Conveying Emotions in Toy Photography

For me, the most important thing in a photo is the storytelling.

Photographing any minifigure in any environment is within everyone’s reach. But if you want to catch the eye and the curiosity of the viewer, your photo must tell a story. And to tell a story, it may be necessary to convey an emotion.

So I would like to give you 4 different ways to express an emotion in your photos.


To start I will talk about the “symbolic”. Symbolism in photography is a fun concept especially to represent an emotion. It helps to give meaning to a scene.

For example the red rose is a symbol of love, the sun a symbol of joy. Reflections on the water suggest tranquility, serenity.


In this photo, I wanted to represent a melancholy person. For this, I used the following symbols: a single person, the rain, a distant gaze. A dull color palette representing the end of the day accentuates this impression. We feel compassion for this old woman, what is she thinking, what is she doing?


Here, I wanted to express serenity. For this, the symbolism of the blanket, the fireplace, the plants, the cup of tea, as well as the warmer color palette served me. We can thus imagine that this woman warms up after a long day in the cold, or finds some comfort in her family cocoon in order to recharge her batteries after a stressful day.


To convey an emotion in photography it’s possible to playing with the composition of the photo. For example, a pronounced background blur is an unstoppable way to emphasize the expression of a face. The choice of framing is also an important element.


For this scene, I chose a wide shot. This plan allows me to make the environment very present. This allows me to relate the photographed subject to what surrounds it. So I can insist on the atmosphere in which my astronaut finds himself. Seeming alone and isolated, we feel a sense of loneliness.


Here, I used a close shot. We get closer to create a link between the subject and the eye of the viewer. It is used to focus on an emotion, to make it more intense if it is combined with a background blur. Ideal plan if you want to emphasize a moment of joy, fear or sadness.


It is possible to play with certain color palettes to more easily modify the emotional charge of an image. When you want to convey a particular emotion, you should ideally exploit a dominant color. Apart from warm or cold hues, each color has its own emotional charge in our mind. Emotionally charged which can obviously vary according to cultures or beliefs.


I chose to work the color black. Black can reinforce the emotional power of an image and give a strong psychological impact. The use of black is perfect to symbolize fear for example.


Here the red color, because it is the color with the strongest emotional charge. Due to its regular use throughout history, red has been associated with many concepts and emotions such as love or anger. Red can thus have different impacts depending on how it is exploited in your images. For example, it can be associated with a red rose which symbolizes love and passion.


Another example with the green. Green is universally associated with nature. We immediately imagine large meadows of fresh grass, leafy trees or even lawns when this color comes to mind. Green conveys a sense of calm and well-being. We feel a lot of tranquility in front of a leaf coated by the morning dew.


It is also possible to convey an emotion through the psychology of forms

Indeed, in films and more particularly in animated films, playing with geometry allows your mind to quickly and easily detect the good guys from the bad guys by playing on the psychology of shapes.
These are actually concepts designed to influence your perception of the characters. Our brain is conditioned to see anything sharp as a threat and anything round as an appeasement. Which would play on the emotions that emerge from a character or an image.

The evil characters are drawn with pointed shapes to convey negative emotion while the lovable characters conveying positive emotions have rounded, soft shapes.

To better understand, I invite you to study the shapes of Disney characters for example.

My first photo with Maleficent feels negative and scary. All these triangles forming points put our mind on alert.

While my second photo with Mickey, Minnie and Pluto releases positive emotions, joy, sweetness thanks to all these curves.

To go further, square shapes are used for characters that are a little more neutral or even emotionless. the perfect example is Carl’s square face from the movie “UP”.

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.