A Newbie’s Perspective

Let me start at the beginning…

I have had a “proper” camera for around 2 years. I have always loved LEGO but never thought I was creative enough to build MOC´s and had very few sets.
Cue.
Lockdown in March 2020.
And suddenly I had plenty of time on my hands.
I discovered people using LEGO in their photography.
This started a chain reaction that quickly included many LEGO orders.
Me visiting a toy shop at every possible opportunity.
And a questionably slight obsession with LEGO Photography developed.

Sometime around Christmas I started following Stuck in Plastic on Instagram.
And I did start visiting their website for articles to read.
I thought their posts and reviews were super and before I knew it, I was seeing images from the Winter Workshop being shared and was immediately intrigued. 

Fast Forward

Fast forward a few weeks and the notice of the Spring workshops was posted.
Was I good enough?
Could I keep up with the standards of the other guys and gals attending?
Could I deliver that many shots in a short amount of time?
Did I even have enough LEGO to keep up with the others who have been doing this much longer?
After a few hours of asking myself those exact questions and a little push from Boris in the right direction, I signed up!

BEST DECISION EVER !!!

Next up came the magical mystical envelope that was to be kept sealed until the day before the workshop. My husband had to hide it from me as the excitement of wanting to know what was inside was killing me but it was SO worth the wait!

Friday Night Fever

Roll on Friday night for the meet & greet and much awaiting envelope opening.
A few hours before I was super nervous.
Questioning once again what I had gotten myself into.
But I distracted myself by getting ready and setting up on the dining room table.
Laptop and charger.
Second monitor.
A sufficient supply of LEGO.
Mandatory cup of tea with a beer chilling in the fridge.
Snacks and fully charged camera batteries and lights. 

Within minutes of joining the call, the nerves started to subside.
And once we got underway with the first task, the nerves disappeared completely.
And I felt like I was in safe hands. 

3 warm-up tasks down, I went to bed raring to go for the workshop the next morning.

The next morning

Up bright and early, we started all with more new activities. Most of the participants have plenty of experience with taking photos with LEGO,  but Boris threw us a curveball and sent us all Playmobil and a 3D printed mystical character to mix up the sessions.

Throwing a curveball

Don´t panic, we got LEGO too :P

Once we all settled down with steaming mugs of tea and coffee, off we went.

All activities challenged each of us to work independently. To create the required shots but also work as a team creating a consistent story that should be recognised throughout the images as well as connecting our images together in the Play Mo Bil Grid. Being that we were in several different countries with different time zones, this was certainly interesting but we all settled into the rhythm quickly.

Almost 6 hours later, many cups of tea, brain completely fried.
Yet I can say with every confidence it was 100% worth signing up.
And I am so glad I took the plunge.

No comfort zone

My comfort zone was shattered and shattered again, but in a great and well supported way. It was the first time I had worked with a deadline. And it is amazing what you can push yourself to create with the clock ticking in the background. At no point did I feel that I wasn’t good enough to be there. Every question was answered and tips and tricks were shared when someone got themselves in a pickle. 

Personally, I can see how much my images improved from activity 1 through to the last. And I am incredibly proud of what we all achieved in a relatively short amount of time.
This for sure has inspired me to push myself further.
Research new techniques.
Practice the ones I know and most importantly, build more LEGO!

If there is anyone out there, with the will to join up but you have any self doubt or are unsure, don’t be.
Sign up.
Join the fun.
And experience a few hours with a super bunch of like minded people! 

I am writing this blog post a little sad that our session is already over. But I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved over this workshop and I cannot wait to be able to participate again in a future workshop. And maybe even meet some of my workshop mates once the world has returned to normal.

I hope you enjoyed this post from a newbie´s perspective as I get the pleasure of meeting some  of you in future workshops.

And then there was me as Master Story Teller

Head on over to the previous blog post to see our my creative story writing. And our team photography that was created in just 90 minutes!

I would like to say a massive thank you. Thanks to Boris, Stefan, Natasja, Bev, Maelick and Chris from the SiP team for allowing me to come on this journey with you all.

Can I come back already? :P

Claudia

Looking Back

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.
Read on.

An early start or a late evening

For me, it started on Saturday evening at 1 am (I am based in Daejon, and responsible for bringing the SiP Crew to South Korea and Capetown).

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.

Do you recognize my image?

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.

Do I need to wish for more sleep?

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).

Story telling in 90 minutes …

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.

10/10.

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.

Suné
You can follow my LEGO adventures on IG here.

Once Upon A Time In Zweinstein

Once upon a time there was a great magician that lived inside a book.
The magician listened to the name of Dumbledore and he enjoyed his magical room ever so much.

