#82 Toy Photography With Matt "AmusingKing" Ma

Toy photographer Matt “AmusingKing” Ma joins Sean in talking about his work in the subculture genre. They discuss how Matt got into toy photography, how it has helped him become a better photographer, and how easy it is for anyone to get into toy photography.


ABOUT THE EPISODE

Toy photographer Matt “AmusingKing” Ma joins Sean in talking about his work in the subculture genre. They discuss how Matt got into toy photography, how it has helped him become a better photographer, and how easy it is for anyone to get into toy photography.

They also touch on their love for classic gaming such as Gameboys, how the 90s was the best decade for childhoods, and what comic books they and the listeners of the show are reading.

RESOURCES & LINKS

ABOUT THE GUEST

Matt Ma, also known as AmusingKing on social media, runs his own photography and video production business. On social media, he is best known for his toy photography content. He is also married with three kids.

ABOUT THE SHOW

A show for the most casual and dedicated fans of comics. Join Sean as he discovers what the world of comics and graphic novels has to offer from one-on-one interviews with industry professionals, round table discussions with passionate fans, and reviews on the latest comics, tv shows, and movies. New episodes every week. The Captioned Life is a part of the Comic Watch family.

SHOW CREDITS

Transcript

00:00:04:21 - 00:00:05:16
Speaker 1
Hi and welcome to

00:00:05:16 - 00:00:08:16
Speaker 2
The Captioned Life, a show for the most casual and dedicated fans.

00:00:08:16 - 00:00:13:17
Speaker 1
Of comics and a member of the comic Watch family, I'm your host. Sean joined me and discovering

00:00:13:17 - 00:00:35:08
Speaker 2
What the world of comics and graphic novels have to offer from one on one interviews with industry professionals, roundtable discussions with passionate fans, and reviews on the latest comics, TV shows and movies. Let's dive right on in. I want to welcome back to the caption Live.

00:00:35:08 - 00:00:56:06
Speaker 1
One The great things about being a kid is playing with toys, and for some of us, we still love playing with toys. But just like many pop culture genre, there are many facets in the world of toys. Some people dedicate their lives to creating toys, collecting them, studying them, and even for photographing them. Toy photography has actually been around for quite some time and is not a simply a trend.

00:00:56:12 - 00:01:14:07
Speaker 1
And I thought I'd invite somebody to come on the show today to talk about toy photography. So please welcome Mat Maas, also known as Amusing Keen on social media, Matt runs his own photography and video production business on social media. He is best known for his toy photography content, is also married with three kids. Matt, welcome to the show.

00:01:14:17 - 00:01:15:24
Speaker 3
Hello. Hello. Thanks for having me.

00:01:16:09 - 00:01:23:12
Speaker 1
How is everything going? I know you just had a brand new child at your house and you've been really busy with that.

00:01:23:24 - 00:01:51:24
Speaker 3
Yes. She was born November 1st, right after we went trick or treating, dressed the Star Wars characters. And yeah, it's just been a crazy adjustment because it's our third one. So it's like my wife and I are officially outnumbered. And that's I mean, I've heard mixed things about that and it's definitely been on the harder end. But I mean, like I want to do it any other way, so it's awesome.

00:01:52:05 - 00:01:52:23
Speaker 3
Yeah. Oh, good.

00:01:52:23 - 00:01:54:09
Speaker 1
Well, congratulations. That's awesome.

00:01:54:23 - 00:01:55:13
Speaker 3
Thank you. They just.

00:01:55:20 - 00:02:07:12
Speaker 1
Yeah. And I know you are a huge Star Wars fan. From what I can see from your account and your son name is Luke. I'm assuming there's Star Wars influence from that.

00:02:07:20 - 00:02:16:08
Speaker 3
Oh, no, not at all. It's a it's actually Luke from Gilmore Girls.

00:02:16:08 - 00:02:19:01
Speaker 1
Believe it or not, I actually. I love Gilmore Girls, so I do.

00:02:19:05 - 00:02:36:13
Speaker 3
I do, too. Yeah. Oh, dear. Oh, my God. I mean, like, I wouldn't love it if it wasn't for my wife, but, like, it was a show that she had started to watch, like, without me. So I went up to watch it with her. But I remember I was on my computer editing and I saw it and like, it got me hooked.

00:02:36:13 - 00:02:40:13
Speaker 3
And so, oh, yeah, I'm I'm not ashamed as Amazon.

00:02:40:20 - 00:02:47:23
Speaker 1
Oh, yeah. Well, I'll go even further to say that I actually watch it in high school. You know, I mean, I just thought it was a really good show. I really liked it. Yeah.

00:02:47:23 - 00:02:48:10
Speaker 3
So, yeah.

00:02:48:16 - 00:02:53:22
Speaker 1
What's funny is my wife and I went for Halloween one year as Luke and Lorelai.

00:02:54:22 - 00:02:55:01
Speaker 3
As.

00:02:55:01 - 00:03:10:07
Speaker 1
A girl. So I. I forget how I got this habit, but somebody that knew had the, like, Luke's Diner hat. So I just put that on and like, a flannel shirt, basically. And. And that was Luke from Gilmore Girls. It was like the easiest life prisoner.

00:03:11:01 - 00:03:12:15
Speaker 3
That's awesome. So.

00:03:12:15 - 00:03:30:15
Speaker 1
Well, that is great. Well, again, thanks for coming on the show. You know, as we talk about with toy photography, I got to be honest, I know that it was a thing when I was not necessarily when I was growing up, but probably when I was in high school and college. I knew toy photography was kind of a thing that existed out there.

00:03:31:16 - 00:03:58:17
Speaker 1
And I didn't really, I guess, pay attention a lot to it until I came across your account. And I got to say, your account is amazing. Just not, you know, not just the photography that you do with toys, but your account, especially on Tick Tock, goes to how you set it up and, you know, just like the before and after, I think really does some really cool things to show how toy photography is not just taking picture toys, but, you know, setting those things up and and kind of creating a scene in a sense.

00:03:58:17 - 00:04:15:18
Speaker 1
And a lot of those just look so realistic. That's mind boggling. I don't think I would ever be able to know that they're toys. So I was very excited to have you on because I think this is something that not a lot of people know about. This genre might have some preconceived notions of what it is. And so I knew that I wanted to get you on this show.

00:04:15:18 - 00:04:39:11
Speaker 1
We've been talking about it for a while, so I'm very excited to be on here. So before we get started into that genre, I always like to ask people about their origin story, usually because this is a mostly comic show. I asked people about the comics origin story, but I'm going to change it for you a little bit and ask you what's your origin story when it comes to toys or toy photography or anything along those lines that you might want to share, like what your origin story was with that?

00:04:39:16 - 00:04:58:22
Speaker 3
Well, well, it all started at I was on a field trip and there was this radioactive spider I was about to say, Yes, yes, bear with what you're saying specifically toy photography or.

00:04:59:11 - 00:05:07:04
Speaker 1
Any of those things. It could be toy photography or it could be like, you know, toys or photography in general, something like that. Or maybe kind of the whole progression.

00:05:07:12 - 00:05:29:19
Speaker 3
Yeah, Yeah. There is kind of a progression to it. I know I was a, I was a nineties kid and so and I was into all the things with Pokemon cards and the video games. I did Digimon for a little bit. It wasn't as cool. You go Magic the gathering cards. This one didn't pick up, but they were this.

00:05:29:22 - 00:05:54:06
Speaker 3
It was a Star Wars trading card game. Oh yeah, it was super cool. Like you had like different fields to play on. And my cousin, my cousin had my cousin said, Do do it all with and everything we did together. I got into Beanie Babies collecting those. Those were like a hot thing. I did do some Legos, but it wasn't like, really like into collecting them.

00:05:54:06 - 00:06:18:22
Speaker 3
I just kind of had them. But I, I had a bunch of, like those toys and action figures and, and I don't know if it's a real thing or not, but I feel like, like in our DNA, there's like a collecting gene and some people have it and some people don't. And, and so I definitely had it, but it kind of like went away for a while.

00:06:18:22 - 00:06:36:06
Speaker 3
And, and I've always liked everything. Like I've always been a Star Wars fan. I got into Harry Potter, but I like Harry Potter. Lord, I love Lord of the Rings because I like a lot like a lot of like, nerdy stuff. I never really got too much in the comic books like themselves, but I mean, like, I love, like all the Marvel video games.

