Written by | Community Voice, Featured

Part 1 of a 2 articles series from Nate Strong (@coronafour) as he explores the stories behind the communities of Toy Photography.

Among the many great features of The Exclu Collective are the exceptional tutorials. Posing, lighting, practical and digital effects, diorama and digiramas — they’re all covered by a bunch of fantastic artists. And they all have their own individual takes and talents.

But just as unique to each photo are the stories behind them. What sort of adventures or mishaps occurred that weren’t captured on that memory card? What ensued everywhere besides what was seen through the lens that actually helped or hindered the final shot?

As a new ongoing series, we’re reaching out to the community and asking our friends to share their tales.

Spencer Barron (@barronsblackseries) starts us off with one about visiting a river where he frequently shoots in Memphis, Tennessee. He was wading along as usual when all of the sudden a monster scared the mess out of him. And he it. Turns out about a four-foot Asian carp had gotten trapped in shallow pool because of an unusually dry season. After his heart slowed down and he could work his shutter again, Spencer proceeded shooting… with one eye through the lens and the other on that fish. For good reason. He was scared he’d get bitten… or worse, lose a beloved figure to that beast, which he aptly nicknamed Scarfasa!

Spencer2  Spencer1

As if giant man-eating fish (Ok, so the man in question may have only been 6 inches tall) wasn’t dodgy enough, and to carry on with the water theme, both Charlie Sperry (@charlieechosevenphotography) and Ralf Seefeld (@ralfmk0) took on the ocean… and lost. Charlie was shooting at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego when a huge wave came in and swept away a figure and a toy surfboard that was quite expensive and hard to replace. To make matters worse (what’s worse than losing a beloved toy?), he also got soaked from the waist down and had to go to a party with wet pants, socks and shoes. After explaining what happened he was greeted by a round of hearty laughs.


Ralf met his match while vacationing on Sylt Island in Northern Germany. Apparently, keeping an eye on Mother Nature and your figures at the same time takes some serious talent. Needless to say, a big one snuck up on him too almost knocking him and his camera over. While saving himself and his gear, some prize NECA figs did get swept away. Thankfully his dad was there to save the day. After the figures were safely rescued, Ralf treated his heroic father to some snacks and a frosty beer in gratitude. Classy move, my man.


So, do you have a story behind a shot to share? Send them to or @coronafour for a chance at being featured in an upcoming Story behind the Shot article. And for the love of toys — be careful out there!

Last modified: August 17, 2019

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