The Magic Room

The room was packed with treasures and he just loved to go inside and look at all the magic.

Dumbledore was amazed at what treasures he could find in this room. Little did he know there was trouble around the corner and a new adventure was about to start.

And so it begins

Harry was busy in the dorms when he noticed a book that wasn’t there before. After checking it, he realised that it belonged to Dumbledore. So he decided to stretch his legs and return it to its rightful owner.

But he couldn’t help but wonder why it was here.

Bellatrix had a terrible plan.

She was going to scatter the items throughout Zweinstein (also known as Hogwarts) just because she felt like causing some trouble.

Strange Places

Unaware to the others living at Hogwarts, items started turning up in strange places.

When Ron came to the bus stop after school, there was a suitcase waiting. He opened it up and couldn’t believe his luck when finding a complete meal!

Becoming aware these were all items from the (hidden) chamber, he went back to school to return them all.

Luna was taking a stroll on the grounds whilst she came across a collection of strange items. She was sure they didn’t belong here. Wasn’t this Myrtle’s teddy bear she had discovered? Or was it Dumbledore’s? But surely Dumbeldore wouldn’t have lost his bear?

Caught Up

Griphook has read the breaking news in the daily paper all about Bellatrix playing a trick, he knows he had recently taken the key from Dumbledores desk and he doesn’t want others to suspect him. So, he decides to replace the key and uses a skateboard to get him back fast while accompanied by the magic bat. What he doesn’t realise is these are parts of the missing items. 

Magic Mushrooms Teddybears

While Professor Sprout is out harvesting Mandrake roots for her class she stumbles across what seems to be magical teddy bears growing among the plants.

Could they be the lost items from the powerful Wizard’s magic room?

The magic frog.

Nevil lost Trevor (his pet frog) again whilst in Professor Sprout´s Herbology class. On finding Trevor he got trapped by a huge beast. Using his Book of Monsters, he cast a spell to transport him back to safety before returning the book back Dumbledore for the next student to read.

A dino?

Myrtle found Dumbledore’s broken teddy bear while playing in the snow.

However, she ended up losing it again and left crying. By the end of a winter, a funny looking dinosaur had adopted the teddy.

Skipping Magic Class

During a stroll through the halls, avoiding class, of course, George noticed the terrible rules that Professor Umbridge had tried to remove and hide in Dumbledore’s room.

He hid within the Room of requirement checking The Marauder’s Map to see if the coast was clear. Once clear, he produced one of the Wesley twin tricks they had been testing to blow the rules from the wall as he did not want these been seen ever again!!

And then there is Fred

Whilst George was out testing their latest tricks, Fred decided he would play some top hits to help magically transport some items back into the room for Dumbledore.

Hedwig The Wise

Ginny came across Hedwig hiding in the Room of Requirement. Why was Hedwig there? Maybe Bellatrix had something to do with it. She conjured up a variety of food using magic to tempt Hedwig back into Dumbledore’s care.

Image by Mike

More animals had been let loose around the castle. Hermione used her great mind a quick thinking to made friends with the animals and take them back to the safety of Dumbledores care.

Image by Sophie

Hagrid had been trapped in his own hut by a huge snake! Kingsley had seen he was in trouble and came to his aid. Where had these creatures come from?

He saw the destress Hagrid was in and helped capture the snake and return it to Dumbledore for safe keeping. 


Lily Potter needed to find old Dumbledore’s surfing board from his young days.

She didn’t expect it would be a hard task, but when she got to the beach when he used to spend his summers, she found an old shark using it because it can’t swim anymore.

His teeth were very dangerous, but luckily, she came up with a great idea. She cast a spell and a delicious red crab showed in its mouth. He instantly swam away and she was able to take a surfing board easily. 

Flowers

Away from Hogwarts, James came across some beautiful flowers that were a little out of place. This was not an ordinary flower. This had been hexed when expelled from Dumbledore’s room of magic.

After a quick spell the flower returned but also grew to be more magical before being transported back to safety!

Dumbledore checked back on his room full of magic to find all items had been returned with the help of everyone. Everyone could now go back about their days knowing that peace had been restored.

Dumbledore locked the magic room until the next SiP Spring Workshop

And so all ends well.
And the magician lived happily ever after.
Or at least untill Bellatrix strikes again.

Your Story Teller of Today,

Claudia.

Post Scriptum

This story was created in 90 minutes by 16 awesome creative toy photographers on the SiP Spring Workshop. Special thanks to Claudia for being our magic story master, and Natasja for setting the scene with her magic books.