Meet Thomas

Another week, another Friday, another Feature Friday #SiPgoes52 interview around a virtual cup of coffee. Today it’s Thomas Thoresen from Denmark joining us.

Meet Thomas

My name is Thomas, and I am proud to be as old as the minifigure! Being the father of three wonderful kids, I am rarely wondering what to do with my time. I am a teacher of children between the ages of 6 and 12. My job is very fulfilling but also demanding, and when I come home, I like to do something completely different.

I do enjoy spending time alone without too much digital pollution, and after having avoided social media for several years, I eventually joined Instagram in late 2016. I wanted to begin taking photos because I enjoy beauty, solitude, and silence. At that point, I had not considered taking photos of toys.

Thomas and toy photography

I came across the toy photography communities, and a whole new world opened up for me. I’ve loved Lego for as long as I can remember, so that was what I started photographing.

Fun

I started taking pictures of toys in November 2016. To begin with, I focused mostly on the narrative, and not so much on aesthetics. But soon I wanted more. I wanted to be able to shoot quality photos and find my own photographic style. I used my mobile phone, but I picked up a camera in January of this year. I wanted an interchangeable lens camera and chose the Olympus Pen-F with a 45 mm F1.8 lens. I enjoy being able to manually focus and control the depth of field. I am currently considering which lens to get next.

Photography has always fascinated me. I have been collecting old photographs for many years. I love the miniature world of toys. I have a few favourite locations, but I never stop scouting for small worlds for my minifigs. I can’t spend time in Nature without automatically looking for suitable spots for a minifigure setup. Toy photography is also a fun way to spend time with my kids.

Creativity

SiPgoes52

When the SiP goes 52 challenge started, I was experiencing a creative drought. The challenge instantly boosted my inspiration. Regretfully, I often have to leave my camera on the shelf, since I have so many other things on my hands.

I like the word nostalgia, and the photo for that word is one of my favourites. That is perhaps because it contains one of my favourite sets from my childhood – the Holiday Home from 1983. And the blue spaceman, of course. The picture was the first in a narrative series of three. (See recognition and community) I am also very pleased with the photos for fun and spirituality.

Nostalgia

I am looking forward to the word family. I have several ideas in my mind for that word. To me, family is first of all my three children and my immediate family. However, I also consider visualising one of my ancestors or the generations to come.

I plan to complete the challenge, knowing very well that I will not be able to take a picture for every word. I intend to catch up on some of the words that I missed.

I learn so much every week by seeing what other people post, and I love seeing BTS. With this challenge, I am forced to work in a way that I normally don’t do. As a consequence, I learn a lot about myself and my style.

Definitely! The challenge is so much fun, you are pushed out of your comfort zone, and it is very interesting to see what the other talented photographers come up with.

Spirituality

The question we didn’t ask

When we asked Thomas what is the magic question we might have missed, he told us:

You should have asked me what is my favourite picture taken by another photographer in this challenge! My answer would be “That feeling when you build an old set…” by Konstantin Schmidt for the word joy. It is a gem of a picture!

We’d like to thank Thomas for his time! Be sure to follow his future work on Instagram at @thomas_thoresen_!

Stuck In Plastic.

The creative collective of toy photographers.

My First Toy Safari

I finally did it.

Well, I’ve done it, I’ve finally met a fellow toy photographer!

I’ve wanted to do it for years. I’ve watched from afar, read articles on blogs about Toy Safaris in far-away lands and even posted the odd comment on Instagram and Facebook posts.

The thing is, toy photography has always been a very personal and private thing for me. Yes, I’ve chatted online and even sold some of my work, my friends also know about my toy obsession, but the actual creative process was something I’d always done alone.  Continue reading “My First Toy Safari”

So, why am I going on toy safari in Edinburgh?

First, a little background

My name is Matt, also know as Hellbelly on pretty much every platform, I’ve been taking photographs for about 15 years, and taking toy photos for around 11, although over the last couple of years I’ve been suffering a bit of a creative slump, and have had limited time and inclination to take photos.
This is one of the reasons I’m going to Edinburgh. Continue reading “So, why am I going on toy safari in Edinburgh?”

Stuck In Plastic.

The creative collective of toy photographers.

Toy Safari checklist

Let’s go to bingo!

Hmm.
Hang on.
That’s not quite right.
Let’s go to Scotland!

Is that better?
Everyone on board?

SiP goes Scotland

That’s right, it’s almost time for the Toy Safari to commence!
Better get my ‘To do’ list sorted before the weekend creeps up on me unprepared!

My main job: provider of bingo cards (and pens, if I can track some down)! Continue reading “Toy Safari checklist”

2,786 m under the sea

When Boris asked us to write, this month, an article about numbers, I was a bit puzzled.

