New Directions in Toy Photography


A new year, new camera and new goals! Last year ended with a significant upgrade in equipment. Early in 2020, my computer was upgraded. Later in the year, my camera was upgraded. Since 2014 when I rebooted my attempt at toy photography, I used the Canon EOS M. It was a mirrorless 18 megapixel camera that served me well. It was idea for getting started and for developing and establishing my eye, style, and experience. Yet, in the back of my mind, I knew I wanted and needed a full frame camera. After completing a project in late fall, I knew the time had come to make the upgrade. The work I do and intend to do going forward demands the bigger sensor and quality a full game camera delivers.

After evaluating my needs, discussions, and research, I decided the best camera and fit for me was the Canon EOS RP. Although, I strongly considered the Sony a7 ii, but my budget was constraint. But more importantly, the Canon EOS RP allowed me to stay in the Canon family, to get flawless tethering with my iPad mini, and to get the full frame sensor and 26 megapixel raw file sizes. The RP is a SLR-style mirrorless camera with an electronic viewfinder and a fully articulated 3” LCD screen. I got a good deal on a bundle which included multiple lens with an adapter, a flash, filters, a camera bag and more. I also purchased the Canon RF24-105mm F4-7 lens. Now, with the camera in hand, along with a great tripod, and new table top lighting, I’ve taken on a new challenge to stretch me.


Each year, it is my hope to grow and improve. This year is no different. In previous years, I’ve focused on diorama shots, profile shots and making posters. For 2021, I want to take full body shots of my Godzilla figures and then integrate them into realistic environments that give the look and feel of the films and production stills on the studio sets. My aim is to construct shots ready for marketing and for application to commercial products (eg, packaging, various print material) that I will attempt to design in the spirit and aesthetic of Japanese graphic design, particularly from the Showa and Heisei eras. These shots should fill and fit the various formats while leaving adequate space for copy and additional graphics. This challenge will require me to take full body shots that I have avoided over the years. I usually cropped my figures or blocked their bodies with foreground objects in dioramas. I was not satisfied with the detail and quality of the full body shots I was getting from my old camera. But now, the shots from my new Canon have blown me away. The Photoshop work required to creating the environment around the figure is intense. The process has been hit or miss, but very rewarding so far. I’ve learned new Photoshop techniques and I’m growing in desired ways.

By taking new directions in toy photography, I will able to better serve the needs of X-Plus. As the year goes by, I intend like to share more about MyKaiju toy photography along with how-tos, tips and tricks. I hope to make a few YouTube instructional videos and share resources. Stay tuned.