“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
As the year comes to a close, I thought it would be appropriate to summarize also my second half of 2020 as a figure photographer. I already did this for the first 26 weeks and now I will write a few lines about the last couple months that lie behind me. First and most important I made it save and sound through this train wreck of a year called 2020 and I was able to celebrate the holiday season with little to no compromises. I didn’t dedicate a full figure photo to it but here you can see this year’s nativity scene that makes my Christmas tree a little bit nerdier.
Speaking about Christmas: Usually I buy all my figures and the things I need for this hobby by myself. I don’t expect my friends and family to know exactly my taste, to pre-order stuff or to pay a hefty premium when buying local. Most of the time I just receive small gifts and money from my family so that I can decide how to spend it. The Christmas days where I got lots of toys (mostly LEGO) are long gone. So, it took me by surprise when my mom handed me a thin, long box as a gift. Inside the box was a cardboard cutout of a Smart Doll wearing some self-knitted cloths.
Here is Ivory with her new sweater and hat for cold winter days and she absolutely loves it. My mother also made a pair of trousers but sadly they didn’t fit. But I can’t blame her. She only saw the doll once, during a photoshoot this fall and had to guesswork all the measurements since it should be a surprise for me. And a surprise it was!
But that’s not all with the figure related gifts. A couple week before Christmas my parents told me that they wanted to have a photo book with all my figure photos in it. Since my parents are typical “we own everything” people and therefore difficult to gift I was relieved that I could work on something they truly wished for. The book has a nice big format and it was pretty cool to see your photos printed in this size on quality paper. I also added a textbox containing a few thoughts for each photo and a few explanations about this hobby in general, since neither my parents nor the people this book will be shown to are familiar with that kind of pastime.
With a total amount of eleven major releases the figure photo output this year was within my expectations – compared to other years where I often only found the time and motivation to shoot like half a dozen pictures. In fact, for the first time in forever I feel comfortable in ranking them. Here are my top three photos from this year in no particular order:
But making figure photos was only half of my activities in 2020. Another big chunk of spare time was put into filming and editing videos of various figures I own. I started my review show called “Scaled Affairs” by the end of last year and after a few months without much attention I now have the feeling, that after accumulating a hundred subscribers this fall, the channel finally got a bit more traction. I’m super happy with all the positive feedback I received so far and that more and more people seem to enjoy not only my pictures but also my videos. Season one of Scaled Affairs will come to close very soon and after a short intermission I will rev up with new impressions of much more recent figure.
If you’ve been a regular viewer of my reviews you might have noticed that all the figures of season one were bought in 2019. This year I deliberately scaled back my spendings on figures because I had the feeling that I bought way too many. I know that for some of the hardcore collectors out there it’s totally normal to spend 500-1000 bucks a month on new plastic models but when I build up a large backlog of figures to take pictures from, it only pressures me and doesn’t make me happy. And even if money wouldn’t be an issue, display and storage space might inevitable be one. I know that I have to resume buying figures in order to keep up the reviews but it wouldn’t surprise me if most of the items on my pre-order list will be sold off shortly after I finished a video and/or photo with it.
My goals regarding this hobby for 2021 are simple: Keep up making good content while expending on things that already work. And maybe making a few new friends along the way. I know that for many folks 2020 wasn’t as ideal as they wished for and if you had a hard time this this year, I do hope you found at least some joy in the awesome content from all the figure photographs around the world. They are all making such amazing things and I’m very happy to be a small part of this community. Stay positive, stay save and live to see another day!