Why I Love To Photograph Figurines

This is not a guide about Figurine photography. While many may think figurine photography is childish and what not, it’s actually not.

Figurine Photography is a form of product photography. It’s also portrait photography. And in this article, I will share with you the benefits that you probably never thought of when it comes to figurine photography.

Having Fun at School!

For guides -you can always refer to my Flickr and Facebook albums. I’ll be posting more of these guides.

Below are the reasons why I love to photograph figurines.

One-off Cost

Figurines from Revoltech and Figma are available from local retailers like XL-Shop. (not going into detail regarding acquisition). Many of these figurines are priced from RM 100 – 200, you could even get them cheaper if it’s on sale or clearance – that’s cheaper than hiring a model for a half-day shoot.

Celebrating Miku Day (ミクの日) with Nendoroid Hatsune Miku 2.0

Always Available

There’s no need to set a time, date, whatever. You’re not bound by the subject’s availability. This means you’re will not be facing cancellations and all those nonsense. Your subject is always there – blue sky and awesome sunlight, let’s go!

Doesn’t Matter Where You Go

They’re not geographically limited. You can bring them anywhere, even on your trip overseas. 🙂 They don’t cost you an air-ticket and you can place them anywhere you like – water, mud, scorching sand ……… as long as you don’t mind dirt on your precious collection.

No “Human” Problems

You need not worry about offending them, neither do you have concerns like model fatigue, or the need to ease. They’re just there – the silent figure that’s ready for you. They’re not going to tell you that they’re hungry or thirsty, or that they’re so tired and would really love to go home.

Pose Them Anyway You Like

Not all figurines are poseable but those that are poseable, you’re only limited by their available range of motion and the act of balancing them. If you like the pose, you could leave them there for hours without them breaking a sweat. Oh and if you need to touch any part of their body to get the pose, no one’s going to say you’re a pervert! 😛

楪 いのり (Inori Yuzuhira) - Guilty Crown, Photoshoot Setup

Flash Them!

Not in the naughty sense but it’s related 2 of the points mentioned earlier. You can throw any form of light on them from any direction at any intensity and they wouldn’t even flinch. Feeling adventurous? Add some smoke, they won’t cough nor get blistery eyes. You’ll probably suffer more than they do.

Costumes & Make-up

Costumes & Make-up can be a problem when photographing humans. Some of them would require you to engage a make-up artist and fine the right clothing and all, that’s a lot of work and cost. This is not the case with figurines – they come in their costume or attire already. No cosplay required. No hassle of finding the right model to match the idea or concept you have in mind …… you just need to find the right figurine.

Let's Walk Together! - Shibuya Rin

They Won’t Fight!

They won’t get on each other’s nerves, fancy a group photo? Bring them all along. Benefits mentioned earlier still applies, and they only take up more space in your bag.

Resale Value

Believe it or not, the figurines you bought could be sold for an even higher price than what you bought them for. This depends on the popularity of the figurine. People are willing to pay for popular figurines that are no longer in production. You can check out eBay and see how some toys are marked up really high.

What You Miss

Figurines are often characters based on shows. For example, below is Ironman – you know where he’s from. 🙂 Anime, movies, cartoons – you name it. Each figurine often only comes with a set of costume.

Iron Man Mk VI from Sci-Fi Revoltech | アイアンマン [マーク6]

Some figurines have detachable costumes but let’s not go that direction to keep it FAMILY FRIENDLY. 😛

What you miss are costume changes (although technically you can swap heads to another figure’s body), eye contacts (their eyes are fixed), pose limitation, expressions (some figurines come with a few expressions though).

Is Figurine For You?

Yes it is, it’s for everyone! Figurine photography is fun. You lose out a bit on the “human touch” but you’re bound by time constraint and you have a chance to not only recover but even profit from what you photographed.

It’s a great way to learn how to light a subject. The “size of light to subject” ratio might be very different from that of photographing a human but it gives you a chance to experiment with lighting ratio and light direction, and you get to see how light falls off the subject and how lights can also highlight the rims of the subject to add depth.

By experimenting with figurines, you’re practicing both product and portrait photography. You learn to use light and choose background to match the subject.

Give it a shot! You’ll love it! 🙂