Artist Spotlight: toy.story.yana

Every month, we pick a LEGO photographer active in our community and share some of their work and a little about themselves. This month we moved to Bulgaria to meet toy.story.yana!

My name is Yana, I’m 34, from Bulgaria. 

I started taking pictures of toys at the beginning of 2020 with the start of the pandemic. While there wasn’t much to do or to go to, my husband decided to show my childhood LEGO sets to our boy who was 2 years old then. This was the start of everything 🙂

In August 2021 I created an Instagram account which is my tiny LEGO minifigures place. A bit later I was invited to join other Bulgarian lego creators in Brickslog, our first Bulgarian page for LEGO news.

After that, I found BrickCentral and this community totally grabbed my attention.

So many wonderful pictures, lessons and tips on how to create lightning and scenes, and how to make your photographs come to life. The monthly themes are great and make your imagination work.

Back then I was using my phone camera but after I watched a few clips on Four Bricks Tall’s YouTube channel, I grabbed my camera and started using it again.

My old camera was an Olympus DSLR and I used it with a macro lens. I recently changed it with Canon 7D and a Canon 55-250 lens. I don’t have any occasional lightning yet.

When I’m at home I use two led lamps, a torch, and fairy lights.

I find inspiration from other LEGO photographers or everyday situations. Sometimes I try to recreate a scene or a photograph and see how it looks through my lens. When a few ideas come along I usually write them down. Some come to life in photographs, others remain untold.

I’ve always loved photography and crafts. Now I can put these together and make some decor. Creating decor is awesome because you can put the minifigures in so many different places, like they are living a life of their own.

As a child, I only imagined how they would look in a realistic atmosphere and now I can create one myself 🙂

The exclusive

For this project we’ve also asked Yana to shoot a picture for us, revealing a bit of her process behind the scenes and this is what she decided to share with all of us

The idea of the picture was to recreate a scene where two people are going outside the city, driving around on the seaside, searching for a little adventure and something to photograph.

Some of the best shots come from quick escapes from city life.

I tried to make the decor look like they’re driving on a road covered with sand, the brick wall is somewhere at the end of the city and there is a small hint of the sea.

I made the wall and water for one of BrickCentral’s challenges and I liked how they turned out so decided to keep them and use them again

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