00:06:36:12 - 00:06:57:24
Speaker 3
I was also a big gamer, so that that played a role in, I guess, my nerdiness. But then going into high school, I feel like a lot of that like kind of died down and not so much for myself. I guess I was just, you know, typical like a kid trying to kind of like hide himself or try to fit in or something.

00:06:57:24 - 00:07:15:06
Speaker 3
I don't know. So I got it's not like I stopped watching Thor where I still loved it, but I just went it like I wouldn't wear a Star Wars shirt. Right? And so it's I feel like I kind of, like, dimmed down a little bit. But in college I started like with one of my friends was kind of like a nerd also.

00:07:16:05 - 00:07:34:23
Speaker 3
And he was definitely more like just out there. And it was it was really cool and, and like, it was good for me because, like, I just saw, like, you know, more about being myself and all that and then with my, with my church, I started like going into college, I became like a leader for my my student ministry.

00:07:34:23 - 00:07:55:17
Speaker 3
And like the they had they had asked me to take pictures and my mom bought me like a little I had it lying around somewhere, like a little Sony or Canon Cyber shot camera. Oh, yeah. And then on the trip, I just kind of took pictures that we didn't have phones back then. What? Or like, I guess we did, but not like it.

00:07:55:17 - 00:07:57:04
Speaker 1
Was it was a Nokia phones now.

00:07:57:04 - 00:07:57:09
Speaker 3
Yeah.

00:07:57:15 - 00:08:00:06
Speaker 1
Exactly. It was like literally keypad and that's it. Yeah.

00:08:00:06 - 00:08:19:12
Speaker 3
Yeah, yeah. So you needed to, you needed to have a separate camera. And so I remember just taking too much of a trip, put together like a rewind video and I was like, oh cool. And then I kind of went into like, Oh, I could do more than pictures, let me do some video stuff. And so I started taking video and then I was like, Hey, I can do that more than just here at church.

00:08:19:12 - 00:08:40:22
Speaker 3
Like, let me go. Like, let me do like stuff with my friends or whatever. And so that became my thing for, for a while to where I was a teacher. I taught middle school students, but I knew I didn't want to do that for a long time. And I saw an opportunity to, hey, let me like I started getting better with my camera, like, let me like go full time with this.

00:08:40:22 - 00:09:01:10
Speaker 3
And so I did quit my job and I jumped into photography and video. I do like wedding films too, so that's my main thing with that. But then one of the photographers that I work with, like as I was, I do a lot of wedding videos and he would do a lot of wedding photos. He was he was a, I guess, a nerd.

00:09:01:10 - 00:09:27:02
Speaker 3
And he like randomly, it was around when Mandalorian season one came out, he got like one of the Black series figures and he was taking some pictures of it. And I just thought, like, it looks super cool. I was like, well, like, it's interesting because I've always wanted to be like, I mean, I guess in a general sense, like, I've always wanted to be an artist, but like, I always sucked at drawing.

00:09:27:02 - 00:10:05:11
Speaker 3
I never really had, like good ideas for images and stuff. And so I always kind of just had that. But I never really, like, explored it. And even with photography, like it was definitely an outlet, but like I wasn't able to create the images like I wanted and, and so when he, when he, he got into this toy photography stuff and started sharing some images and, and he was kind of collecting to like it just kind of like that, that I mean, I guess, I guess it was kind of progressed a progression but that like nerd collecting gene spark that was like dormant for a while, it was like, like, I don't know, like it

00:10:05:11 - 00:10:30:09
Speaker 3
just went off and or, you know, went on, but it blew up and, and like, dang, like I had, I had like zero. I mean, I had some like random figures from my childhood that I collected or I still had. But as far as, like my main collection, I pretty much had zero. And I went from zero to like, like so many.

00:10:30:09 - 00:10:58:16
Speaker 3
Like it's like, it's ridiculous how much. So that's a part of it was the collecting. So I definitely added to the whole experience is just being a collector. But then on top of that, like being able to create scenes and, and just like make art like it, it really, like fulfilled something that was missing in me. And even with, with like the pictures they like, they're small scales.

00:10:58:16 - 00:11:20:10
Speaker 3
And so you can kind of look at it like, oh well that's nothing to it. But like, yes, there could be nothing to it and you have a bad picture, but you could really make it something like Epic and not just epic, but like what's cool is like all the light placement because a lot of like the video I did a lot of trainings with video production and some other photographer like real people photography.

00:11:20:22 - 00:11:40:20
Speaker 3
And so when it comes to like the lighting and some of these like other effects and stuff, like it's easy just to throw a bunch of lights on a figure, but like, there could be a reason why this light's here and then this light over here in the back, or maybe there's no light and then there's, oh, there's this effect here.

00:11:40:20 - 00:12:11:07
Speaker 3
And oh, this light saber comes out like anyone can add a light saber. But is it going to look like it's a part of the image or you just added it afterward? And so there's so many like little things and all of those like, can translate to like real people to like so I can like, I can confidently say that being a better toy photographer has made me a better real person photographer and also a better like a like video maker when it comes to like, like wedding films and like understanding, like the lighting and all that.

00:12:11:07 - 00:12:28:08
Speaker 3
It's just it's a it's a great way to practice and and just get better without, you know, a model complaining or anything like that. Like everything's in your control and it's at a like a good scale. Like it's not, it doesn't take up too much space, right? So yeah.

00:12:28:12 - 00:12:47:22
Speaker 1
Well I could definitely tell with some of your content because I know you definitely play around with different kinds of lighting to get different kinds of moods because I forget which one it was by member. I really enjoyed the one where you did some back lighting where you didn't really see a lot of the face, but when you did, it just kind of gave like a sinister look to it.

00:12:47:22 - 00:13:09:12
Speaker 1
And I can't remember what it was, but I definitely have seen that in some of your work. And what's funny is how you talk about with toy photography, you know, sparked that love that you had for all the nerdy things that lay dormant, all that. I feel like there's a lot of people our age who have that sort of thing where we grew up loving these nerdy things.

00:13:09:12 - 00:13:32:04
Speaker 1
And for one reason or another we got away from it. And then as adults, we're getting back into those things that we absolutely love and just like what you like. I didn't really collect the whole lot of comic books or anything else until probably like five or seven years ago. And now it's like I have to figure out and be more selective of what I want because I'm running out of space to hold all this stuff.

00:13:32:04 - 00:13:47:21
Speaker 1
And I don't want to just be in my attic or anything like that. So I think there's something to the fact that there's going to be a lot of people who had that same sort of story, that something had happened to them as an adult that really ignited their love. Again for those three things that they grew up with.

00:13:47:21 - 00:13:59:07
Speaker 1
And you definitely see that in your content. And I think it's really interesting that you didn't get into toy photography until just recently. So I think it's really cool to think about. I think there's.

00:13:59:07 - 00:13:59:13
Speaker 3
This.

00:14:01:17 - 00:14:29:08
Speaker 1
How do I say this? I think there is this Oh, what's the word I'm looking for? Not not there, but I think there's this stigma almost, right? There's a stigma that the dogs can't enjoy some of those things. And not only that, but you have to do it early on in order to, you know, have anything to do with it or be successful.

00:14:29:13 - 00:14:44:13
Speaker 1
Otherwise, when you get to a certain age, like, you might as well kiss it goodbye. But I think there's a lot of people that I'm running into that don't really get into this until well into their adulthood. Like I had somebody on the show before where they actually didn't start drawing until they're in their, I think, early to mid twenties.

00:14:44:13 - 00:14:59:02
Speaker 1
And now they're like a great artist. I love hearing stories where people, they really get into this to later in life because I feel like that's how I am. Like I feel like I'm always a little too late to the scene, but when I'm on the scene, I absolutely love it. Took a while to get there. Yeah. So but that's all.

00:14:59:02 - 00:15:30:24
Speaker 1
That's really cool. I love hearing that. I love how tour photography and that being something that you kind of fell into from your friend and it's actually, as you said, made you a better photographer. So it sounds like toy photography is not really your main business, but it's something that you kind of do it creatively or, you know, one for your social media accounts, but also, you know, just to kind of experiment and get a better understanding of the craft of photography in general, that also plays into, you know, your video production side as well too, right?

00:15:31:17 - 00:16:10:03
Speaker 3
Yeah. And like I do have like a slightly bigger goal than maybe most people as far as like, like I do see, especially with social media and like the power that it can give, like, like, would it be a full time thing? I don't know. But I definitely see the potential in it becoming something which is like and it's not, which is why I am like branched out as far as like I'm not just doing photos, but I think that's I think that's hard if you're like just taking pictures of, of whatever.

