15 Miniature Photography Ideas for Amazing Toy Shots

Miniature photography ideas will help you make the photos of your toy figures more compelling и eye-grabbing. If you go the easy way, using boring and commonplace scenarios, your pictures would hardly attract someone’s attention.

However, these creative and unique ideas help you stand out from competitors. When creating this list, we have also described props, backgrounds, and lighting options that you can use to create unforgettable miniature scenes.

fixthephoto color correction before after fixthephoto color correction before after

Want to Fix Colors in Miniature Shots?

If the colors in your toy shots look faded and lack lighting, you can use our services to improve your images. Our specialists will adjust exposure and make colors more vibrant.

1. Recreate Scenes from Your Favorite Movies

Most toys represent cartoon and/or film characters. You can use them to recreate well-known scenes. Thus, you can show Harry Potter and Ron Weasley walking through the forest, or Gandalf and elves fighting against orcs.

miniature photography ideas recreate movie scenes

By making scenes with toys, you can practice framing and composition. Don’t be afraid to start by copying film scenes, it will help you further develop your style. The famous Singapore photographer James Xie does toy photography by re-creating scenes from popular superhero movies.

miniature photography ideas recreate movie scenes

Pro Tip

If you want to reduce blur and shakiness, you should use a monopod from trusted tripod brands. Due to a lower ISO setting, you’ll get less “noise” or “grain” while taking shots.

2. Make Your Own Miniature Models

When practicing miniature figures photography, you don’t necessarily need to use factory-made figures. You can use plasticine to create any toy you want. Once you have more experience, you can make more realistic figures, however, even various blobs will look attractive.

miniature photography ideas models

It’s possible to find other materials and ideas to create figures, such as play-dough, fimo clay and sculpey clay. By creating new heroes, you can expand your miniature world. With a wide collection, you can create a variety of scenes.

miniature photography ideas models

3. Use Real-Size Props for Added Perspective

Another mini photography idea involves using real-size objects as cheap photography props. By combining miniature and real-sized objects, you can create a great scene with humorous notes.

miniature photography ideas props

Besides, you can interpret objects in your shots differently. Thus, broccoli can be a tree, while human hands can simulate land relief.

miniature photography ideas props

4. Make Your Own Props and Scenery

If you’re into DIY, you can create various interesting props. For instance, you may use paper and cards to make a figure or scenery. First, you can cut and glue them in the desired way. Besides, it’s easy to paint these materials to simulate wood, metal, fabric, etc.

miniature photography ideas scenery

You can also use rubbish to create the desired decorations. Give new life to toilet rolls, empty cans, face masks, and old bottles while taking miniature pictures.

miniature photography ideas models scenery

5. Recreate Seasons and Weather

Try to simulate different seasons and weather conditions when using common household items. To convey and atmosphere of a summer day, you can use a glass of water, turning it into a swimming pool. Parsley can replace tropical greens. Experiment with different objects to create such photos for all seasons and weather conditions.

miniature photography ideas recreate seasons weather

Summer, winter, autumn, spring, rain, snow, fog – you can choose whatever weather and season you like. You can recreate the rain effect with a spray bottle for plants. What’s more, you should use real weather conditions behind the window to achieve a more realistic effect in your shots.

miniature photography ideas recreate seasons weather

6. Create Landscapes Out of Food

Food is a great prop to use when creating various objects for a miniature world. The British artist Carl Warner who creates edible landscapes specializes in food photography. He can create any landscape using food, including meat mountains, broccoli trees, cabbage seas, chocolate rivers, and cereal leaves.

miniature photography ideas food landscapes

It takes a lot of time to take such pictures. You need to create a scene, snap pictures and edit them. Carl carefully thinks over each scene, trying to find the most appropriate ingredients for creating harmonious and realistic foodscapes.

miniature photography ideas food landscapes

Pro Tip

Try to plan the whole process to the smallest detail in advance to avoid wasting money, since the food gets spoiled quickly under the lights.

7. Mix Natural and Artificial Lighting

To create attractive miniature pictures, you should combine natural and artificial light. The wrong lighting will make your pics less realistic. LED lights are commonly used because of the reasonable pricing and great effect. They can help you alter the color temperature of the light.

