Last weekend I had the good fortune to participate in the Stuck In Plastic Spring Toy Photography Workshop.
They usually host real live toy photography safaris, but because of the pandemic, this isn’t possible. And this virtual meet-up was definitely not lacking in fun.
An early start or a late evening
For everyone else in Europe, it started easy and early at 6pm on Friday.
We had a meet and greet and we FINALLY got to open the mystery envelopes that were sent to us a few weeks prior. Included in the envelope was a unique 3D-printed character that we had to paint or decorate before the start of the actual workshop.
We stayed online painting and chatting until 4 am (9pm CET). And we also got homework. Make one Lego selfie, one non-Lego selfie, and a head-shot of your 3D-printed character. Diligent student as I am, I went straight back to bed after adding the final touches to my character.
A quick nap
After a short four-hour “nap”, I went out on Saturday morning to do my homework.
I took my 3D-printed character to my favourite patch of moss at Uam Park. After that, I headed to the big new stationery store downtown to get some supplies for indoor photo shoots (rain was forecast for the day and I wanted to have a backup).
Also picked up some sparklers because my fantasy character is holding a bomb…
Arrived home at noon to complete my homework due at 1pm.
I was THAT student who submits their homework minutes before the deadline (I might have more sympathy for my students after this ).
The actual work started at 3:30pm.
We completed four tasks in 6 hours.
The Big Adventure
My favourite was the Big Adventure where we had to work together to come up with a story, find a way to link everybody’s images, take the photo, edit, and post to the blog all in 90 minutes.
Time literally disappeared.
It was stressful and fun at the same time.
Did anyone say Playmobil?
The other standout was the Play Mo Grid task where we had to communicate with people around us on the grid to have objects connect from image to image.
It was definitely a challenge.
To me, it was a good analogy for life in general – few of us know exactly what’s going on, we need guidance from people with more experience, and in the end, it miraculously turns out fine.
I ran out of steam towards the end – made evident by my final image.
Note to self: get more sleep ahead of the next workshop.
At times it felt like being back at university, working in studio with everyone else, rushing to get something done for a deadline. I missed that and it is one of the things I’ve been craving for a while now. Now, I do really liked being under pressure and pushing myself to “just get it done”.
And I definitely learned a lot about the process of photographic storytelling but also about myself and my own limits (especially without a full night’s rest).
A special shoutout to Boris for being a fantastic host and being very accommodating towards everyone. Thanks also to Stefan and Natasja for the warm and welcoming energy you brought to the whole experience. Also, to Maëlick for his translating services and the constant parade of toys in front of his webcam.
Highly recommend it.
Would definitely do this again.
If you’d like to participate, keep an eye on the stuckinplastic.com website for information about forthcoming workshops. The rumour goes there is a summer subscription one coming up soon.
Art Curator of the SiP goes Korea exhibition. Architect from South Africa teaching English in South Korea. Pursuing all kinds of other creative endeavors.