'You don't have to be a mathematician to have a feel for numbers.' - John Forbes Nash Jr.Click To Tweet

There are so many numbers I could talk about, like the 3,098 Lego minifigures that I own (according to Brickset), the four spacemen that I use in my exploration series, the number 42 because of “H2G2” (of course), my #100_Shadows series or even the number 142,857 a number that fascinates me because of its mathematical properties. But none of those numbers are special or personal enough.

So, I decided to tell you a little story about me and my number (2,786).

“Numbers have life: they are not just symbols on paper.” - Shakuntala DeviClick To Tweet

A year ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time at sea on a vessel. Not the small boats that are used for leisure, neither the big cruise ship. It was a work vessel and I was onboard for work. That was a very unique experience that I really enjoyed. Continue reading “2,786 m under the sea”

Aeronautics engineer by day, toy photographer by night.
Exploring the world with his plastic figures.

Marcel, a Parisian in Paris

Marcel is a Parisian.

He is a lover of good food, good wine and good art. He is a connoisseur of some sort. And, being 4 brick tall, he likes to wander around his own city: Paris, the city of lights.

Always carrying a baguette, he walks around with his small dog, a French Bulldog (of course). He wears a marinière (a striped shirt), a beret on his head, and a small red scarf around his neck.

Marcel, a Parisian in Paris

Marcel likes his city. He often starts his day at a café. His favourite one is “Le café des 2 moulins”. That’s where the movie Amélie (or Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, in French) was shot. A charming place. 

‘Can I get a coffee with my croissant?’ / ‘Are you sure you don’t want some grape juice?’

After a coffee and a croissant, he stopped by a “boulangerie” (bakery) to buy a baguette for the day. Leaving Montmartre (that’s where he lives), he passed by the Moulin Rouge and jumped inside a “Metro” (the subway). Continue reading “Marcel, a Parisian in Paris”

Aeronautics engineer by day, toy photographer by night.
Exploring the world with his plastic figures.

A trip to Japan: work travel and toy photography

12 hours…!

I have just spent 12 hours in a metal can to fly across the globe.

It’s Thursday afternoon and I have landed at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport after a long trip back from Kobe, Japan. I was there during 2 days, for work.

My job demands me to travel a lot (in France and internationally). And, at the same time, I like my job and I like to travel, so when I am not at the office, I am happy.

I have been to the US, to several countries in Europe and to more “exotic” places such as Brazil, Australia, Taiwan, Laos, Tanzania, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and now, Japan.

“Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport.' - AnonymousClick To Tweet

Continue reading “A trip to Japan: work travel and toy photography”

Aeronautics engineer by day, toy photographer by night.
Exploring the world with his plastic figures.

A little Easter baking

Hot-cross buns!
Hot-cross buns!
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot-cross buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons;
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot-cross buns!
– traditional English nursery rhyme, credited to ‘Mother Goose’

Happy Easter everyone! It’s Good Friday here in the UK, which means just one thing in my house – hot-cross buns! It’s always a baking day for me, and the series 17 gourmet chef arrived just in time to help whip up a batch of buns for us to enjoy!

Whisks out everyone!

For a professional, she’s a pretty messy baker. Flour took over the whole kitchen (along with the heavenly smell of oranges and mixed spice!) Continue reading “A little Easter baking”

On the subject of projects… and pandas

Why do we do projects?
Why do we start photographic projects?
Why do we launch ourselves in the daunting task of taking pictures on a regular basis or with particular constraints?

It’s intimidating, stressful and exhausting.
So why do we do it?

'Every project has challenges, and every project has its rewards.' - Stephen SchwartzClick To Tweet

When you tackle a project, you know that it will not be easy.
You will suffer but in the end, you will learn something from it.
Continue reading “On the subject of projects… and pandas”

Aeronautics engineer by day, toy photographer by night.
Exploring the world with his plastic figures.

How can I (be) inspire(d)?

I started taking pictures of toys because of others.

At first, I had seen the work of Chris McVeigh, AvanautSmokebelch and Brett Wilson among others and what they created inspired me.

I wanted to do like them, but not exactly like them.
I was inspired but I did not want to copy.

I believe that our imagination does not have any limits so why going the simplest path and just copy the work of others.
We are creative people, so let’s create.

'There are really three parts to the creative process. First there is inspiration, then there is the execution, and finally there is the release.' - Eddie Van HalenClick To Tweet

Let’s focus on the first part.
What are my inspirations?
How do I get my ideas?

What is my recipe for making pictures?
What are the ingredients that inspire me?

As I said in my last post, I can get photo ideas everywhere so I write them down not to forget them. My ideas arrive when I don’t expect them: at work during a boring meeting (the best time I get my mind to float away…), during my daily commutes, in my shower (I don’t have waterproof sticky notes, though), …  Continue reading “How can I (be) inspire(d)?”

Aeronautics engineer by day, toy photographer by night.
Exploring the world with his plastic figures.