SiP Card Exchange 2020

Christmas card exchange 2020

Summer is definitively gone and autumn has brought some rain and cold weather, even in the south of France. At this time of the year, I’m looking forward to Christmas (baking some Christmas cookies, reading my postcards, next to the open fire with a hot chocolate, etc).

Sadly, Christmas is in three months. It’s a long time from now, but not so much if I’m thinking of preparing my postcard for this year SiP Card Exchange.

Because we will do a card exchange this year, of course, we do!
When Boris asked innocently last week “do we do the card exchange this year?”, we ALL nodded with enthusiasm! After two years of participating in it, it’s for me a new tradition to add to my perfect Christmas.

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SiPGoesVirtual 2020 – An Editorial Review

We were supposed to be in Tallinn. But this is 2020, and things just haven’t gone according to plan for anyone. And so a new plan was formulated. We were going online. 15 intrepid photographers forging on this strange world.

ShtacyP has participated in seven SiP Toy Safaris: Hamburg, London, Edinburgh, Paris, Billund, Cambridge, and now Digital!

The similarities between a physical and virtual safari

It was always going to be different from our regular toy safaris. No holding of reflectors or lights for other people. No print exchange. And no walking kilometre after kilometre to get to that next spot just 10 minutes away. But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t similarities.

We still had (relatively) early morning coffee-fuelled starts (just no scrabbling to find the nearest open Starbucks). We still had safari bingo cards (#WhereIsBoris). And we still got to hang out with old friends and connect with new ones. And amazingly, we were still able to share toys with each other.

The #RainbowPatrol, passing on their favourite things to friends across 3 different time zones.

The differences between a physical and virtual safari

For this online adventure to work we needed structure. In real life safaris, we will plan to go to different locations, but largely we’ll meander across town playing it by ear, and the photos we take will just kind of, happen. This time though we had been set a series of wonderful challenges by our fearless leaders.

We had photo prompts, narratives to create, and we worked all together, in breakout groups, and individually. Shooting against the clock, so that the newspapers (Planet and Prophet) could hit their print deadlines! To make our deliverables it meant thinking fast, communicating effectively, collaborating (all those good corporate words, right Ian?) It was at times a little frantic, sometimes stressful, but hey, we were playing with our toys, how stressed out could we really get?!

ShtacyP, known for her ability to spin a yarn and tell a story about the most inanimate of rocks, became Editor-in-Chief, wrangling the outputs of her wonderful team of photographers and reporters into coherent (if laughable) stories, worthy of being printed in one of the many publications ran by Green Lantern.

Taking photos

One of my favourite things about safaris is watching how people create their photos, and then seeing them post the photos weeks later and understanding the story of how that photo came to be, where the light was coming from, why the photographer was in that weird position on the floor.

But this time around, the structure meant that photos were produced, edited, and shared almost instantaneously. We could see each other’s photos as quickly as they could be uploaded onto Google Drive (not that any of us snooped in the other teams’ folders of course…).

This process wasn’t any worse, just different. It still worked as a learning experience. Webcams were often left on whilst artists snapped away just out of shot. Tricks and tips were still shared. As were screens: “Do you like this edit better, or this one?” Every day is a school day.

The goody bag

In preparation for the weekend’s activities we all (well, depending on your country’s postal service) received very special packages in the days before the safari. Cruelly though we had to wait to open them. Those packages sat in our offices, on our desks, hidden away in cupboards, just asking to be played with.

Temptations were successfully resisted and as soon as we were allowed to rip them open and reveal the secret contents of the bags, we were off into the first of our challenges! The goodies found inside gave us some common threads that would help us tell our stories. Plus, we had been given hints about what sorts of pieces would be appropriate to pack for the safari, things that would help draw our creative outputs together.

