Geek Shooting: The Beginners Guide To Designer Toy Photography

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Have you noticed what’s happened to toys in the past few years? Their production quality has gotten better. In some new and interesting cases, they have gone ‘designer’ and become hugely collectible. These designer toys usually have limited runs, but new designs come out often. Artist lend their skills to make some rare designs. People buy sell and trade these elegant designers toys often, and there is one thing that all of these toys need: good photography.



To begin creating good images of designer toys all you need is a decent camera. You don’t have to spend a ton of money either. A basic DSLR like a Nikon D3300 or even a camera like a Samsung Nx300 would do. One of the best things is that the kit lenses will do. If you do want to step of your game, a prime lens would do. Even in the least skilled of hands this would be an improvement.

 Shooting With A Nifty 50

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If you do work with a 5omm lens one thing to keep in mind is your depth of field. Just be cause a lens can shoot at f1.8 does not mean that it’s necessary. Sometimes the depth of field can be too shallow and you lose detail in the toy. You do want to show as much detail as possible. It is recommended you shoot between f2.8 or f4. This will allow you to have smooth back ground while keeping detail.

 The Setup

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How you set up you images is important when you want to take a picture of designer toy. A simple and clean set up is best. If you are buying, selling or trading, you want a clean representation. If you want to have a white background, depending of the size of the designer toy, you can use a large piece of white paper.


If you want a black background, black paper or anything black the can be your background. Don’t be afraid to use your environment either. If you use a shallow depth of field and have you camera as close as possible to your subject you will have bokeh. The background will be out of focus and your subject will pop.


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When starting out in designer toy photography, a important thing to keep in mind is your exposure triangle. Because you working with a still object, you have a lot of flexibility. You don’t have to worry about lighting as much.

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If you are not comfortable with flashes you can use natural light from a window. If you image is still to dark, you can use a desktop tripod or something in your environment to stabilize your camera. Then you can set your exposure as long as you need it to be. To make sure you camera stays still you can use a wired remote or the cameras self timer. This will ensure sharpness in your image. Don’t be afraid to use a flash though. Some people think about flash all wrong. There is a lot of potential there to improve the quality of your images


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When starting out in designer toy photography, don’t be afraid to use your imagination.There are no rules. Use what’s at hand. Try things out, different set ups. Put your toys in crazy situations As long as its does not damage to toy its fair game. It can be as simple as putting the toy in a glass teapot to making the toy have a cup of coffee.

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Gevon Servo

Gevon Servo aka @GServo is an eclectic, NJ/NY Photographer. He’s a Nikon shooter, by choice nevertheless, will always test any piece of photography equipment. He believes that like ‘Photography’, ‘Coffee’,’Beer’ and ‘Comics Books’ and other things ‘Geek’ “You must try everything once to discover what you want to try again.