00:16:10:11 - 00:16:49:05
Speaker 3
Like unless it's I don't know, the most unique, craziest thing in the world. Like, it's not going to get a lot of attention. But if you start doing stuff like, Hey, here's how I did it, right? Like, oh, okay. Or it's like, oh, here's here's some other like ways you can do it, or just like there's a bunch of different things that add to it and, and so whether it's, you know, whether it's through like the YouTube or TikTok sponsorships or, or affiliate links or or whatever are making money or selling my own photos or whatever, I definitely hope to make it something bigger.

00:16:50:01 - 00:17:01:05
Speaker 3
But as of right now, I guess, I mean, it is just like a creative outlet hobby, right? Um, but I have, I have some, some dreams there.

00:17:01:05 - 00:17:22:17
Speaker 1
Oh, I was going to say I'm fully expecting you to get some sort of pay partnership with Hasbro at some point, because I think Isaiah Malik, I'm not even, you know, blowing smoke at you, but it's like you're. I remember when I first followed you on TikTok, I think you and I were both kind of new to it, and we're both starting out.

00:17:23:01 - 00:17:43:07
Speaker 1
And I just remember early on, your work was just amazing and fantastic in the scenes that you've been able to create. And each video that you put out, I'm just like, you're just leveling up that these things, like if you hadn't done the before and after type of stuff, this would look very similar to the things that you see in some of the major production companies that they put out this thing.

00:17:43:07 - 00:18:11:05
Speaker 1
It just it looks like an actual scene from a movie. And I just I think it's just fantastic and what you've been doing with all this stuff. And one of the things that I think will be really interesting to see is how far like what else you could do with toy photography, because like you said, the before and after thing I think is a genius way to kind of show that because a lot of us I know me particularly, but I think this is a lot of people as well too.

00:18:11:05 - 00:18:35:07
Speaker 1
I didn't really realize the amount of effort and work that goes into making something look good until I started getting into video production myself. And that's why I personally also do like a before and after snapshot to show people, you know, when you're hiring me as a video producer or whatever, like these are the things that you're getting is that you take their raw footage and, you know, look, show them what it look like initially and then what the end product is.

00:18:35:07 - 00:19:01:16
Speaker 1
So that way they have some to compare it to. And I think that's why your videos are taking off really well, because you see all the things you do on the back end, how you setting things up, what it looks like. I think, you know, in a raw camera, like with your camera phone, like kind of seeing like, you know, it's almost I don't know if you have this on your setting, your phone or anything like that, but it tends to be just kind of like what you see, what you get type of thing with that flat look a little bit and then the product is always, you know, something that just very dynamic and

00:19:01:16 - 00:19:16:00
Speaker 1
very cool to look at afterwards as well. Just I think the before and after definitely gives people a better appreciation for what you do as to where photography is. That's not just simply taking a camera, snapping pictures of toys, but there's a lot of stuff that goes into it and makes it looks really good.

00:19:16:11 - 00:19:18:01
Speaker 3
MM Yeah, definitely. Yeah.

00:19:18:11 - 00:19:26:19
Speaker 1
So when you're doing all your creative toy photography sets, where do you get your inspiration from when you're doing these things?

00:19:26:19 - 00:20:07:00
Speaker 3
Um, like, I mean for most of them, like what I would say is, I mean, maybe not most. There's a good chunk where it's kind of just like an idea and like, I just want to try to put it together and like, so it's, I mean, maybe I have like some kind of inspiration from a from a movie or show or video game, but like, there's definitely some that are just like random thoughts and I just like, try to put it together and it doesn't look like how I imagined.

00:20:07:11 - 00:20:30:19
Speaker 3
Sometimes it's worse, sometimes it's better, but it's kind of just like a, I don't know, boom. But there's definitely are some or another chunk that from like a movie or a video game where it's like, Hey, I really like, like how this looks. And so like, am I going to use like, I mean, I'm just kind of random, like, let's say men in black, like am I going to use like Will Smith shooting like this?

00:20:30:19 - 00:21:04:14
Speaker 3
Will No, I don't have a Will Smith figure, but I can use like a stormtrooper going like this. And it looks like it looks cool. Yeah. So, like, that's, that's a huge way of doing it. Also, like one thing that I because I like to make YouTube videos, I do a lot of tutorials where I'm trying to encourage people to like just get out there and shoot and like 111 of them with inspiration was like with comic books too, or even like Google, like looking at like anime enemies, like super awesome.

00:21:05:00 - 00:21:50:19
Speaker 3
Like for like anime goes like extra all the way, like pushing the human body contortion stuff and, and so like, yeah, your figure might not be able to do exactly that, but if you like the way he's like charging up his sword energy blade, well then you know, get your light saber guy and try to do that and like, boom, there's a pose for you or but I do also, I do try, I mean, I haven't really tried enough recently, but I mean, I kind of said it already, like with Google Images and just kind of looking at like good photos in general, like just seeing what what looks cool because it's not like I

00:21:50:24 - 00:22:11:10
Speaker 3
even when I'm telling people about like settings and stuff, like most of it doesn't matter, right? If it looks good, like if I can like, you know, like I have this like a brush and it's like, like you're not supposed to paint like this, But if I go like this and I make, like, this really cool looking picture, like, who cares how I did it right?

00:22:11:10 - 00:22:34:02
Speaker 3
And so the same thing with, with like the photos of, like settings and all that. But, but, but yeah, a lot of it's just like kind of getting an idea from, from some kind of book or movie and just putting it together like how I, how I see it and I guess, I mean, I don't want to get like, too crazy.

00:22:34:02 - 00:22:51:21
Speaker 3
Well, like one, one way that I've seen it or like, I've done it before, I like this analogy is like looking at a cloud when you're like, Oh, that cloud looks like a shoe, or that cloud looks like like a baseball bat or whatever. Yeah, random. But, but like, I can look at that same cloud and I don't see it.

00:22:52:09 - 00:23:16:11
Speaker 3
Yeah, but, but here on Instagram, when I'm posting a picture, it's like, this is me, like zooming in on the cloud and drawing the outline for you to see what I see. Right? And so that's kind of how it is. I feel like it's easy to see, to watch The Mandalorian and see like this epic background and all this cool stuff, but and be like, Oh, I'm inspired by it.

00:23:17:00 - 00:23:32:17
Speaker 3
But like, it's not always going to translate to like how I take it or like, it just might be different from person to person. And so, so there's nothing a lot of like little inspirations that just kind of come in from all over the place. Right.

00:23:33:04 - 00:23:56:07
Speaker 1
Well, and one thing that you said early on was how you had an inspiration from a scene from Men in Black and you didn't have the Will Smith character, but you had a stormtrooper and you you know, the pose was great. I think that's actually being the idea is being able to take something that you see in a different medium and, you know, put in a character from a different universe in there.

00:23:57:03 - 00:24:12:12
Speaker 1
And I think that, you know, that's really cool because then you start thinking about possibilities of almost like the what if a marvel, right? Is like, what if this happens and all that have you done any photography where you've done crossovers like that, where a stormtrooper is fighting with someone from Star Trek or anything like that?

00:24:12:21 - 00:24:37:05
Speaker 3
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Definitely not Star Trek, but like, I've done some the like the xenomorph alien like and like Obi-Wan and Anakin, like, kind of lined up against against that alien of buzz, Buzz Lightyear against some stormtroopers and.

00:24:39:15 - 00:24:40:20
Speaker 1
I have to check these out. Now.

00:24:42:08 - 00:25:05:19
Speaker 3
This one wasn't as cool. Like, I didn't come out as good, but I did like Han Solo trying to tame a raptor from Jurassic Park. Oh, a little bit. I liked the Iron Giant with C-3PO and R2-D2. Mm. I then a few, I think Star Wars and them ones like I did, like really good Star Lux.

00:25:05:21 - 00:25:10:04
Speaker 1
Yeah. Do you like it? Han Solo. Indiana Jones won some time.

00:25:10:17 - 00:25:20:08
Speaker 3
Yeah, because it did just recently come out. It's the Indiana Jones line, right Like that for Hasbro. So I'll definitely be getting one of those. You call.

00:25:20:19 - 00:25:21:13
Speaker 1
Us. Awesome.

00:25:21:23 - 00:25:24:18
Speaker 3
Well, good.