Assessment

By the time Sunday afternoon came around, we had completed all our challenges. We had written our stories, the personal ones, and the collective ones. We had created incredible things, photos, and memories. Things that will be immortalised in hardback, should we want a memento of this one-off event. Friendships begun and firmly cemented, we logged off of the meeting, so that we could rest in preparation for our next viral marketing campaign.

Taking it easy like a Sunday afternoon after a toy safari.

As far as I am concerned the #SiPGoesVirtual2020 weekend was a resounding success. Whilst we couldn’t explore the cobbled streets in the medieval Old Town of Tallinn I think we achieved all the things I’ve come to expect as a toy safari veteran. We took photos of toys, we hung out with friends, and we had fun. Isn’t that what it’s all about?!

The SiPgoesVirtual special edition of the Daily Prophet

Remember yesterday, in our special edition of the Daily Planet, we ended up on a cliffhanger with the Yellow Lantern leaving the journal for its parallel universe competitor, the Daily Prophet. Well wewe just happen to have a special edition of the Daily Prophet for today…

The Daily Prophet is getting live reports of an ongoing situation at Azkaban Prison. The known Death Eater and #1 Female Tyrant, Bellatrix Lestrange has staged a breakout. Or has she? We understand that the person believed to be Bellatrix, who has been in lockdown in Azkaban for 7 months now, is in fact, star Hogwarts pupil, Hermione Granger. She has been protesting her innocence ever since and was able to get messages out to the wizarding world via the window in her cell.

Thanks to our special reporter (and editor in chief) @shtacyp

Initially, when people believed the prisoner to be Bellatrix, the suspected mastermind behind the escape was the powerful evil wizard Lord Voldemort. We have since confirmed that Voldemort was spending an easy Sunday morning in his pyjamas, reading his favourite newspaper.

Thanks to our special reporter @ballou34

Our sources claim that Hermione Granger was accidentally under the influence of polyjuice potion. She made the potion herself, a simple task for such an accomplished wizard, but the potion was intended for someone else.

Thanks to our special reporter @bevvypix

In an incident in the Gryffindor common room, Neville Longbottom clumsily tripped over, splashing polyjuice potion in Hermione’s face.

Thanks to our special reporter@sophiefigs

The whole operation almost came to a standstill however, key character Moaning Myrtle got stuck in the toilet! Attempting to pass on a message to Harry Potter (who she is also in love with), Myrtle got stuck in the pipes.

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The SiPgoesVirtual special edition of the Daily Planet

The Green Lantern has taken over as the Chief Editor of the Daily Planet this week. Having had successful spells at LEGO News, Brain Times, and the Gotham Gazette, he hopes he can bring some of his signature wit to his new newspaper.

Thanks to our special reporter (and editor in chief) @shtacyp

And there is more trouble ahead in the DC Universe. Mister Miracle wants to move to Fabuland City. But before he’s allowed in, he has to prove his incredible escapologist powers to the Major and Sheriff of the city. Will he make it and become the next citizen?

Thanks to our special reporter@_me2_

Other than Mister Miracle, Star Girl is already living in Fabuland City. Upon her arrival, she picked up the duty of lighting the stars above the city every night. So far the citizens are impressed and in love with her skills.

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SiP Goes On Safari 2020- Online Edition

The Story So Far

After yet another unforgettable toy photo safari in Denmark last year, happy expectations and joyful anticipations from both old and new friends had been expressed. Yours truly crew got together and figured out possible travel destinations for the 2020 meet-up. After passionate discussions, we agreed on the city of Tallinn in Estonia as our base camp. The rest is history.

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Next stop, Tallinn!

Tallinn SiPgoesTallinn 2020

While kicking off SiPgoesTT, we’ve also been looking to find where (and when) to go for our next toy safari. After debating and disagreeing about locations, we finally decided on Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. It is not too big, reachable from all around Europe, and after Denmark will certainly feel slightly more affordable.

After two toy safaris at the beginning of the summer, we’ve decided to go back to late summer/early Autumn and meet up on the first weekend of September. Just like the two previous years, we will keep our tradition of (officially) starting on Thursday evening and finishing on Sunday before lunch.

