Today, the toy market is diverse, large in scope and active in product promotion. Creative visualization in digital commerce is a particularly important asset for manufacturers, marketers and brands. Photos, toys and games animations should not only captivate children, but also provide parents with relevant information about the quality and safety of the product.
Well-groomed toy product frames enhance the physical value of the toys themselves. By revealing basic features, details, purpose, they become popular and sought after.
Behind each product frame of a toy are the way of presentation, the captured detail, the choice of appropriate lighting, the story created, the photographer’s creative approach and his imagination.
Basic principles, technique, tricks, details, lighting, angle and style of shooting
Toys always cheer and entertain children. The same maxim applies to toy photography. Every shot should attract, create that childish feeling of excitement, admiration, joy.
We can conditionally divide toy photography into several subtypes:
- Photography of e-commerce toys
- Advertising and catalog photography of toys
- Creative photography of toys
E-commerce toy photography usually involves shooting products on a white background, polygonal views, 360 ° frames, animation. The images are intended primarily for e-shops.
In addition to white background, advertising and catalog photography of toys creates scenes, applies a variety of colors, includes props and child models to complement the main product.
Creative toy photography is a relatively new niche. Thousands of toy lovers and collectors around the world are photographing their passion and hobbies, creating live scenes and moving frames. There is a community of toy photographers in America, Asia, Europe. Many take pictures of their Star Wars action figures.
We can find thousands of frames of toys online – Disney, Marvel characters, dolls, cars, etc. There is always a story behind this type of toy photography. Each frame is created to tell.
Photo by Mitchel Wu
Toy photography is one of the most creative genres that takes a lot of effort and time. A successful and talented photographer will be recognized if he has the ability, through his work, to breathe life into inanimate objects.
Technical challenges, appropriate technique, specific settings
Like every share of photography, taking pictures of toys has its own technical challenges, appropriate technique, specific settings.
Excluding the standard white background, storytelling is a particularly important part of determining the quality and effectiveness of the end product and the photographer’s work as a whole.
Successful toy photography allows the viewer to enter the world of the character or the game and experience a fully told story.
One of the most common challenges we would face when shooting toys is their small size. Therefore, the photographer must be careful when choosing the environment for his main character.
The scene can easily be cluttered. To build a connection and get the viewer into the toy world, the professional shoots at the toy level. As close as possible.
However, in macro shots, it is not possible to focus all parts of the subject with the same sharpness.
To create high-quality, sharp toys frames, professionals use the “Focus Focus” technique. The process of accumulating major focal points for more detail. Multiple photos of the same subject with different focal points are combined together in one frame, in Photoshop.
Depth of field
In essence, the closer we are to our site, the less depth of field we will have to work with. Adjust the aperture between f / 5.6 – f / 8. However, if you are close, a bokeh will be in the background.
The focal length depends mainly on the scene and composition you set.
In this regard, the experts advise that we choose our lens wisely and think carefully about the position of the object in the composition.
It is not necessary for the lens to be macro because the scene may be wider and then we will need a wide lens.
When shooting toys, especially with small details, the camera’s autofocus will be too inefficient. We need to switch to manual focus.
We definitely use a tripod for shooting toys. In order to optimize light and avoid noise in the image, it is appropriate to stick to lower ISO values.
Lighting settings take a long time to work. Often, this section of photography uses combined lighting. The photographic tent is extremely suitable for smaller toys. With it you can get a balanced amount of light and a clean background.
Professional photographers say they prefer to use diffuse, natural light from a window in combination with a reflector.
The diffuser adjusts the brightness as needed. It is one of the most convenient tools in the equipment we need for shooting toys. With it, we can easily eliminate the glare that dims the detail in the frame.
In the case that the toys will not be placed on a white background, the professionals advise the photo to be outside, in natural light, of course being consistent and avoiding the open, sunlight.
Another important thing to pay attention to is the shadows and the highlights.
The shooting angle we use can be decisive for the realism of our frame. Small toys look great when presented in a different perspective. Photographs taken at the eye level of the photographer relative to the subject give the impression that the subject is much larger. This type of angle gives the small toy a human dimension.
“The number of effective toy photography is to be at the level of the toy. It means getting down and getting dirty and lying down on the ground to take a picture. ”- Joseph Cowlich
Photo: ANTHONY SCHMIDT
If we are shooting for an e-shop, it is advisable to provide several frames, taken from different angles, in order to demonstrate as precisely as possible the respective product – a toy. 360 ° frames are especially relevant for the user to view the object from all sides. Emphasizing details and functionality would be an advantage in a successful marketing campaign.
One of the most important elements of toy photography is large-scale photography, especially if our goal is to impart a sense of realism. Creating a real environment will certainly add an element of fun.
Backgrounds in product photography are always a priority for the end result.
Toy shooting experts recommend using clean backgrounds, because toys are usually colored. A solid color background to match the colors of the toys would make them stand out.
In toy images, we repeatedly come across vibrant, true backgrounds. Take toy cars for example. They are great for filming and one of the most favorite subjects in this genre. They have beautiful lines, specific, curves, characteristic elements and, above all, personality.
Photo: Audi / Felix Hernandez
If we want to look like they are on the road, we include a very smooth concrete surface or rock in the scene. In the frames of professional photography we will find that there are stones, puddles, water, sand. In addition to the natural environment, some more creative photographers shoot indoors, but include in the props flour to imitate snow, gravel pellets.
The trick is to make the toys look like they are in a real environment.
Successful product image of a toy
A photo of a toy emitting a direct “invitation” to the user to start playing means that the photographer behind the camera has captured the essence of the product. He has immersed himself in the world of toys. He has invested imagination, meaning in the story and the way of presentation, which the viewer notices instantly.