00:25:24:18 - 00:25:36:23
Speaker 1
What is something about toy photography that people don't know about or would be surprised to learn if you said this to them? Hmm.

00:25:36:23 - 00:26:21:03
Speaker 3
I mean, one thing I do like to say is like on my on my YouTube channel is like, what it is overall. I do think it's easier than it looks and and like anybody can do it and not sure what else there but like a like just with your with your phone because I feel like and I had this dilemma too when I was doing like my own video stuff, it was like, you know, you need like the best camera, you need the best lens, you need the best lighting and all this and yes, there are there are lenses and lights that are way better than others.

00:26:21:15 - 00:26:52:11
Speaker 3
But like, you don't need that to get started. And especially when it comes to like, I mean, I guess a hobby like, you know, and even for kids, like, I wish I knew about this when I was a kid, I feel like I would have I mean, I don't know, maybe I wouldn't have have been into it, but but I feel like I do have a lot of kids that follow me and, like, will say stuff and like, talk about like their parents or whatever and like, and how they think it's super cool and whatever.

00:26:52:11 - 00:27:13:08
Speaker 3
And then even in real life, like some of my friends and kids or like my, my wife's coworker was like, see my stuff. And they say their kids are actually taking pictures of toys. And so cool. Yeah. So it's like it's, it's really cool. Like to like you can just with phones today like you can not just take pictures, but you can take really good pictures.

00:27:13:23 - 00:27:33:02
Speaker 3
So like, if you like if you have like a, you know, your favorite toy, like just line them up and then take a picture. And if you're like, Oh, it doesn't look good. Okay. What doesn't look good about it? Okay, well, maybe it's the lighting's too harsh. Okay, well, let's come over here. Okay. It looks better here, but it still looks kind of boring.

00:27:33:02 - 00:27:51:07
Speaker 3
Oh, we can add a golf ball to the image. Oh, cool. Like this better? No. And so, like. And there's no film. Like, there's no, like, only got 20 shots left. Like, no, like you can take a million pictures. You want it. So it's like, oh, it doesn't look good like this. Okay, move it down. Oh, okay. And like, just keep going.

00:27:51:07 - 00:28:17:04
Speaker 3
And so, and then so once you get there, it's like, maybe that's as good as you can get with your phone. Okay, So then you can start to see like, Oh, I do need to upgrade, right? But I feel like before you get to that point, like your phone is such a perfect tool to get started. Yeah. And kind of push you into that like intermediate stage for sure.

00:28:17:17 - 00:28:37:22
Speaker 3
So that's, that's the biggest thing is like I feel like a lot of people are like, say or like they'll, I mean, I know I've seen a lot of negative TikTok stuff, but I feel like I've been lucky to like, get too much like negative comments, but I feel like one isn't even that bad. But it's like, Oh yeah, if you had like a $3,000 camera, like, I could do that too.

00:28:37:22 - 00:28:56:22
Speaker 3
It's like, like one. My, my camera's not that expensive anyway, right? Yeah, but, but to, it's like it's totally not true. Like, it's just, it's, and that's what photography is like. I think technically it's like the study of light or something like that. And so, like, so it's all about the lighting That's, I guess that's another main quote that I will say.

00:28:56:22 - 00:29:19:10
Speaker 3
It's all about the lighting. Yeah. Like, so if you can like, be the master of one thing, like you can like with knowing different lighting techniques and angles and stuff like that's huge. So it's definitely way easier than, than it seems, but and that's just at the very minimum like yes, just like with anything, like you can make it epic.

00:29:19:10 - 00:29:32:08
Speaker 3
You can make it super difficult. Mm hmm. Like, and maybe some shots in your head. Yes. Those are top level shots. Excuse me. But at the like, just to get started, it's it's easier than it looks.

00:29:32:08 - 00:29:50:21
Speaker 1
Right. Right. Well, and it's just like we said, with the devices out there with smartphones having such good cameras now, those are great. So it's a great way to get started into it. It makes it a lot more accessible then feel like you have to have a very expensive camera to do some of the some of those things.

00:29:50:21 - 00:30:13:23
Speaker 1
Right? And so, yeah, but yeah, I think that's really cool to hear from you that it's not that difficult to get started. There are tutorials like yours out there with YouTube, which by the way, I'll put those in the show notes as well to for you YouTube channel and your social media as well. But there are YouTube videos and tutorials out there now that can help guide you in thinking about how to set up the shoe.

00:30:14:09 - 00:30:36:10
Speaker 1
But just like you said, oh, about a small portion of it is about the equipment and the majority of it is just knowing how to set things up. And that's one of the things I tell people all the time as well too, because I have people to say like, Yeah, I feel like I to get, you know, like a really good ring, like or the, you know, all these different kinds of lights and stuff like that or really good microphone.

00:30:36:15 - 00:31:00:23
Speaker 1
And I use to tell I'll be the first person to say that if you want to do that, that's fine. But honestly, you could probably solve 80% of your problem with just repositioning some of the things in your room with the lighting and like there are things that you can have in there. So for example, if you have like a lamp and you want to, you know, highlight something in the background or highlight your face a little bit more, but you feel like it's it's very harsh on it.

00:31:01:05 - 00:31:15:24
Speaker 1
You just put some wax like parchment paper wax paper over it, and then it kind of helps the fuze and all that. So it's just looking at the techniques and looking at what you have at home. They can do that. So that way you feel like you have to spend a lot of money to do this in order to get into that sort of thing.

00:31:15:24 - 00:31:31:15
Speaker 1
But I love here that kids are really inspired by some of your videos and that they're taking, you know, photos of their toys. I feel like my son would love this fact. I think I need some your videos because I think he was going to make is he loves lining up like all his action figures and they're not even like in the same universe he'll have.

00:31:31:20 - 00:31:32:05
Speaker 3
Yeah.

00:31:32:15 - 00:32:09:24
Speaker 1
Batman and Cat the Marvel one side and Thanos and Superman on the other side. He would have them all fight and everything like that. Then we just got some Harry Potter. I say, lining up there, and we had a whole conversation about who would win Thanos or Dumbledore. You know, I'd have a little argument about that, but I think that's really cool that you're inspiring, you know, a lot of people, but especially kids, to think about using photography as an art form with the things that they love and I think that's something that will hopefully sprout out into other things that as they grow older that they can get into, you know, professional photography and

00:32:09:24 - 00:32:29:08
Speaker 1
not just toy photography, but they can get into different kinds of photography or, or, you know, creating videos or things like that. It just helps them kind of make something that can be really interesting and cool because it's about something that they love. And then it kind of, you know, plants the seeds for those sorts of things later on too.

00:32:29:08 - 00:32:31:05
Speaker 3
So definitely, yeah.

00:32:32:10 - 00:32:53:24
Speaker 1
So not to switch gears a little bit by now, in your TikTok videos recently you've been getting into showing off some of your retro retro collectible items like your Gameboy, stuff like that. I want to ask you what got you into making videos about that? Was it just that you came across a box of those things that you thought would be really cool to share, or what kind of inspired you to start talking about those things?

00:32:53:24 - 00:33:11:19
Speaker 1
As I'll say, this is why I saw that it brought back all my childhood memories. Like, Yes, I love the game, boy, I love the Home Alone and the Turtles on and stuff like that. I was like, Oh my gosh, I wish I might buy, you know, dark green and light green colored Gameboy that I had as a kid that's, you know, completely antique now.

00:33:11:19 - 00:33:15:15
Speaker 1
But I love seeing that. So I want to ask you, what kind of got that started for you?

00:33:16:06 - 00:33:59:22
Speaker 3
Yeah. So I know, like, I'm a super, I guess, zeroed in on like, you know, I only have to do, like, photography and that's all I'm doing or that's all I'm known for and that's it, right? But I do like as far as, like, growing a following kind of thing is like, I don't like if I'm posting, you know, about like my kids, my wife, Star Wars photography, my wedding videos, church stuff, what I eat my food like like I'm some like, random person, like, no one's going to care about like that.

00:34:00:06 - 00:34:26:19
Speaker 3
So I understand, like, like, like niching down and picking one thing and focusing on that. And so that's my that's my toy photography. So that's my foundation. And I love it. Like, it's not like I'm, you know, doing something I don't enjoy. Like that's my main thing and doing as much as I can with that. When it comes to behind the scenes or I mean, kind of in the same realm as like, Oh, I got this figure like, here, let me do a quick review on it and then here's a photo of it.

