The Elves are going 53

At the end of 2018, while I was about to complete #SiPgoes52, I was already looking to what was coming next. As soon as we started to discuss #SiPgoes53, I was excited. But at the same time, after putting so much effort in #SiPgoes52 during 2018, I didn’t know whether I could do it again for a whole year.

Like last year, I wouldn’t be home during the holiday season, and defining a project revolving around a rather specific idea (like Julien did) wasn’t really an option as I wouldn’t have time, energy, motivation and/or inspiration for taking new photos.

That said, I didn’t stay totally inactive while spending the holidays “in the South”…

Moving forward and constraints

Moreover, I wasn’t sure what would be my goals, from a photographic point of view, for 2019. What should be the focus of my efforts so I can move my photography forward?

One option would be a project. Something more personal than #SiPgoes52 (or 53). Something with more constraints that would force me to be more creative.

One of the things I wanted to improve is my Minidoll photography. I took my first photo of a Minidoll in Edinburgh. Then throughout 2018, I started photographing (and collecting) Minidolls. But they are hard to photograph. They’re very limited when it comes to posing them realistically. So far my Minidoll photography has been mostly about taking nice outdoor portraits. But how to go beyond?

For Tolkien, I reused one of those nice portraits I had taken last year.

The idea of relying solely on Minidolls for #SiPgoes53 came early… But at the same time, I already had photo ideas that require regular Minifigures for a few of our human beings…

Kicking off #SiPgoes53

#SiPgoes53 started easily with Tolkien. All I had to do was post one of my many LEGO Elves pictures and I was safe.

But then as the first week was ending, I came back to Northern Finland. And it meant I had to take a photo about Cleopatra. Needless to say Northern Finland in January looks nothing like a place where you would see Cleopatra.

On Monday morning, I had planned to go out for both sunrise and sunset because of good weather forecast. It was the only photography opportunity of the week because the forecast didn’t look good for the next days. I had to take my Cleopatra photo on that day… But one hour before sunrise, I still had no idea what to do.

It felt like our new project was already over for me. If I’m stuck with Cleopatra, how can I take a photo for people I’ve never heard about before?

LEGO Elves and #SiPgoes53

So Monday morning before sunrise, I was still looking for an idea. I thought about relying on LEGO Elves again. Then I read Wikipedia (again) but couldn’t find elements of Cleopatra’s life inspiring me in any way. I looked at photos depicting Cleopatra, historically accurate or not. And then I thought… Why not try to disguise a Minidoll as Cleopatra?

I gathered all my LEGO accessories related to Ancient Egypt and my Elves Minidolls. After a couple of minutes playing with them, switching accessories, I had already half a dozen ideas. More than enough (maybe even too much?) for a single picture.

The photo session was a success. Not only I had photos for week 2, but I had so much fun taking those photos that I knew I had to do more in the future.

My personal project for 2019

So it’s decided! In 2019, I will explore Minidoll photography. And #SiPgoes53 will be my framework for doing it.

I have no idea if it will be a success, but my constraint for #SiPgoes53 is to only use Elves and/or Minidolls. Although I will allow other Elven creatures (such as Dragons), I will try to focus mostly on Minidolls. (It’s still undecided though whether I will only use Minidolls from Elves or whether Friends and co will also be allowed.)

Minidolls are limited. Limited in posability, but also their number and variety. They’ve mostly existed since 2012 across a few themes and I find that male Minidolls are often too generic and boring. But this lack of variety is a good way of pushing me to be more creative through mix and match of LEGO accessories.

Will this be a success? I don’t know and still feel this project won’t be as successful as #SiPgoes52. Although I have now ideas for many of the names on the #SiPgoes53 list, there are still many names that don’t inspire me at all. So far I’ve got a photo ready for Week 3, an idea for Week 4 that I will shoot once my latest LEGO order arrives… and then nothing for Week 5, not even a tiny idea.

But maybe like last year, I will surprise myself… Or maybe not.

Do you also have a personal project to constrain you and push forward your creativity? If you do, I’d love to hear about it!

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5 years ago

It’s nice to read how projects and ideas are coming in different ways for everybody. I’m sure you will make a succeed of this new project. On my side I wanted to do something like Julien with only one set and put related stuff for every human being. But it means a lot of preparation each week and I don’t have a lot of already made accessories. I also remember my failure of SiPgoes52 and I have a tendency to imagine complicate project that I never do. So I look for something more simple and my second idea, that came… Read more »

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