Keep the kids entertained with Toy Photography!
Struggling to keep the kids entertained during lockdown? Feel like you're slowly going mad? Why not introduce them to toy photography and give them a project to sink their teeth into! Once they get the hang of the basics, there's so much they can do that will keep them entertained for hours. This blog is designed to introduce your kids (or you... just as much fun for adults!) to the basics, and if people are interested, I can post future blogs teaching more advanced skills.
So, I've tried to break this down into 7 easy steps:
Step one: Grab yourself a Lego Minifigure, or any other small toy or figure.
Toys that have manoeuvrable limbs make the most interesting subjects as you can tell a story, especially if you're making a storyboard.
Step two: The best camera to use for toy photography is the one on your phone. This is because you can get the lens nice and low to the ground which gives the illusion of the toy being bigger than it is. This is called the forced perspective.
Step three: Have a practice! A good tip (on an iPhone at least) is to tap the screen where you want the camera to focus, usually on the figure's face. This will keep the figure in focus and create a nice soft background for your image.
Step four: Choose a location for your photo. Ideally somewhere with an interesting background that would tell a story or set the scene. Set your figure up and take a few practice shots and then check these on your screen to make sure you're happy with them.
Even though you're at home, there's plenty of interesting locations you could choose in your house or garden (my garden really could use a bit of TLC...).
Step five: Take your picture. If you're doing an action shot, like this one with the hiker going for a walk, leave some 'looking space'. This gives the figure somewhere to 'walk into' in your photo, suggesting movement. It's always good to take lots of photos from various angles and then you can look through and choose your favourite.
Step six: It's not essential to edit your photos, but with kids being so tech savvy, and there being so many great free editing apps, it seems like a shame not to (and editing is an excellent skill!).
There are lots of good editing apps, but my personal favourites that are free are 'Photoshop mix' and 'PS Express'. These allow you to edit the light, colour, exposure etc. You can even add layers and clip art to your photos. There are lots of other fantastic apps, some cost a few pounds but are well worth the money (drop me a message for some recommendations!).
Step seven: Admire your masterpiece! Once you've got the hang of the basics, you can start experimenting. You could use a wider range of figures and props, create a storyboard or even start making your own backgrounds and sets!
This is a really creative and fun hobby that will hopefully keep you and your kids entertained for hours. Share your creations on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/miniatureadventures, where you can also check out some of my other pictures for inspiration.