00:34:27:17 - 00:34:57:08
Speaker 3
But on top of that, I do like to mix in different videos that are like art for photography related. I still try to make them like nerdy related, but but yeah, like, you know, I might, I don't do a lot of stuff with my my kids and family on, on like TikTok or YouTube. I did I did start my YouTube with some like Bad Life videos, but they didn't go as good as I thought.

00:34:57:15 - 00:35:28:16
Speaker 3
But yeah, like just kind of like mixing every now and then, like, oh, here's a, you know, a funny video with my kid or oh, here's like, here's some old stuff that like I recently found and, and yeah, so it's, it's just kind of like, like mixing apart or like further sharing or telling telling my story or sharing my story like, both, Like both for the fun of it and just for people that, that care or whatever.

00:35:28:21 - 00:35:45:20
Speaker 3
Right? And it's, and it's also just for like, like things to relate to because I mean, just like you said, how you saw like my video, like I've seen other people like post stuff or I think even you posted like the that the ninja turtle ornaments. Yeah Yeah. Cause I have I have I think three of those. Yes.

00:35:45:20 - 00:36:04:15
Speaker 3
And I was just in my attic because my mom always had them and kept them and she gave them to me and so like, yeah, I just had it. So it's, it's cool seeing that and just being able to be like being That's awesome. And, and, and even if it's like 5 seconds of like smile and joy, like it's worth it and it's cool.

00:36:04:15 - 00:36:26:19
Speaker 3
And so just being able to share the little things like that and, and, and I do like retro stuff a lot, especially like, you know, the nineties kids by like, I mean I'm obviously biased, but I feel like I was just like the best, the best generation, the best time. So so any any time I can like shout that out to you and I'm definitely proud of that.

00:36:26:19 - 00:36:27:01
Speaker 3
So.

00:36:27:04 - 00:36:28:03
Speaker 1
Oh yeah, definitely.

00:36:28:03 - 00:36:28:11
Speaker 3
Well.

00:36:29:03 - 00:36:40:08
Speaker 1
We got so much stuff on the nineties that seem like they're staples now, you know? So not that Batman came out in the nineties whatsoever. We have Michael Keaton and Adam West before in.

00:36:40:08 - 00:36:41:11
Speaker 3
And and.

00:36:42:00 - 00:37:07:07
Speaker 1
You know the I think the sixties animated series about me and all that but Batman the animated series in the nineties end up being a cornerstone of what people expect from a Batman type of movie or show know because just how influential it is the mighty Morphin Power Rangers, how that started in the late eighties, early nineties and how that's been, you know, just cultural phenomenon across the board and everything.

00:37:07:07 - 00:37:29:19
Speaker 1
So it's I think you're on to something now because it's really fascinating because when I think about my own parents, especially my dad, I don't hear him or think about or I don't hear him say anything regarding something about his childhood that he gets about with a, you know, be a toy or, you know, some sort of figure or anything like that.

00:37:29:19 - 00:38:04:04
Speaker 1
He's he's a car man. So when you talk about cars, you will go he'll talk to you about cars all day long. But when it comes to his childhood, in terms of the toys that they had, I'd never hear them talk about anything in relation to that. And I feel like that's something that in our generation we do that a lot now, because that's probably where, you know, the phenomena of toys being a market for kids and being part of that childhood experience is something that we kind of, I don't want to say cling to necessarily, but something that it brings up a lot of pleasant memories of things that we loved as a and

00:38:04:04 - 00:38:23:16
Speaker 1
we want to share that with our own kids and everything. And so I think there's something to what you said about how the nineties just seemed to have a lot of things that people gravitate, whether you're an adult that grew up in the nineties or, you know, nowadays kids are loving things from the nineties for whatever reason, you know, then I don't know how Neon Colors made a comeback, but it did.

00:38:23:16 - 00:38:24:18
Speaker 3
Yeah, yeah.

00:38:24:21 - 00:38:42:23
Speaker 1
So it's very fascinating. So yeah, I'm with you on that. I think there's something about that. So there's a you talked about your TED talk a little bit. I want to ask you, I know you just started, I think last year or the year before or were you expecting it to take off the way it did? Because now I think you have like well over how many followers now.

00:38:42:24 - 00:38:47:09
Speaker 1
It grew like a lot. And yeah.

00:38:47:09 - 00:38:49:12
Speaker 3
Yeah, I think about like 77,000.

00:38:49:20 - 00:38:54:10
Speaker 1
Yeah, you just started like I think 20, 21, like late 2021 or something like that, right.

00:38:54:18 - 00:38:57:18
Speaker 3
Yeah. The fall, fall 2021.

00:38:57:19 - 00:39:16:05
Speaker 1
Yeah. So, So your account grew online. A lot of it was because of the toy photography you've been doing and things like that, and just all the other stuff like the retro collectibles, even showing off, things like that. Were you expecting that sort of thing? What did you, what were you feeling when you saw that, you know, just kept growing like the way it did?

00:39:16:05 - 00:39:17:02
Speaker 1
I'm just kind of curious.

00:39:17:02 - 00:39:18:09
Speaker 3
About yeah.

00:39:18:09 - 00:39:30:13
Speaker 1
About that feeling, especially with it being toy photography. Like, I don't know if you are, if you're like, Yeah, nude toy photography is going to be a thing, or you're just really surprised that toy photography did so well with.

00:39:30:13 - 00:39:57:13
Speaker 3
Yes, I know. Well, I mean, first off, the the like I remember my one of my friends who was actually a like a student so that I used to be like a leader with him. And he so he was all like, I think it's like all Gen Z with tock and stuff. And, and he was like, like, oh man, you need to like with your toy photography, you should like, you should go and tick tock.

00:39:57:17 - 00:40:18:14
Speaker 3
And he had, he had been telling me, like I want to say earliest, like at least a year, maybe longer, like to do it. And, and I definitely had the like I was still under the impression of like, you know, oh, tick tock, just dancing and then for little kids and whatever and like. So I never like, gave it a second thought.

00:40:18:14 - 00:40:35:22
Speaker 3
It was always like, oh, okay. And then like I would just blow it off and like, not do it. And I don't know what happened. I don't know like, what it might have been, just like my desire to be like, you know, I like, like I want to make this something more than just a hobby. Like, I need to put myself out there.

00:40:36:06 - 00:41:12:24
Speaker 3
So and so I had Instagram and YouTube, and so I was like, I'm going to use like, I know TikTok is good at like getting growth or whatever, so I'm going to use my TikTok to shoot people to YouTube and Instagram. And so it just became like this, this thing. But what ended up happening was like I fell in love with it and and it's just it's been it's been super cool because like, like I'm all about quality and, and like, I respect good quality and stuff like that from everything when it comes to like, everything, but and there's definitely a place for that obviously.

00:41:13:08 - 00:41:29:22
Speaker 3
But it's cool And like with Tik Tok and not that there's not that good quality stuff on there. So like you can like just when it comes to like post them in your phone, like, I don't need to bust out my camera and then send it to my computer and then edit and send it back to my phone and then post it.

00:41:29:22 - 00:41:58:11
Speaker 3
Yes, I can just use my phone and post it in like, like nobody cares if like this behind the scenes is like a 4K quality or just, you know, phone HD quality. So, so that's, that's a definitely a a big part in it not being a drawing a blank. That's okay photo was the question again.

00:41:59:16 - 00:42:00:18
Speaker 1
Just you know what.

00:42:01:15 - 00:42:30:10
Speaker 3
I, I just needed you to say something. So yeah, when somebody came on TikTok, I was like, okay, fine, let me do it. And it was cool, like kind of getting started. I was kind of just sharing, like I tried to be out there on a couple of them and like, I didn't do well. And it's funny how like, how much like your life hinges on, like, the views and it's like, Oh, man, like, I suck now and but then and I was like, I was kind of just sharing, like I would post stuff on Instagram and be like, Hey, here's just a quick video of that.

00:42:30:10 - 00:42:51:00
Speaker 3
And, and it wasn't anything like, purposeful because I wasn't it wasn't my main thing. It was just like a means to an end kind of thing. And so so it wasn't until I realized, like, hey, this can be something more than just, you know, like a funnel or whatever. Like it can be actually can be like one of the big three.

00:42:51:09 - 00:43:21:16
Speaker 3
Yeah. And so, and then got on top of that too is like I'm not like there are like a good amount of photographers I have like more followers and, and so I saw and it kind of even I mean there's like a mixed bag because like you can have some people that have like there's, like some big toy photographer accounts on Instagram and then so I mean, they can make an account wherever and you know, it's going to have a lot.

