August 27, 2020 0 Comments
In a recent article on the Phoblographer Litra ambassador Mitchel Wu was featured highlighting his unique take on toy photography. The feature notes that Mitchel's work is 'some of the best toy photography we've seen' and we couldn't agree more! Check out a few highlights from the feature below.
Phoblographer: Your work is next level. How do you come up with the narratives for your frames in order to bring the toys “to life”?
MW: Appreciate that! First and foremost, what really drew me to toy photography was the potential to tell incredible stories. As with most visual arts, I feel a story is needed to make an image impactful and memorable. Although ideas and stories can come from almost anywhere, there are a few themes I’ll often visit during the ideation and story development process to see if it triggers a creative spark.
One of those themes is showing well-known characters in unexpected ways. Most of the toys I photograph come from comics, movies, children’s books and television shows. Everything we know about these characters has been force fed to us by their creators and writers. That leaves a lot of fertile ground to create unexpected stories and content around. A good example of this is my image of Star Wars’ General Grievous enjoying some beers and a BBQ with some stormtroopers. Which hopefully raises the question among viewers, what do villains do in their downtime? Are they really villainous and evil every waking moment of the day? Another theme I might mine for ideas is strange, unexpected character connections between seemingly unconnected characters. Like how Roz from Monsters Inc bears an uncanny resemblance to Jabba the Hutt. But really, anything and everything is fair game.
Phoblographer: We asked Wu to go into further detail about his set up:
Like every other genre of photography, lighting is one of the most important technical factors to image-making. I have a lot of speedlights, light diffusers, and modifiers leftover from my wedding photography days but quickly realized they’re overkill for toys ranging from about an inch tall to roughly 7″ tall. Continuous lighting from powerful, smaller lights has proven to be a much better option. I use the full range of Litra lights (also a partner of mine) – the LitraTorch 2.0, LitraPro, and LitraStudio. They feature brightness and color temperature control, Bluetooth connectivity which allows setting adjustments via your smartphone, and waterproofing – all features I’ve utilized. Accessories include color gels, diffusers, and barn doors. These lights have enabled me to push my creativity to new levels”.
Check out the full feature on the Phoblographer HERE.