to personalize the scene and make the shot their own.
What questions did people have for you?
How did the public perceive you and this activity? Were they supportive, enthusiastic or skeptical?
On the whole, people were supportive & enthusiastic. Because part of the exhibit was to put your own sig fig in the scene, a lot of people went to the stores to build their own fig, then they came back to take their photos. Others commented how if they’d known we were going to be there they would have brought their sig fig along. We catered to all and we had some “special guests” that they could put into the scenes to make it more personal and interactive.
I know you created a hashtag for people to post their photos to on social media. Have you followed up to see if anyone did that? If so, how was the response?
Yes we did have hashtags that were associated with the event, although we probably had too many. We had two for the whole event: #brickalaide2016 & #minifigsatbrickalaide2016 which were somewhat successful. We have also found photos under just #brickalaide & #minifigsatbrickalaide. We also had three hashtags which related to the specific scene ( #legomoseisleycantina #legorockband #geocachingwithlego ). This was less successful. Next time we would consider using only one hashtag with fewer characters in it.
What was the best and worst part of this experience?
On the whole this was a good experience though we were run off our feet on both days. After the incident late on the first day with the minifig that went walkies, we changed a few things for the second day. For example only one person at a time per display and more sets of eyes to help as each new wave of people came through.
We were positioned in the rear/middle of the exhibition hall with the masterclasses for LEGO Photography (@HelloBenTeoh), LEGO Comics (@LLworld) & LEGO Stop-motion videos (@CheepJokes) being held in a small theatre right behind our display. On the other side of the theatre area were the Traders, Cafe & free build areas. It worked well that we were not mixed in with all the other displays & had our own area.
Would you do this again?
Yes, definitely, provided we get a lunch break hehe. :)
Can you sum up in one or two sentences your biggest take away for this event?
It was great to see people of all ages & walks of life having fun at our display. The smiles on their faces when they took their photo made the long days at the event & the work put in beforehand all worthwhile.
I want to thank Narelle and 42 for taking the time to talk about their amazing event. I also want to thank Ben Teoh, CheepJokes and LLWorld for helping to spread the word about LEGO photography. Now that I have the blue print on how to integrate toy photography into a brick convention, it’s only a matter of time before I can do the same here in my home town.
If you have any further questions for Narelle and 42, please leave them in the comments.
If you’ve integrated LEGO photography into your local brick convention, I would love to hear what you did and how it went, please share your story.
If you would like support creating a similar event at your own LEGO convention or Lego Fan Fair, let us know, we would be happy to help.