I am a big fan of the idea of using toys to practice photography. LEGO minifigures are a good choice as they are cheap and easily available. However they have a few quirks that are easy to overlook that can lead to odd looking photos. With a bit of care these issues can be overcome.
These are a couple tips to get the most out of LEGO minifigure photography.
Watch the hands and hair pieces
LEGO minifigures do not have a lot of moving parts. In fact the average minifigure has at most seven points of articulation: Each leg at the hips, each arm at the shoulder, each hand rotates and the head turns. However due to the way LEGO minifigure hair (or helmet, hat, etc.) pieces connect via a single peg, the hair can also rotate.
It is pretty easy to notice if a leg, arm or the head is not posed right. However in my experience it is very easy to forget about the hands and hair pieces.
Tip: when posing a minifigure, always double check that the hands and hair pieces (or in the case of the example image, the helmet) are straight.
Natural walking position
If you are like me you like to put some action into your photos. One easy way to accomplish this is by having your subject walking or running thru the scene.
Images with LEGO minifigures are no exceptions. However there are a few ways to make the walking pose more realistic. Well, as realistic as using LEGO can be.
One common but awkward looking pose is to have one leg positioned straight down, and the other kicked back. This pose is often used as it can be hard to get a minifigure to stand straight when the legs are bent backward or forwards. However it is not a natural walking pose.
Tip: To get a realistic walking pose, while maintaining balance, keep the front and back legs at about 45 degrees. This gives the appearance of walking but retains enough balance to keep the figure upright.
Another common mistake I see with walking poses is the arms not placed in a natural position. When people walk they swing their arms opposite of their legs. So when their left leg steps forward, their right arm also swings forward. To maintain realism minifigures should mimic the same arm swing as humans do.
Tip: Pose the arms opposite the legs. Left foot forward, left arm backward and vice versa. Also put the arm at the same angle as the leg.
If you keep these posing tips in mind you should be well on your way in creating top notch LEGO photos of your own.
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