00:43:21:16 - 00:43:45:08
Speaker 3
So it doesn't mean they grew on TikTok. Right. But I know I've seen a lot of people that have a big kind of TikTok that got a big account elsewhere because of Tik Tok. And and and on that, like there are some like photographers that I've seen that have like over 100, 200,000 on TikTok. And so and then they don't even do that much, right?

00:43:45:11 - 00:44:06:18
Speaker 3
It's just like here's, you know, like maybe once a week, here's a behind the scenes a photo. But the thing was, or is they started a long time ago and so they started a while ago. And so I know, like there's a lot of people that complain or whatever about like, you know, there was a big boom before something like a people surging to Tik Tok and all that.

00:44:07:02 - 00:44:35:22
Speaker 3
And so so I think if you were on, you know, earlier back then it was easier to grow. Mm. So anyway with that I just knew a this guy has over that, that many like. It's possible Right. So and I guess not to be I guess big headed or anything like that but like I would see their work and it'd be like, you know mine's not, you know, like mine's kind of better than that, right?

00:44:36:12 - 00:44:57:11
Speaker 3
Or I would see other some people's work and be like, yeah, like, I mean, that's cool. But I feel like my shot or, or I can do that way better. So. So I kicked out, became a huge thing and I was like, I was growing like steadily. I had a couple of big videos here and there, but I remember there was this one and it was like it was my friend's suggestion.

00:44:57:11 - 00:45:18:06
Speaker 3
It was the theme of I guess it was like a trend saying like, Oh, it's just a toy. You can't make it look real. And and so and I remember my friend that had first told me about Tik Tok, he was telling me like, Oh, dude, you should do this. And I was like, I'm not saying no to him again.

00:45:18:17 - 00:45:36:10
Speaker 3
So so I did it. And I got like the first time I did it, it got, I think like 100,000 views. And then I did it again. And like for a different figure, like the same trend, like I didn't do it all the time, right? I don't want to like, overdo it. I was kind of like spacing it out.

00:45:36:10 - 00:45:59:22
Speaker 3
And then I did it again and it was like 200,000. It's like, Oh, cool. And I think I did it another time and it was kind of maybe like it went up again a little bit, but then it so and those did give me followers. And so I think I was sitting at like 9000 or something and I remember that night and I was like feeling all like giddy because I was like, I want to post like I think it's the fourth or fifth one where it's like the same trend.

00:46:00:09 - 00:46:24:16
Speaker 3
And, and so which is funny because it's almost like the same stuff that I do normally, but it's because the words are there. I guess those words like, keep people interested, like, Oh, is he going to make it look real? I don't know. Yeah. So for whatever reason, like, I was like feeling confident about this video and, and so I was like, because I had like a goal of 10,000, like it's like, oh, ten K like, oh, it's the goal.

00:46:25:02 - 00:46:47:13
Speaker 3
And so I remember like hitting posts and like, I just turn my phone off and I was like, Oh, man, like, like tomorrow morning I'm going to hit 10,000 and like, little did I know when I opened it, like that video took off. And I think within I don't if it was overnight. No, I think it was overnight or it had like five, five or 600,000 views.

00:46:47:21 - 00:47:04:23
Speaker 3
Wow. And and I already had like, I think like 10,000 followers or something. Yeah. Like from that. So it was kind of like it was kind of lame because I feel like I was working so hard for like the nine like to give 1010 and I was like, it's like a little grind, like, I was like, here, here, here.

00:47:05:03 - 00:47:38:01
Speaker 3
And then overnight this one video was like and, and so like, I did feel super awesome, but at the same time it was a little overwhelming too. And then it did like, I think now, like once the dust settled, it settled at like 5.1 million views. Right? Wow. And I think I think that one I did get I want to say just from that one video, I probably got like 20, like 20,000 that got 20,000 followers that came from that video.

00:47:38:03 - 00:48:02:00
Speaker 3
No, Cam. Yeah. So that's I mean, that's the power like a TikTok sponsor, but that's the power of TikTok and, and yeah, I know it did. It did give me a little boost in Instagram. It did give me a little boost in in YouTube as well. So so it was cool and so so as far as like like I didn't know it was possible.

00:48:02:00 - 00:48:21:22
Speaker 3
I didn't think I was going to it was going to happen like that. Right. I definitely thought there was going to be more more the grind for it. But I mean, like, it's not like that's it's not like I'm done. Like, that's not the end goal by any means, right? Yeah. So I'm excited with where I'm at and, and I think it's it's still only the beginning.

00:48:21:22 - 00:48:40:02
Speaker 3
I do have like 1,000,000 million ideas for, for like, stuff to post both toy photography and not toy photography. Yeah. And so, so it's a good I mean I know there's a lot of like TikTok haters, but I mean it's a good it's a good app and there's there's a lot more than dancing on it. Oh yeah.

00:48:40:07 - 00:48:45:03
Speaker 1
Well, you know, that comes from where they bought out musically because musically I think was the basis.

00:48:45:03 - 00:48:45:16
Speaker 3
For.

00:48:46:04 - 00:49:05:09
Speaker 1
Tik Tok. But you know, this is what you're saying. When I first got on Tik Tok, I was doing a lot of video editing stuff. And so what I would do is do a lot of my videos and premiere pro or After Effects and do a lot of the visual effects. I was I was not a visual effects artist by any means whatsoever, but I was learning how to do.

00:49:05:09 - 00:49:37:20
Speaker 1
And so I was doing videos, you know, during the pandemic with my kid, and I would make him look like he's the Flash or, you know, we do like this fun. There's one video that I really loved that we played. YouTube was like a magical hide and seek video where I made it look like he could, you know, hide anywhere he wanted to hide by using these, you know, these little video editing tricks, like make him disappear in a cardboard box or run through the garage door or he's in a photo frame and, you know, it's frozen.

00:49:37:20 - 00:49:54:15
Speaker 1
I walk by it, and then after I walk by it, you know, all sudden it comes to life and everything. So that was a lot of doing that. When I put it on Tik Tok, the problem was like it just it was a lot of time going into it. It just wasn't getting a lot of traction or anything like that.

00:49:54:15 - 00:50:10:20
Speaker 1
Because if you're putting stuff out there, I mean, the whole goal, you know, whether you do it or not, is that you want people to see and everything. And so yeah, when I did a few those videos and just thought that it wasn't worth the return on investment of putting all these hours into this video and it's like getting, you know, just a couple of hundred views and that's it.

00:50:10:20 - 00:50:32:16
Speaker 1
And so when I start to do is abandoning that even with with this show, I was doing like some highly produced videos and make it look professional. I think out of all the videos that put out there, I think only one or two got over 1000 views. And so I started to do less of the video editing and lean more into just recording natively in the app and doing stories about my niece.

00:50:32:16 - 00:50:52:10
Speaker 1
And that's when it really, you know, took off for me is that it saved me a lot of time of doing this stuff. I you know, and I think that's the thing that makes TikTok really accessible, is that you could tell stories without having to have a very high production level experience and you could still get your stories out there and people really enjoy it.

00:50:52:10 - 00:51:13:15
Speaker 1
And so just using, you know, just to stuff an app for the editing and stuff like that, I think does a lot of wonders. That's what made it successful, is that people could tell the stories without feeling like it needs to be highly polished. They could just use those. It's almost like, you know, tick tock. I always kind of explain it as it's like a video meme creator because there's those trends that you create videos towards and all that.

00:51:13:15 - 00:51:30:24
Speaker 1
And that's exactly what meme czars is. You take some sort of trend or template and then you put your own spin to it. And that's what Tik Tok does. And I think that's what makes it really accessible for people, is that you can, you know, tell a lot of stories out there without having to have access to, you know, these video tools and things like that.

00:51:30:24 - 00:51:41:18
Speaker 1
So, yeah, I think you're right on the money with that. In terms of why Tik Tok is is so successful, is just made it so accessible for people to tell their stories without feeling like it has to go to a production studio for sure.

00:51:41:21 - 00:51:42:06
Speaker 3
Yeah.

00:51:42:16 - 00:52:11:16
Speaker 1
So well last thing and then we will go into the comics that we're reading earlier before we started talking and recording, you had mentioned that you were getting some comics because you've seen some really cool panels that has inspired you with some of the photography. I just want to kind of ask you, you know what what, what was that moment or what was that event that you saw, some sort of comic panel that made you want to get that?

