Self-confidence

Self-confidence

Like Julien, the first thing that came to my mind when thinking about this week’s word is self-confidence. The truth is, I lack confidence. For almost everything’s I’ve done, both in my private or professional life, I’ve always underestimated my abilities to succeed. But looking back a few years ago, I’ve improved. And it’s in part due to toy photography.

Lester

A few days ago, I came back from Belgium, where I’ve spent the past three weeks visiting family and friends. Photographically, not much happened lately: I deserted social media and took very few photos. The only time I used my camera in Belgium, was when I did some tourism in Brussels.

An Englishman in Brussels

And with me, a few plastic friends to pose in front of the Atomium and on the Grand-Place. Among them Lester, which Boris kindly offered us. Although I’ve never had a strong desire to own this exclusive minifigure, holding it in my hands made me want to use it for photographic purposes. (And yes this is related to my previous post about creativity and play.)

What struck me with Lester, is how confident he is. In a walking pose, with his lovely large smile and awesome umbrella, he looks like someone who doesn’t fear anything that can happen to him. Like someone in control of his life.

Lester feels confident around the beautiful Grand-Place of Brussels.

When Boris asked us to chose five words from the 52, I made two selections. One selection of the words that I better connect with. A second one of the qualities I wish I had fully mastered and try to strive for. Confidence is part of the second list.

Sharing the Adventures in The North of my Plastic Friends.

Let me tell you something… in confidence

Confidence…
I am looking at a blank page with the word “Confidence” written in capital letters in a corner. And nothing comes to mind.

That was me a few days ago starting to think about this week’s picture: “confidence”.
Creativity”  seemed easier to me and with the rules I set myself for this project (more on that later in another blog post), I had difficulties to find a proper idea.
Looking at the whole list, I know that I will get this blank feeling again in the next weeks.

So, I looked at myself, at my past, my feelings and the first idea arrived.

Confidence as in self-confidence

Confidence
[kon-fi-duh ns]
Belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance

Self-confidence has always been something I struggled with.

Strangely enough, I don’t mind speaking in front of an audience (whatever the size, and I spoke in front of hundreds of people). Whether it is to speak about my work during a conference or as an actor during a play, when I am on stage, in the spotlight, I am not really me. I play another version of myself: a character who looks like me and has my knowledge but he is full of confidence because he does not want to disappoint his work or his fellow actors.
In those cases, I know what to do or what to say (and I feel like a fish in water improvising on stage) and confidence is my friend.

Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.Click To Tweet

It’s more in my daily life, when I am myself, that I lack this “safety blanket” and I don’t feel confident enough to share my thoughts and feeling. That’s when I freeze and shut down.

So, the first picture that I had in mind was to have a stormtrooper about to speak in front of a large audience, frozen with fear and looking for some self-confidence.

And for this one, I tried different things. I started with an overhead view of the stormtrooper facing the crowd, but I thought the story could not be understood easily.

Confidence 1.0
Confidence 1.0

So, I lowered the point of view of my camera and had the stormtrooper face me with the big crowd in the background. I find this second one much better.

Confidence 1.1
Confidence 1.1

But confidence has several meanings.
After this first idea, I was confident enough with this word. So I decided to also explore another meaning of the word.

Confidence is also a secret

Confidence
[kon-fi-duh ns]
a secret that is confided or imparted trustfully

As I told you, I have trouble sharing my feelings with others.
But sometimes, you need a lot of self-confidence, to really tell people what you think, either openly or in confidence. And that is the subject of my second picture: a stormtrooper confiding his own feelings to a friend.

Confidence 2.0
Confidence 2.0
The most beautiful thing you can wear is confidence.Click To Tweet

The more I think about this 52-word challenge, the more interesting I find it.
It will be a way for me to reflect upon myself.

Maybe with this project, I’ve found a way to express myself to the world, in confidence.

Julien / Ballou34

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

Week 1: Creativity

Week One of the new year is coming to an end.
For some of us, the working life is about to start again tomorrow, while others (like yours truly) have enjoyed their first weekend of the year. We started this year with a completely new challenge. A challenge we explained in detail in the last week (52) of last year in this post.

52 weeks. 52 words.

We are embarking on a year-long exploration of 52 words.
52 values and emotions and everyone can join at their own pace.
You can pick up one word a month, you can follow us on our rhythm and explore a word a week or you can just cheer along.

The 52 words of 2018 – here is a PDF version if you want to play along.

And when we shared the challenge earlier last year, we knew the four of us were committed to exploring this. We liked last years challenge. We talked about the new one extensively in our chat and hangout sessions. Yet we had no clue if you would be interested in this.
A leap of faith.
An open invitation.
Another acoustic invitation to play.

And what a response we got. Old and new friends alike joined the challenge, and I am sure you will inspire others to join in this exploration of words with us.

Your Week One.

In our first week (at the time of writing, somewhere on a sunny afternoon in Sweden), we got 27 entries from creative people all over the world posted on our IG platform of choice.

