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Duane Shoots Toys


Nostalgia hits real hard with Duane Shoots Toys’ miniature dioramas. Using a combination of action figures, 80s and 90s references and current pop culture trends, Duane Perera creates mini scenes that will get any millennial excited. We chatted to him to find out more about his toy photography, from how he got into it to his creative process.




Can you please tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?


My name is Duane Perera, I live in Edmonton, Canada, and I create art with action figures. I build miniature dioramas, pose my figures in them, and then I use a camera to capture the scenes.




When did you get into toy photography and what inspired you to start creating miniature scenes?


I got into toy photography in 2018 – it was actually something that I discovered by accident. I was originally interested in travel photography, and I spent a lot of time watching Youtube videos to learn how to use a camera and edit photos. 

One day I randomly stumbled across a video of a photographer who was taking pictures of toy cars and making them look real. I thought it was really interesting, so I kept on digging and eventually discovered the world of action figure photography. I decided to try it out myself, and was instantly hooked! 

I realized early on that in order to bring my ideas to life, I would have to build custom accessories and dioramas for my figures. I taught myself how to build a lot of different things by watching videos on Youtube.



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A post shared by Duane Shoots Toys (@duaneshootstoys)

What’s the inspiration behind your scenes?


I get most of my inspiration from everyday life situations. If I experience something interesting during the day, I’ll ask myself “would this make a good toy photo?”. 

A lot of my inspiration also comes from childhood experiences, things like playing classic video games or getting a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy as a child. I grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s, so there are a lot of nostalgic references in my photos. 

Most of the scenes I create are based on things that I love personally, but occasionally I’ll get inspired by current events – sports, news, pop culture trends.



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A post shared by Duane Shoots Toys (@duaneshootstoys)


What’s your favourite piece of work you’ve created to date?


At the moment, my favourite piece is the “Dwight Shrute / Groot” crossover scene that I made. I’m a big fan of both “The Office” and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it was a lot of fun to bring those two worlds together. I incorporated a lot of little details in that shot – I even made a miniature stapler enclosed in Jello, which I was very proud of. 



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A post shared by Duane Shoots Toys (@duaneshootstoys)


How long does it roughly take you to make a scene and photograph it from start to finish?


It depends on the complexity of the scene that I’m trying to build. Some of my scenes require dozens of little boxes or props, which can take a long time to build, whereas other scenes are relatively simple. These days, it takes an average of about 3 to 5 days to complete a scene. That includes building the diorama, arranging the figures, taking the photo and editing it.



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A post shared by Duane Shoots Toys (@duaneshootstoys)


What can we expect to see from you in the future? Any plans to take it further?


At the moment, most of the figures that I use are pre-made toys that I’ve purchased. I would love to start 3D printing my own custom figures… If I were able to custom-make characters, it would open up a lot of creative possibilities. I hope to learn digital sculpting and 3D printing in the future, to make this possible.




Posted: January 28th, 2021 / Art, Interviews, Lifestyle

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I do not even know how I ended up here but I thought this post was great I do not know who you are but certainly youre going to a famous blogger if you are not already Cheers

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