Are these sets you’re making off the top of your head, or are they scenes from Lego? Are there building instructions like normal Lego sets?
My MOCs are usually a result of me wanting to free up more space in a Lego bricks bin: “Oh, I can’t close this white bricks bin anymore. What can I build that will use up a lot of that color?” That’s probably not the typical approach, but it works for me.
I’m just digging through the bins to see what I can use, so I don’t have instructions. I wanted to make instructions for this medieval alley MOC I made, which I started physically (to use up bricks in another overflowing bin of light bluish gray) and then recreated digitally with Lego’s digital builder called Stud.io. I don’t have a lot of experience in the software, though, and I find it distracts me a lot. It also makes my wish list bloat.
One day, I’ll learn how to make instructions, but I have to set aside time to learn how to do it, and right now, it’s not a priority. Especially since all my file names are galens-row-final-final-final-v3.io.
How do you decide which scene you’re photographing?
Most of my photos are focused on a character — ideally, one that I’ve created. New muses and interesting minifigures always get me pumped to shoot. I think about where this character might be found and when: indoors or outdoors, in the forest or underwater, in the morning or late at night, and so on. Then I’ll decide what I need to build or bring with me to support the concept.
How long does it usually take to photograph a scene? What equipment are you using?
I take photos indoors and outdoors from simple minifig portraits to complicated interior shots, so the time and effort I spend on a photo can be anywhere between 20 minutes and three hours. I usually shoot with either my Sony a6500 or a7iii with a macro lens and CPL filter. I have a bunch of macro lenses, but I tend to shoot with a 30mm or 40mm to get more of the environment in the frame.
I lean more on flash for lighting, even when I’m outdoors during the day. I can’t always get the sunlight I want where I want it to be because of trees blocking it or clouds passing, so I take a little flash attached to a selfie stick. It’s my sun-on-a-stick.
Artistically, I like to backlight my models and create shadows in my Lego photos too, and flash helps me do that. I like to bring out the form rather than flatten everything.
What would you like people to take away from your Lego scenes?
I would like people to look at my Lego photos and think how fun it is to bring Lego to life in a photo. I want them to try to do the same because it’s a different way to play and create with Lego.