If you don’t follow each other on IG yet, now may be a good time to connect. This is not some kind of “like for like” or “follow me” scheme, but the values we will be exploring are all human values. They are what makes us this species that walks on this planet while taking pictures of toys.  Sharing our values, our stories, across the globe. Connect and interact. Engage and explore each other’s creativity.

And in a mixed order only IG can explain, here goes:

thomas_thoresen_brickprawnzeatmybonestomekskogbrickologielegomommy_golegojacherrsmlegoschmidtfubikenblueberryhillsforeverreiterliedlegocllcmister_bricksam.i.artistelegoteam_cmlegobeckybrickcelonadonaldsshadowlegorunnerbevvypixballou34legobysussiancockaynelego_minifig_photosrobp787_me2_

And there are others that will join us for sure in the journey. Like Karine asked, you don’t need to shoot LEGO. Any toys, even wooden ones (sorry, silly joke) are more than welcome to join the SIPgoes52 challenge.
And some will come later today or early next week, like Sacha1982.
And that is OK.
There is no pressure.
No need to post.
Everyone’s own (acoustic) rhythm.

My first week.

So, what did creativity mean for me in my images this first week? Continue reading “Week 1: Creativity”

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

SiP goes … in 2018

2017 is almost over but here at Stuck In Plastic, we are already planning 2018.

I hope you all enjoyed our reports about our last toy safari in Scotland (the review, the #1Toy2Share activity or Chris Rose experience) and maybe you were even able to attend our small exhibition during Bricklive Birmingham. We all had a blast there. Since we want to have fun again soon, we’ve already started planning the next one. Continue reading “SiP goes … in 2018”

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

Rey of Light

There are different ways to create an image. Sometimes it’s the ready photo we have in our mind, which requires only capturing by the camera. Sometimes it’s the general idea that we have to clothe in the shape.
And sometimes it’s a bunch of words.
Like in this case.

I'm a punmanClick To Tweet
Puns hatch in my head without control, like the mice in the straw.
So at first, the pun appeared: Rey of light. Continue reading “Rey of Light”

#SiPgoesScotland2017 at Bricklive

Life.

If you follow the blog, you might have noticed that not much happened in the past week. Julien is on a non-disclosed island somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Boris is hanging out on some Big Inc. event in Amsterdam, Stefan is deep down in new challenges, and well, Maelick is crunching numbers in Northern Finland. It is that thing called life. It catches up with all of us and we hope we will catch up with the plastic side soon. Continue reading “#SiPgoesScotland2017 at Bricklive”

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”

Skærbæk Fan Weekend 2017

A couple of weeks ago, after the fantastic LEGO house  Fan Pre-Opening, I left Boris to go to Skærbæk, a town on the western coast of Denmark, for SFW (read Skærbæk Fan Weekend).

But what is Skærbæk Fan Weekend?

If you don’t know what SFW is, here is an extract from their website to help you understand its history.

SFW Logo - (c) Skaerbaek Fan Weekend
SFW Logo – (c) Skærbæk Fan Weekend

In 2005 the LEGO® Company started a small get together with some AFOLs.
That event was called the LEGO Fan Weekend.
Through the years it developed and growed to a fantastic event. Somehow the LEGO Company decided ten years later not to continue the LEGO Fan Weekend. Seriously bad news for the fans and so three AFOLs decided to take over the organisation:
in 2015 the Skærbæk Fan Weekend was born!
Fans from all over the world are coming together in Skærbæk and share their passion for the brick. No hand-luggage bag is too small that even the AFOLs from oversea are bringing some of their brilliant creations to Denmark.
But not only AFOLs are joining us, through the weekend the event is open for public visitors.

Skærbæk Fan Weekend this year

This edition of SFW was the biggest ever in terms of participants and MOCs (My Own Creations – meaning original creations made out of LEGO by fans). We were more than 740 participants coming from 31 countries (including Australia, Brazil, the US, Japan, Hong-Kong, Italy, Spain, Germany, France ;-),…).

A gathering of people from all around the globe
A gathering of people from all around the globe

Continue reading “Skærbæk Fan Weekend 2017”

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

A Review of the LEGO Elves Dragons

As soon as the winter started to reach its end, I began to think I should focus on a project during the summer. When Boris announced his plan of making us work on a summer project, not only I already had a few ideas, but I had already started to work on some of them.

Up to now, I’ve been quiet about these summer project ideas. I wanted to take the time to let my ideas mature before releasing anything publicly. The only persons who have seen the result of my summer photography are the old and new friends I met last month in Edinburgh.

But I think it’s about time to give a glimpse of what I’ve been doing for the past four months through a review of 3 LEGO Elves sets. Set 41172 The Water Dragon Adventure, 41175 Fire Dragon’s Lava Cave and 41179 Queen Dragon’s Rescue. (Moreover, last month’s word was LEGO after all!) Continue reading “A Review of the LEGO Elves Dragons”

Sharing the Adventures in The North of my Plastic Friends.