00:52:11:16 - 00:52:19:07
Speaker 1
And what are some of those I guess some of those inspirations from seeing that are made, you want to recreate that with your toy photography?

00:52:19:22 - 00:53:16:06
Speaker 3
Um, yeah, I would say I do have a friend that is like really into comic books and, and I know and I mean, he's into other like, like movies and stuff too, but I guess comic books would be his main thing. And I know he or he always like, he would always talk about comics with me, I guess kind of like assuming that like I read them and all that and, and like, I guess I kind of like, never really, like, paid attention to it, but I feel like it was I don't know if it was one conversation or like some time after, but I know there was a moment where it it might have

00:53:16:06 - 00:53:33:23
Speaker 3
been like reading also because there's a it's not a comic, but it's a, I think, a graphic novel with Spider-Man, like the one life story. It's like a blue.

00:53:33:23 - 00:53:35:06
Speaker 1
Cover with the side face.

00:53:35:20 - 00:53:39:02
Speaker 3
Well, because I did an audiobook of it, but I.

00:53:39:13 - 00:53:39:24
Speaker 1
Gotcha.

00:53:40:13 - 00:53:44:10
Speaker 3
It has to do with the vampire people.

00:53:44:22 - 00:53:50:22
Speaker 1
Oh, I know what you're talking about. And it's on my mind right now.

00:53:51:14 - 00:54:19:23
Speaker 3
Yeah, but like my wife and I on a trip out of town, we listen to the whole book and it was super cool. And I think that kind of triggered some, like, you know, like it would be cool to kind of read some, like, read this, like, in a comic form to write and, and so I did buy some and then about some Star Wars one or no, I think also someone on Instagram posted a Star Wars comic I think I thought it was to it was like just like all these things colliding at around the same time.

00:54:19:23 - 00:54:49:06
Speaker 3
And so, yeah, it just kind of hit me like, like it looks cool. And I saw like, potential for, for, for inspiration. Yeah. And, and so that was one thing that when I was looking through, I was like, I want to buy a few and like, which ones would inspire me the most? And, and so kind of looking through and being able to see like use some of those like panels as, like, hey, this is already like a, you know, a cool looking shot.

00:54:49:12 - 00:55:10:22
Speaker 3
Yeah. And similar to like I mentioned before, it's like, well this one is of I don't know which one do I have, like even if it's like a Darth Vader one and he's like, Oh, here's Darth Vader and like, he's going to destroy this guy. What's like, maybe I don't want to use Darth Vader. I can use anyone, right?

00:55:11:06 - 00:55:33:24
Speaker 3
Like, here's, here's Obi-Wan doing the same pose, but it's still like, you know, the environment, the posing, the set up, like the shots there. I'm just kind of adding my own flair to it. And so, like, so from there I did I did use a few comic books and then I didn't read any, but then I ended up buying some more.

00:55:35:08 - 00:55:43:10
Speaker 3
And then like I had gone to a free comic book day and saw like, saw some other one and I just grabbed and yeah, it's like that.

00:55:43:10 - 00:55:46:20
Speaker 1
Was a really good one to get out of because they're, they have a lot of.

00:55:46:20 - 00:55:47:07
Speaker 3
Great.

00:55:48:07 - 00:56:25:00
Speaker 1
I mean, I think a lot of them are, you know, continuity necessarily, but they are just a lot of fun ones that you can at least get those visuals from and get inspiration. And and what going back to your photography, I think one thing that I absolutely love is how you show in some cases, like if there's some sort of event going on where somebody just does like a superhero landing or there is a, you know, like a desert or something like that you take like a air duster and spray it to get that dust coming from the photography.

00:56:25:05 - 00:56:46:14
Speaker 1
And I think that's really cool. And I didn't know if they had any other things or other tricks or tips. And thinking about when you're recreating a scene like that, what are some things that you can get that are relatively cheap or something that you can get in your household to kind of recreate, recreate some of those scenes, whether it's, you know, just had to be like a dusty background or anything like that, but something that somebody is like, you know, I want to create the scene, but I think you have to get a lot of expensive stuff.

00:56:46:17 - 00:56:49:17
Speaker 1
Like actually you only need like a couple of things that you buy. AB around your.

00:56:49:17 - 00:57:15:13
Speaker 3
House. Yeah, I know. Well, one thing for the dust is like because yes, it's a toilet. It's like a a toilet plunger gun and so on, because it costs like ten, ten bucks. Right? And like, you just pump it up and blast it. Well, another alternative to that is, is the I thought I had one lying around is like the keyboard spray.

00:57:15:24 - 00:57:37:05
Speaker 3
Yeah. And so so that I mean you can you just spray that on the dirt and it pops up but I guess it is different or it can be different from the Blaster because it's kind of like a it's more of like a, like a mist blowing rather than an explosion. So the Blasters more of like an explosion, hero landing.

00:57:37:13 - 00:58:05:23
Speaker 3
This one is kind of misty and and there's other small like I don't have one but it's I mean, you can also use like a spray bottle for like a mr., like a facial. Mr.. Oh yeah. And on it there's one with the fan. But then there's also some others that I guess they're more high tech and it's kind of I don't even know what it does, but it just, it just kind of shoots out like water, but it's like a very, like mist.

00:58:05:23 - 00:58:28:08
Speaker 3
And so it's like that a lot. Yeah. And so I've seen I don't have one, but I've seen some people use that, but I've used just like a water spray bottle and kind of give like it's easy to get like a rain effect, right? I've seen people I think I've done it once or twice. Like you just throw sand or throw dirt and like just throwing that can that can give that motion.

00:58:28:17 - 00:58:51:10
Speaker 3
Yeah. Also, even like, even like I saw this for my son. Like kinetic sand. Yeah. Like I've used this in a few shots where this is easy, like just to throw inside and it's all like, if it's not moving, it's sand. Like, if you move it, like, you can grab all of it and just put it back in its box.

00:58:51:19 - 00:59:13:08
Speaker 3
But like I said, easy base. I using. I love using rocks like some of my behind the scenes like will be just starting with me grabbing a rock that I found in my park, like a bit about big rocks. Like, like that look kind of cool and hey, this is like a you know, this is like a either it can be a giant wall.

00:59:13:08 - 00:59:39:24
Speaker 3
It could be just a big boulder. Yeah, but like, I feel like that's that's not a I've seen that as an excuse also is, you know, like the dioramas like, like, well I don't have like, fancy cool backgrounds or, or whatever. And it's like, yeah, but you can make that. You can at the very minimum, or even like the excuse with lights is like there's sun.

00:59:40:18 - 01:00:00:12
Speaker 3
And even if you, if it's a cloudy day, that's even better because the cloud diffuses it and all that. So I got the bare minimum. You have your phone, you have dirt and you have sunlight like, you know, even a streetlight, like whatever. Like, Oh, yeah, that's all, that's all you need to, to get some, some good stuff.

01:00:00:18 - 01:00:13:23
Speaker 3
Yeah, Yeah, yeah. And then there's always like so much more you can add to that, like when it comes to like accessories or, or anything like that. But I mean, just speaking from like the bare minimum, like you don't need a lot of stuff. Yeah.

01:00:14:07 - 01:00:24:12
Speaker 1
I even there is a TikTok video I did where I use my daredevil and kingpin Legos, but I use the monitor as the back.

01:00:24:12 - 01:00:26:09
Speaker 3
Oh yeah, something like this.

01:00:26:09 - 01:00:45:18
Speaker 1
And so I got a picture of like, of Fisk Tower and put on the monitor and I use some scotch tape to tape Daredevil on the screens. It looks like he's standing on top of one of the platforms. And just by positioning it, you can tell that was a monitor necessarily. You could tell is a screen or or an image maybe.

01:00:45:18 - 01:01:02:04
Speaker 1
But you couldn't tell was it was a monitor you didn't know exactly, at least in my opinion, what it was. But look, I use this part of the background and like, it's just those things where looking at where you have a manipulating those things to be able to set up the shot is really all really need to have.

01:01:02:04 - 01:01:18:11
Speaker 1
You don't need to have a lot of these expensive things like you're talking about. If you want to create an outdoor scene, you probably have all the things that you need in your backyard or your front yard. You just have to think about how to set those things up and kind of replicate that. So yeah, that's cool. Awesome.

