More tips on taking better photos of your toys and action figures

In my last post, I showed you to assemble a simple backdrop that gives some pretty dramatic results to your action figure photos. I wanted to show you some of the different ways the backdrop can be used.

The hardware store sells colored party light bulbs for around $2.50. Check out the effect a different colored bulb has on the image…

action figure photography tips - blue lighting

action figure photography tips - red lighting

action figure photography tips - green lighting

Here’s a sample of a typical 3 3/4″ action figure. Notice that the background doesn’t take center stage, due to the use of flat black paint used on every surface. The use of the low depth of field blurs out the background and really makes the figure pop. The backlight colors and shapes don’t dominate the image, but enhance the figure, which is exactly what they are supposed to do.

GI Joe action figure photos

Another fun trick is to move your camera to the side a foot or two, so the figure now appears active rather than just standing directly in front of the background.

picture of Joyride Studios Halo Elite

If you’re taking product shots in order to sell an item, you will want to show the entire figure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun and get creative. Look what happens if you go in for the close-up and crop the figure…

close-up photo of Joyride Studios Halo Elite

The best advice I can give is to just have fun. Photographing toys shouldn’t feel like work. Anybody else have some tips to share? Let’s hear them!


  1. says

    Oh, you need to keep writing these photography tips. Your photos are excellent. Of course I’d love toy photos though, I have toys on shelves in every room of this apartment. I also sell toy photos…

    Anyway, this lens is cheap and PERFECT for toy photography, it’s a fixed focus lens with an unrivaled depth of field, ideal for photography solitary small objects, like tiny action figures:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *