February 2011
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Month February 2011

Working with constraints: A year of shooting toys

I got used to the smell of new Made in China vinyl.

Throughout most of 2010, I photographed limited-edition toys, apparel and accessories for Kidrobot, Inc. Every week or so I’d carry a box of fantastical creatures to my studio to document, creatively, using only white or black or other neutral backgrounds. For a while I really wanted to take the toys out into the real world. I wondered if the bunny-inspired Dunnys would look better against a wall of tall grasses or if the plush toys would be more inviting in a quiet bedroom. The challenge of having narrow parameters grew on me however. I began to see the toys as characters in a story I had to bring to life using only light and darkness as tools.  After working this way for almost a year, I’m convinced that creative constraints can help make room for new growth and fun exploration.

The following is a collection of images from the year that I wanted to share. I hope you enjoy the photographs and the awesomely designed toys.

Portrait of Wes in snowy New Hope

We’ve had snow on the ground in New Hope, PA for something like two months. While I’m ready for warmer weather, snow does some great things for bouncing light around. Here is Wes leaning against a glass door with a simple mirror positioned in front of him to fill in some light and introduce a subtle catch light to his eyes.The background behind him is the stubborn snow that refuses to melt.