Tallinn SiPgoesTallinn 2020
Edgar has worked hard and studied maps for finding the best location for this year’s safari.

So if you want to spend an epic weekend with us and toy photographers from all around Europe (and who knows, maybe from outside Europe, too?), be sure to mark the dates in your calendar: September 3rd to 6th (2020).

While more details will follow later this year, we have already opened a Facebook group (and a forum here on the blog) for starting the planning and organization of this epic weekend. Whether you are sure to come, or just considering it, don’t be shy, join and be sure to ask any question. Either here in the comment section, on the forum or on Facebook.

Woody and his friends can’t wait to cross the Gulf of Finland. Will you join them?

SiP goes Cape Town

No, Cape Town isn’t the destination of our next toy safari.
It’s the sequel to SiP goes Korea.

More than a year ago, we exhibited our photography in an art gallery in Daejon, South Korea, after Suné sent us a most mysterious email. This time, she asked us to hold a pop-up exhibition in a café, in the city center of her hometown of Cape Town.

And of course, we said yes.
So here we go again.

Two dozens prints from a total of 8 toy photographers will be on display at Crust from February 6th to February 18th and tell some of our stories of 2019.

Two dozen prints carefully selected.
Each image telling its own unique story.
Printed with love on fine art paper.
Wrapped and packed, ready to go to Cape Town.

Boris will fly there (together with the prints).
And just like last year, some of us will join for the grand opening using the magic of the Internet.
And you are invited.
Online or in-person at the grand opening in Cape Town on the 6th of February at 18:00. The opening is part of Cape Town’s famous First Thursdays series and so there will be plenty to see, including toy photography this time.

Right now the crew is selecting their twenty-four images and making sure no dust is to be seen…

PS. Here is the FB event. Feel free to join or forward to people you known in Cape Town.
PPS. And if you are a toy photographer (or always wanted to be one) and are living in Cape Town, let us know and we love to meet up before, during or after the show.

SiP Card Exchange 2019

Summer is reaching an end in the Northern Hemisphere. Here in the North, temperatures are dropping and the days are getting shorter fast. Last week, the first snow fell in Northern Lapland, and with a bit of luck, the first snowfall could happen in less than a month here in Oulu…

I’m thrilled and excited at the idea of winter coming. It’s for me the start of the toy photography season. I recently ordered a pair of photography gloves for winter and now I’m left waiting for winter to come so I can try them.

I’m also excited about winter because it’s going to be time for our now traditional card exchange. It’s a precious experience to spend time making a photo, printing it and sending it. And then receiving cards from all around the world.

So to occupy myself while waiting for the snow, I decided to already start with the preparation for this year’s card exchange. While there is still plenty of time, I decided to make this post so those who are as excited as I am can already register and start thinking about the photo for their card.

Gingermamma and Gingerpappa are waiting for this year’s card exchange while enjoying a subset of the cards we received last year from Natasja, Stacy, Caro and Mathieu, Elena, Bennett, and Sacha.
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Run Forest, Run.

A few months ago I joined my first ever photo marathon in Stockholm. Not sure what to expect, I started to prepare. And I went a little bit overboard. And here we are. Less as 24 hours before the real deal here in Stockholm starts again, and yours truly got a starting number and is (not) ready to do it again.
No preparation at all.
Not well rested either.
And yet very much excited.

My start number from the previous one. Together with my little other half. Too well prepared.

First things first. What is a photo marathon?

But first, let’s take a step back and look what a photo marathon really is.

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SiPGoesDenmark2019 – my best bits

June 2019 saw the fifth Stuck In Plastic toy safari taking place in Denmark. This time the event was extra special, as it took place at the Home of the Brick in Billund. Now, four long days and three very short nights would be too much to recount here, so instead, here are my ten favourite take aways: 

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