Written by | Themed Shoot

Photographer Ethan Hoffman takes us behind the scenes on his latest Black Series themed shoot including figures from both the 3.75″ and 6″ lines including the Scarif Stormtroopers and the Amazon exclusive Evolution 4 pack.

Behind the Scenes
By @eye_of_the_survivor

When I shoot, I usually take my “essentials” with me, such as my flexible tripod, my remote shutter, and of course, my figures and camera. Since I can’t drive, I bike everywhere, which is great. When I get to my location, I look around to see what environment would make the figures “pop.”  As for instance, Scarif Stormtroopers look really good in a grassy environment. Then, I set up my figures so they look like they’re really on patrol, or fighting on the frontlines.


Then, I take multiple pictures just so I know I have a good shot. The three main steps in my photography process are determining location, photographing, then post production editing. A technique I like to use is moving the Autofocus point so the shot can look better, potentially. I also shoot from many angles (Which many people do), so I have a variety of photos to choose from in post production. Then I email them to myself, and edit them. From there, I post it to my Instagram. Editing is an essential step in the process, because it gives you options your camera may not. I normally use Google’s Snapseed. It’s one of my favorite apps, and I recommend it if you are semi-low budget like myself.

The figures used in the shot above are:

  • Star Wars the Black Series Rogue One Scarif Stormtroopers.


For my action shots, I use my tripod and my remote shutter. I use the same process up to the figure part. I position the camera logically, then I pile up a bunch of dirt facing in the direction I want the “explosion” to go. For instance, I wanted the troopers to appear as if they were running through the thick of frontline fighting. From there, I kicked the dirt and hit the remote button so it captured the dirt in the air.

On average for action shots, I’ll take around 100-150 images, so I have many shots that I can determine if they are what I was going for. A technique I use for action shots that is pretty helpful, is to keep shooting. You can delete them later, if need be, but some of my best shots I have got by using this technique.

The figure used in the shot above are:

  • Star Wars the Black Series First Order Stormtrooper
  • Amazon Exclusive Star Wars The Black Series Evolution four pack


Another thing I keep in mind while shooting is giving the figures “life,” as mentioned before. When I was shooting this clone shot, I tried to pose him in the most realistic pose, as if some war photographer photographed a clone beating the life out of a droid. It adds action and excitement into the shot, and it’s something that I’ll always strive for.

The figures used in the shot above are:

  • Saga Legends 3.75 Inch Clone Trooper
  • Star Wars the Phantom Menace Battle Droid 3.75 inch.


The Black Series line brings us that bit closer to the scenarios we see on screen and allow for characters from across the Star Wars universe to be realised in a great quality. A huge thank you to Ethan for taking us out on shoot with him so be sure to head over to his Instagram portfolio @eye_of_the_survivor for much more Star Wars content.

Last modified: May 9, 2017

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