01:01:19:02 - 01:01:34:22
Speaker 1
Well, great. Well, before I let you go, I always end the episode with talking about what comics we're reading. I know before we started recording, you said that you don't usually regularly read comics. We did get a few comic books recently. What are some of those issues or books that you got?

01:01:35:17 - 01:02:14:02
Speaker 3
Um, let me see. I have. It's like a cause my my kids invaded my office. Yeah, that's happens. And I have like a stash because I don't have, I have some Marvel ones. I think I just got Spiderman one's like one. And I mean, I just kind of bought them at a run. Like I like. I'm not sure if you if you should buy them in order or anything, but I just bought one that had like Miles Morales on it also.

01:02:14:02 - 01:02:14:17
Speaker 3
And I'm like, yeah.

01:02:16:23 - 01:02:18:10
Speaker 1
Whatever looks cool to me at the moment.

01:02:19:13 - 01:02:43:20
Speaker 3
Yeah. So these are like the Star Wars ones that I got. Like, this is nice. It had like three different stories. Yeah, cause I bought this one before Obi-Wan came out because there was a lot of people saying, I guess I was. I think this might have been the first one, actually, because people were saying like, some of these theories of like, Oh, like this guy is going to come out in a Yeah, it might have this cool guy or something.

01:02:43:20 - 01:03:03:03
Speaker 3
And, and so I was like, I want to kind of be on top of that. I want to see like, what's up? And, you know, the, the foundation of it all. Yeah. So, and it is cool like there are definitely are some stuff from here that came out in the show and you all that and then I haven't really looked at this much but it just looked cool because it's Darth Maul and Darth Vader.

01:03:03:03 - 01:03:03:17
Speaker 3
Yes.

01:03:04:05 - 01:03:09:18
Speaker 1
Those are my son's two favorite characters is Darth Vader himself. So he'll be very happy about that.

01:03:10:20 - 01:03:25:22
Speaker 3
Yeah. So some cool like that's awesome. Don't know, because it's just it's like there's definitely some cool art shots. But yeah, but even just like some of the action, it's just like, it's simple, but like, like I can, you know, you.

01:03:26:00 - 01:03:27:01
Speaker 1
Definitely do a photo of that.

01:03:27:01 - 01:03:29:10
Speaker 3
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it'd be really cool.

01:03:29:10 - 01:03:30:12
Speaker 1
Yeah, I love that.

01:03:31:02 - 01:03:33:21
Speaker 3
So awesome stuff. Yeah.

01:03:34:13 - 01:03:39:21
Speaker 1
The the ones I'm reading and actually I happen to have them back here. They'll just pull out here real.

01:03:39:21 - 01:03:40:08
Speaker 3
Quick.

01:03:40:22 - 01:04:09:14
Speaker 1
Is I read most of these so speaking of, these are two issues. I found that a comic shop that I wasn't planning on getting, but I saw them. I was like, you know, I'll go ahead and do this. And there are two issues of cable. They came out, I think, in like early 2000, something like that. And I I'm a huge fan of X-Men and remember reading about cable, you know, being a summer Scott Summers, which, you know, psychology is one of my favorite characters on the X-Men.

01:04:09:14 - 01:04:26:18
Speaker 1
And so I picked this up and read this, and I actually really love it to the point that I'm going to get more comics of cable, and I've been talking to people about maybe cosplaying as that character at some point on us. We also have dark nights to steal from Tom Taylor that just came out, which is really good.

01:04:27:15 - 01:04:50:18
Speaker 1
Spider-Man issue number four from Dan Slott and and Mark Bagley has been really fantastic. And then the others that I'm that I'm getting ready to read actually is issue four of the Joker the man who stopped laughing, which I don't know if you read this issue or know much about it. Have you heard about the story going around about Joker being pregnant?

01:04:51:18 - 01:04:52:04
Speaker 3
I have.

01:04:52:23 - 01:05:14:16
Speaker 1
So it's in this issue. I'm not ready yet, but I've read enough online to know what is going on and that it's over. I will say this. It's been it's been over. What's the word I'm looking for? Over. It's been blown up. I guess I kind of overblown, That's the word.

01:05:14:16 - 01:05:15:20
Speaker 3
I was sorry.

01:05:17:10 - 01:05:33:19
Speaker 1
But it's been a little overblown in my opinion, in terms of what's happening in the issue and all that, because not to get into too much, but it's a what's called a back up story, which is not the main story. Come to find out, you know, it's not what people are saying it is or think it is, at least not in its entirety and all that.

01:05:33:19 - 01:05:50:16
Speaker 1
So that's where that story is coming from, is this issue in a popular discourse. Videos about it actually close. But then the other one that I've been reading, this is issue two of the Riddler Year one, which is written by Paul Dano, who played the Riddler and the Batman movie.

01:05:50:17 - 01:05:51:08
Speaker 3
Oh, damn.

01:05:51:11 - 01:06:13:17
Speaker 1
Yes. And it is very well done. I will say this. The story is well done. So he's all Dana's writing the story and then the art is because I feel like the art really captures the mental state of Edward Nast in the comics. And I think they've a fantastic job with that. So it's actually been one of my favorite series of readings so far.

01:06:13:17 - 01:06:19:17
Speaker 1
So absolutely love it. Yeah. So I'm I'm excited readers are my readers today, actually.

01:06:19:17 - 01:06:19:23
Speaker 3
See.

01:06:20:16 - 01:06:36:12
Speaker 1
And then we have a couple of people who share what they're reading this week. So if I'm Comic Watch, the editor in chief, Matt Meyers, said he's currently reading the Thunderbolts omnibus Volume one. He said, It's chef's kiss. I've never really been into thunderbolts. So have you been in thunderbolts when you were a kid or anything?

01:06:37:06 - 01:06:41:16
Speaker 3
No. I feel like I just kind of see it, but I looked into it.

01:06:41:24 - 01:07:07:20
Speaker 1
Yeah, I've only heard about it, but I never actually read any comics that featured the Thunderbolts and then a a comic which kept Ross said that he is giving the Dark Tower books that Marvel put out a few years ago, a read. It's plotted by Stephen King's research assistant and scripted by Peter David Art, by Jae Lee and Richard Eisner of The Art of the Art really was his thing when they came out, but he's enjoying it now.

01:07:08:02 - 01:07:20:11
Speaker 1
Plus, he's reading some older Indiana Jones comics that dark horse put out. So if you're going to be doing some Indiana Jones comics, that might be something to or Indiana Jones photography. That might be some of the check out some point.

01:07:20:11 - 01:07:21:20
Speaker 3
Yeah, they're going to go to.

01:07:22:11 - 01:07:39:21
Speaker 1
It Denver Ma Illumina casters discord which by the way if you're listening if you want to join it, there will be a link in the episode Show Notes from the Luna Casters Discord. Ken from the podcast said that he's currently reading The Dead Lucky by Image Comics. I have not read it, but I've heard great things about it.

01:07:40:20 - 01:07:50:06
Speaker 1
I also don't know much about it either, but a lot of people that I'm in comics, social media groups do stuff like that. I've been talking a lot about it and I might be something I might pick up at some point.

01:07:50:06 - 01:07:52:07
Speaker 3
So yeah. So.

01:07:52:07 - 01:08:03:22
Speaker 1
All right, well, those are the comics that we're reading. Matt, thank you very much for joining the show and talking about your journey with toy photography. Before I let you go, where can people find you and your work online?

01:08:03:22 - 01:08:31:06
Speaker 3
Yes, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, all of them are at using thing. I know YouTube because like they introduced that new tag or whatever. Yeah. Because like my name, my name is Matt, my films, but I put my tag as amusing. KING So it should all be the same amusing KING Spelling one word on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube.

01:08:32:01 - 01:08:36:03
Speaker 1
All makes it, but those are the show notes as well. So now thanks again.

01:08:36:05 - 01:08:38:04
Speaker 2
I am looking to see more stuff.

01:08:38:04 - 01:08:39:16
Speaker 3
They put out there. Your work, I.

01:08:39:17 - 01:08:46:17
Speaker 2
Think you ask it and like I said, I cannot wait until you get a partnership with Hasbro or self officially for them.

01:08:47:19 - 01:08:48:15
Speaker 3
Have vitiate it.

01:08:49:12 - 01:09:07:16
Speaker 2
And that wraps up another episode of the Caps in Life. Don't forget to hit the subscribe button. You can follow us on social media at caps and Life. For more information about us and all of our previous episodes, visit the Caps and Lipscomb Lipscomb.