Under the Macro, this week features Wendy Verboom. We’ve been following Wendy on Instagram (@verboomwendy) for a long time. Wendy has always taken amazing shots of her favorite toys, Lego, specifically the Lego Minifigures and combines them with nature. The results are a visual delight with sharpness and vibrant colors that create a unique world for the toys fortunate enough to be shot by her. Wendy took the time to answer some questions for us, and share some of her favorite shots with us.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, and where you’re from.
I’m from Belgium and my hobby is photography. Especially macro and toy photography. I like taking nature hikes.
When I’m not going outside I like to watch tv shows such as: Dexter, Luther, Squadra Anti Mafia,…
Also, I enjoy gaming on my Xbox360 and PS3 a.nd have a lot of fun playing games.
When you’re not photographing toys, what do you do for a living?
My day job, I am a certified nursing assistant and work at a nursing home.
When did you get started with toy photography?
In 2015 after cleaning up the home of my boyfriends parents, we found his old lego. We put them all together again, and though I did not like these sets, I knew I could do funny things with them as a photographer. And so began the journey of my toy photography.
Is there a specific type of toy you like to shoot the most? Brand, type or size?
Lego minifigures are my favorite toy but also: Playmobil, Smurfs, and Minions. I love the size of Lego and the other toys because they fit perfectly in nature and they are not too big to carry around.
Before you started taking your own shots, did you have any interest in the world of toy photography?
Not really, before I began to photograph toys I looked around on the internet and found great stuff such as photographer Samsofy. I wanted to create my own stuff by combining nature and Lego. I started out following other toy photographers and I met great people like Shelly Corbett.
“I close my eyes and envision an idea, the characters I want, the background, the diorama, the scene, action, comedy, etc.”
Did taking toy photos lead you to collecting toys, or did you already collect them?
I started collecting toys when I began shooting them, I really love the Lego minifigures series.
In the beginning, do you feel there was a learning curve?
Yes, it was hard composing and taking the kind of shots I wanted. I learned everything on my own. I have no background of photography skills so it was a great learning process. I have to find good spots in nature and looking for great light and position for the minifigs.
What is the hardest part about toy photography?
My principle goal is to create shots that give my toys a realistic atmosphere.
If you could go back and impart a bit of wisdom to yourself when you were just starting out, what would you tell yourself?
Look for great toys, they should not be expensive to create beautiful things.
Want to be featured?
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What can you explain and share about of your process?
I have no ideas in my head when I go on my toy-Safari, so I just walk around in nature and when I come across beautiful locations which I then use to express my creativity.
When you’re looking for ideas of types of images to take, what do you do?
I love to go walking in nature, looking for great light in the evening but also in the mornings for the bokeh in the background of my pictures.
Can you tell us about your equipment?
In the beginning, I used a Panasonic dmc FZ-200, but now I use my Canon EOS 70D with Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM and my newest lens a Helios 44-2M.
What is your favorite image or series of images you’ve taken?
That is a hard one, I like al my pics but currently, I like my photo of the Mexican and Rocketboy.
What type of photos do you feel are the hardest to take and why?
The photos with real insects are tuff, they don’t listen to you.
What was the most challenging photo you’ve taken or attempted to take?
Every picture is a great challenge. I want to create a story with my photos. So I have to look always at the posing of the figure, lightning, bokeh and dioramas in the background.
How much do you rely on staging and how much on post-production processing?
I always optimize my photos with simple shifts of contrast, light and sometimes color filters in the free programs: “color efex pro” and “photoscape”.
Other than your camera, do you have a favorite piece of equipment?
Toothpicks to prevent my figures from falling into the moss, and a tripod. My favorite tool is my helios lens because it gives a cool atmosphere into my pictures with a very nice bokeh into the background.
Do you love toy photography?
Want to take your photography to the next level?
Bricksdaily.com is excited to announce the upcoming launch of the multipart online video course teaching the ins and outs of taking better photographs of the miniature world. The multi-session series will get you up and running and perfect your skills.