On 2016’s goals and projects, and on perspectives for 2017

Last year I tried to set goals to improve my toy photography. The two main goals were forcing myself to take more outdoor photos and find a story I could develop as a long photo series.

From where I started: one of the first photo of 2016, one of the few indoor photos taken in 2016 and the one photo before I started to focus on outdoor toy photography.

The first one has been fulfilled more than I expected. I did took more photos outdoor to the point that I’ve almost stopped doing indoor toy photography. There are different reasons that combined together led me to this situation. Even though in the year to come I’d like to go back to indoor photography (and working with strobes), I don’t know if this will end up with photos I consider successful. And it doesn’t matter. What matters more is the second goal.

One of my highest achievement of 2016, and one of great importance for my photographic journey.

Indeed, while I haven’t been able to come up with a story I could develop as a long photo series, I’ve managed to find something close enough to it. Forcing myself to take photos outside while thinking about how to develop a story that could work across hundreds of photos, I experienced with photo series focused around a limited number of figures. While it’s a bit different from what I initially envisioned it’s as good because those series were what I’ve been looking for since I started toy photography two years and a half ago.

Where 2016 led me to.

So what’s to come for 2017? I’ve recently moved to Northern Finland so there will definitely be more photos to come. There’s no doubt I will expand my ongoing series. I will of course still experiment with other figures because first it’s fun, then it’s good to find inspiration too. I’ll try to expand previous photo series, such as Gollum and Spooky Girl, that I didn’t work on as much as some other. I also want to go back indoor to improve my skills with artificial lights. But in the end it doesn’t really matter whether I successfully fulfill these goals or not. I have another goal that I think is much more important and a bit less related to taking photos itself.

Northern Finland and the last photo taken in 2016.

I’m glad 2016 is over, overall it’s been most of the time a very stressful year, and sometimes a bit depressing too. However there are a few moments too that were so good that they are among the bests of my life. One of those big highlights is the Toy Safari in Hamburg. I had been waiting for this for a whole year. I was expecting a lot out of this, and for this reason I was also afraid that I could be disappointed by the outcome. In the end not only all those expectations were fulfilled, but it’s been even better than what I ever imagined.

First photo taken in Hamburg. This was the starting point of a week-end to be remembered.

Following the toy safari, I had the chance to be able to visit some of my new friends. First while going to Copenhagen for work, then while relocating by car from Belgium to Finland. Even though it was so short and I was so tired because of driving for hours, visiting those friends has been one of the best moments since Hamburg. I can’t wait to see them again, I can’t wait to see the ones I couldn’t visit, and I can’t wait to meet new toy photographers. So my main goal for 2017 is to put the social back into social media. (And I’m glad I’m not the only one.)

Putting the social back into social media: having the opportunity to visit Toy Photography Friends is awesome!

I don’t know yet how I will achieve this goal. I can’t wait for the next European Toy Safari, and I hope I will be able to attend the one in San Francisco. But this won’t be enough. Moving to Finland didn’t make it easier. While I live now in a location I find deeply inspiring for photography, it’s also a very remote location. It won’t be easy to find many other toy photographers around, but I want to give it a try. I’m also prouder than ever to be a toy photographer and I want people to know it. (Again I’m glad I’m not the only one: here and here) So another goal I want to set is to push toy photography forward. I want people to know about it and one of the best thing that could come out of this would be to convert people to this wonderful hobby.

2 Replies to “On 2016’s goals and projects, and on perspectives for 2017”

  1. A thought provoking blog about a couple of worthwhile goals. Like you, I am a fan of story telling and am trying to incorporate it more into my images. Good luck with your move forward.

    1. Thanks Tony! I mostly use this blog as a place where I put some notes that goes through my mind, that are (more or less) related to toy photography and that I don’t mind to put them publicly online. Still I kind of forgot about it lately and should probably force myself to spend some time more often to write my thoughts to structure them a bit more. I think what hooked me with toy photography is the ability to create so much by telling stories. I couldn’t really find this in other styles of photography, or at least not in a way I could express myself and tell the stories I had in mind.

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