Most toy photographers have a place in their hearts for Star Wars. It doesn't matter if that toy photographer is in the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, the Philippines or Malaysia - Star Wars is the common thread that runs through most of them. I use the toys as a jumping off point to other stories, adventures and humor. The Star Wars toys have been a way for me to tell a variety of stories by combining them with toys totally unrelated to Star Wars (also known as "mashups.''). A blood thirsty Rancor with Simba from The Lion King? Yes please (and sorry, Simba)! I love presenting iconic characters in unexpected ways, so a hardcore Star Wars fan would do well not to expect images from me that are accurate and faithful to the original movies and characters. With that said, my images are absolutely a celebration of one of the greatest adventures ever told in film. And one thing I think we can all agree on, it's dangerous being a Stormtrooper!
I use mostly practical effects in my images, but ultimately I'm open to using any technique - practical or digital - to tell my stories and to get me to my desired visual results. Link to my Instagram to see tons more toy photography!
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Because even Sith Lords and villains need a bit of rest and relaxation between evil-doing. This was one of a series I created to present iconic villains in new and unexpected ways. I have some of the most fun creating these types of images.
Another fun mashup combining a couple of my favorite properties. I'm a huge fan of the Alien series, so combining the two properties was a no-brainer for me. Just as the Alien is about to make a no-brainer out of that unfortunate stormtrooper.
"Visit new planets," they said, "Interact with exotic new life forms," they said. This is a great example of why it's dangerous to be a stormtrooper. These guys rarely catch a break in the Star Wars films, and the same can be said for them in my images.
My homage to the venerable dog fight. Everyone loves a good dog fight in the skies, whether it's in an old WWII movie or in Top Gun. Star Wars carries on that tradition beautifully with each new movie it releases.
Once in a rare while I'll venture into some LEGO photography. There are some photographers that shoot LEGOs exclusively, and many do amazing work. No matter what type of toy I shoot I'm always thinking about the story I want to tell - that's the foundation to toy photography, and pretty much every other visual art.
Lost Droids. The idea of lost droids is an appealing one to me, and one I've visited more than once. Being lost alludes to wanting to be found, which is not something you'd associate to non-feeling droids. But that is exactly why the droids featured in Star Wars capture our hearts and are so memorable, and are every bit as important to the story as the human characters alongside them.
Rust never sleeps! At least that's what I imagined C3PO was thinking as he tried to get onto dry land. I love creating water splashes - they're one of the most unpredictable types of practical effects.
The new dynamic duo! Sometimes it's fun to reimagine relationships between characters. This one proves to be especially lethal to...you guessed it...stormtroopers!
I love NYC - it's definitely one of my favorite cities in the world. This was my small way of paying homage to one of the greatest, most resilient cities in the world.
This is a case of making lemonade out of lemons. In Southern California we're very prone to extremely destructive brush fires. So it's ironic that our most beautiful sunsets occur during and because of these brush fires.
“There is a 97.6% chance of failure.”
The Offering. One of my favorite mashups! Inspiration can come from almost anywhere. In this case it came from that Rafiki and young Simba toy. I originally bought that little figure to create some Lion King images. You can't pose them at all, what you see is what you get. I was determined to get at least one more image out of that toy and I realized it looked like Rafiki was holding up Simba as if to give him to someone or something. And that's how this concept with the Rancor was born.
By now it's pretty well known that Kylo Ren made his own light saber. Lesser known is that it took him several tries before he got it right.
When fighting stormtroopers always go for the juggler! Get it? I always love a good play on words!
It seems that over the years I've unintentionally created a series of characters meditating. From Kermit the Frog, to Alien, to Darth Vader - apparently everyone needs to find their center sometimes.
I know what you're thinking - do my mashups have no bounds!? Well, I guess they don't. The Stay Puft character from Ghostbusters is such an iconic character that I just had to give him an opportunity to destroy some stormtroopers. The scaling between them is obviously wrong, as Stay Puft is more of a Godzilla-sized character (mental note - Stay Puft vs Godzilla for a future image!)...but the scaling is dramatic nonetheless.
What does Darth Vader do when the fish aren't biting? Why he force chokes them out of the water, of course (NOT a Dept of Fish & Game approved fishing technique). I had just returned from a salmon fishing trip in Alaska when I created this image.
This is probably the closest you'll see me come to recreating a scene from a movie. Little known fact (even to Mr. Lucas) Sarlaacs actually had suction cups on their tentacles. (I just included that last bit to diffuse any hardcore fans that were about to comment/scream "Sarlaacs DON"T HAVE SUCKERS on their tentacles!")
"Eat some s'mores I will, mmmm?" Considering that this Yoda toy is just a few inches tall, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is one of the smallest campfires ever intentionally made.
"Dang, gravity really brings me down!" (Get it??) Yet more proof of the hazards of being a stormtrooper.
Would you consider Commander Cody a good guy or a villain?
"Run, Melvin, runnnnnn!!" A frequent guest star in my images is this T-Rex. I've featured him in my Toy Story images as well, doubling as the Toy Story dino, Rex. And the peril to my stormtroopers continues...
A moment of silence please for yet another stormtrooper who met his demise in one of my images.
This is one of the only times you'll see a stormtrooper hit his mark. This image might actually be too preposterous to believe because of that.
My stormtroopers often meet their demise at a nearby park which bears an incredible likeness to the planet Tatooine. In fact, an old episode of Star Trek was filmed there, as was numerous other movies and tv shows.
"Ready for the trash heap you are!"
Small, old, wise and mighty. Yoda is arguably the most iconic character of Star Wars. Definitely top 3.
"Order 66 Up!!"
Pound for pound (get it?) the most lethal Jedi ever! Now that Disney owns both Marvel and Star Wars this scene may not be as farfetched as it seems.
From acorns to evil, murderous oak trees. Everything about this iconic character is perfect - down to his name. Could George Lucas have come up with a more iconic name to match this character? Would Darth Vader be as scary and villainous if his name was really Ernest Binkelton?
Another fun take on a stormtrooper massacre, courtesy of an Alien Xenomorph.
C3PO's Leap of Faith!
Captain Phasma's Patrol.