Toy Photography Improvement Meme!


Iโ€™ve been taking toy photography seriously for 8 months already, and in that period of time I think I have improved quite a bit. This post is for my fellow Nendoroid Philippines members, to show that I did not acquire this skill overnight. I believe that I still have a long way to go in photography and I have much to learn. I hope to inspire them to become better too!

In most of these pictures, I used the same camera; a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55 mm kit lens which I borrowed from my sister. In my later photos, I start using my 35 f/1.8g prime lens.

December 25, 2011


This is an earlier photo that I took. She’s Roll, a gift from my friend. As you can see, it’s just a regular shot, using flash and full Auto. This is a sample photo from the first toy shoot I did. At that time, I just wanted to show my friend that I finished assembling Roll. I took 40+ shots all at different angles, locations, poses, with flash and w/o flash.
This thinking is still with me up to this day. Whenever I take pictures of my nendos, I usually take 10+ photos.

June 11, 2012

june 11

I bought my first nendo. She was so cute that I wanted to take a lot of pictures of her. Still, the same as the previous photo, I was taking photos in full Auto but without the flash.

July 1, 2012

july 1

I got my second nendoroid, Ikaros. I shot this like the previous photo; full auto w/o flash. The difference is that I decided to use Photoshop to edit the “Levels” to make it brighter and more contrasty.

September 17, 2012

sep 17

Around this time I decided to seriously take photos of my nendoroids. I started researching about photography, its basics. I also started shooting in Manual mode. I studied basic terms like ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture. I made a simple light box following this (click the link) tutorial. It became a habit for me to read about photography and tutorials on deviantArt. I also familiarized myself with my sister’s camera settings. I learned every shortcut, every setting that I can manipulate. Also, I was mainly inspired of the photos taken by other nendoroid collectors. I thought, “My nendoroids deserve photos like these!!”. The shot above is taken on Manual mode with my light box. It was very restricting but at the time I thought that it was awesome and very liberating. The photo above is untouched, not edited.

December 21, 2012

dec 21

For a few months I wasn’t able to take photos. To be honest, I don’t “shoot” frequently. I don’t do setups most of the time. This had been a shot after numerous reading of “theories”. During the gap from the pic before this and this pic, I read and read and read photography blogs, looked at nendoroid blogs/pictures, surfed around the net for tutorials. I only had the time to shoot when our school semester was over. This was the result. I started experimenting with christmas lights and experimental lighting, also learned about using “reflectors” around this time. The photo above is untouched, not edited.

January 2, 2013

jan 2

This is when I started noticing that my photos do not need anymore tweaking at photoshop. My exposure seemed to satisfy me. This is shot on full Manual inside my room with ambient light.

January 11, 2013

jan 11

My first actual shoot in the “outside” world. This shoot drove me. I didn’t think that I could take really good photos with sunlight. I always understood from others that taking photos outside with natural sunlight is wonderful but I didn’t think it made THAT much of a difference. I understood the value of sunlight. Before, I always shoot indoors (even upto now I shoot mostly indoors) but this inspired me to improve. This was the first time that my photos really “wow”-ed me and made me feel that I have a “future” in toy photography.

February 4, 2013

feb 4I forc-… My parents were generous enough to buy me a prime lens. I was happy with the new lens, and tested it a few times. This was the result. The photo above is untouched/unedited except for the watermark. Around this time, I experimented further on aperture variation.

February 15, 2013

feb 15

I learned how to use Adobe Lightroom. My professor was very kind and taught me the basics of the program.

February 21, 2013

feb 21

I started using photography to tell a story. I have numerous story ideas but lately I haven’t been able to shoot for them. D:

April 25, 2013

apr 25

This is a photo from my most recent “shoot”. I can say that it shows how much I’ve learned throughout this 8 months of self-studying photography (I started on September). I pretty much applied everything I know at this point.


As I’ve said before, I believe that I have much to learn. There’s so many photography possibilities and theories that I have yet to apply. I hope to improve more in the future.

In photography, I live by this great quote:

“My best picture is the one I will take tomorrow.” – Imogen Cunningham

I hope this inspired you to practice, learn, and improve! ๐Ÿ™‚

12 Comment

  1. That’s quite the progress! Maybe I could do a post similarly. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. ahnpan says: Reply

      You should! It’s quite fascinating to look at our old work and compare it to what we’ve achieved now. XD

      1. Nice job!

  2. Nice work, please check out my work on cheers.

    1. ahnpan says: Reply

      thanks! Checked out your site! Nice! ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Thanks for looking. what type of camera do you use, i’ve just bought a macro attachment for my kit lens. it just screws into my 18-55mm lens. really cheap and it looks great.

        1. ahnpan says: Reply

          want to link exchange? XD

          I’m using a nikon d3100 slr and a 35mm f/1.8g lens most of the time. I have a few macro filters, it’s cheap and works wonders too! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. do you create your own props? i just started with mine here
    i want to create props also hehe

    1. ahnpan says: Reply

      Haha! Nice photos you have! XD
      I don’t make most of my props. I usually buy them and just arrange the whole set.
      By the way, I love your theme! O_O Would you mind if I use it too? D:
      Followed you also. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. use it, its not mine anyway hehe..thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but yours are way cooler!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. This is really nice and inspiring. :3
    Must start taking toy photography seriously now. :p

    1. ahnpan says: Reply

      That’s great! It’s always best to start now, as opposed to later. Don’t worry if you think your shots aren’t good in your opinion, you’d eventually get there! Photography is fun once you start learning!

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