monday motivation

David Saunders on Monday Motivation

If you ever get a moment have a search for toy photography on your favourite social media platform. I’m pretty certain that some of the images will amaze you! I’m David Saunders, and amongst my regular dad life I love too shoot toys!

I like many others enjoy the more ‘usual’ type of photography. A beautiful landscape or the smile on a child’s face is priceless but with toys the possibilities are endless. You can literally build and shape the world around you (and at the same time get hold of your favourite childhood toys!)

I’ve always loved Lego mini-figures and Dinosaurs are obviously awesome, so my interest in photographing them was a natural process.

There are hundreds of very talented toy photographers out there and taking a picture of a Dinosaur, action figure, Lego or whatever else flicks your switch is relatively simple but making it stand out from the crowd is difficult. This is probably the most important side of photography; stand out from the crowd, be unique.

I like to keep everything simple in terms of lighting and equipment and I only use the light around me. Natural light and interesting backdrops are my friends! I tend to the favour getting everything bang on in shot, so there’s less messing around in Adobe Photoshop. I can now shoot in jpeg and be confident all will be well (Boom lol!) That’s not to say I don’t use Photoshop heavily though, I do. Without such software we’d all be lost!

A lot of toy photography steams from mobile phones, you’ll see examples of this online everywhere. Modern smartphones, especially from Google and Samsung allow us to capture pretty impressive images but all the dual/triple camera setups, artificial blur and software tweaks can’t replicate real glass. Their depth of field is great, not to mention their overall image quality and dynamic range capabilities.

A full frame and 100mm prime keeps everything looking natural/offers less distortion for me and this is especially important as I do a lot of image stacking. Image stacking allows me to shoot at f2.8, get everything in focus and keep the background looking beautiful. It can however pose many problems… Have a play with image stacking and you’ll see what I mean!  Maybe Dave or Scott can do a tutorial on it!

The images throughout this article were all taken in our garden or on the kitchen work top. The sun or ceiling lights provided the light and Photoshop added some extra punch to finish things off!

Have a rummage through your sons or daughters toy collection and go crazy! I’ve actually started to buy toys for myself now! Hehe! Have a great Monday!


You can check out more of David’s amazing work on his Instagram!