Besides, you can use directional lamps that emit bright light and set it the way you need. With 2+ lamps, you can reduce shadows. Alternatively, you can use white paper or mirrors to reflect light. Colored paper and plastic will help you create various light effects. Professional photographers use color-changing lamps to create stunning shots.

miniature photography ideas natural artificial lighting

These lamps produce red, blue, or neon light, which allows you to achieve a wonderful look. If you don’t have a studio lighting kit, you can use DIY photography lighting instead to avoid wasting money. If you are on a budget, you can use plastic transparent bottle caps, clothing, or other surfaces that have light dispersion properties to replace the lamp. To achieve the best result, place the chosen material in front of the lens.

miniature photography ideas natural artificial lighting

8. Introduce Special Effects to Add Dynamics

If you want to know how to do miniature photography and add a mysterious feel to your photos, you can add smoke to the composition. Alternatively, you can use fire or add small rocks and a mug.

miniature photography ideas with fire

As we mentioned above, you can spray some water to simulate rain. While a fast shutter speed freezes each drop, the slow one can create an effect of falling rain.

Experienced artists build tiny campfires or set their stages on fire to create an intense scene. Besides, you can try to use a firecracker to show real explosions scaled to miniature size.

miniature photography ideas natural artificial lighting with smoke

9. Use Your Camera as a Prop

If you have an old camera, it might come in handy for creating miniature shots. You use toys and make them look as if they were cleaning the camera. To make it more realistic, you can take away the lens and put a ladder as if someone were climbing to get to the matrix while his friends were cleaning the camera body and getting rid of dust.

miniature photography ideas with camera

Besides, you can recreate the scene with the lens as shown in the example. Make it look as if the figures were polishing the lens to take out dust spots.

miniature photography ideas with camera

10. Picture Human Professions

Experiment with different professions and try to represent them using miniature figures. For example, in the photo below, Christoph Berloger created a scene with builders working on pieces of chocolate.

miniature photography ideas professions

David Gilliver used ordinary pepper and its seeds to depict workers while harvesting. Pay attention to the objects around you and think about whether you can use them for creating a scene.

miniature photography ideas professions

11. Use Food as Props

You can use food both as the main object and as a prop. David Gilliver created 100 scenes with food. Some scenes required thorough preparation, such as photos where a character tries to hike over a strawberry. For David Gilliver, it was a great way to make people smile. He implemented a lot of creative indoor photography ideas.

miniature photography ideas food props

Open your refrigerator and check out your groceries. Choose the best options for your project based on their color, shape, and texture.

miniature photography ideas food props

12. Shoot Miniature Scenes Outside

Try to shoot photos outdoors to get more diverse shots. You can select the location and use your toys for making attractive pictures. Besides, when shooting miniature figures outside, you might see a new macro view of the world. Thus, small flowers can become big trees while tiny puddles turn into large rivers.

miniature photography ideas outdoors

When shooting photos, you can experiment with new ideas. First, you need to find the ideal place to shoot among nature. Besides, you need to look at natural elements from a new point of view to find a fresh meaning.

miniature photography ideas outdoors

13. Highlight the Toys in the Foreground

One of the most successful miniature photography ideas involves taking close-up photos. They help you focus on the main character. Besides, you can add some drama and a background story by experimenting with a depth of field. It will allow you to draw a viewer’s attention to the main object.

miniature photography ideas bokeh

If you want to get a shallow depth of field, use an aperture with a small value, such as f/1.2. To blur the background while leaving the main element in focus, you should use the f/1.2–3.5 aperture. To get such results, you should buy bokeh lenses, like the Canon 50mm lens.

miniature photography ideas bokeh

14. Tell the Story by Appealing to Emotions

If you use storytelling, the audience can follow your story and get attached to the characters. To include a narrative in your photoshoot, you can use various props and background elements.

miniature photography ideas emotions

Don’t forget about posing which takes a big part in successful storytelling. You can use a variety of portrait photography poses. If you have several characters in the scene, think about the way they should interact. You should think about their body language in advance to create touchy photos.

miniature photography ideas with water

15. Incorporate Toy Cars

Toy cars work great for mini photography. They have beautiful lines and curves, and bright colors. If you want to show them in action on the road, you should choose a smooth surface without a surplus scale. If you use a big toy truck or 4×4 vehicle, stones might work great for them. For smaller cars, it’s better to choose another solution.

miniature photography ideas toy cars

You can implement creative forced perspective photography ideas by using toy cars. However, you will need to pay attention to the depth of field.

You need to put the car close to the lens which results in a shallower depth of field even with the narrowest apertures. You can try to use focus stacking. Some photographers shoot a series of frames and bring them together to make the depth of field deeper and cover the whole desired area.

miniature photography ideas toy cars

Bonus Tools

lightroom must have presets for miniature photography by fixthephoto

This set of must-have tools will help you speed up the time spent on editing. You can quickly improve colors and make your miniature pictures brighter with a few clicks. All you have to do is learn how to install Lightroom presets on Mac & Windows.