Surreal Photoshopped Self-Portraits of Life in a Miniature World


Canadian photographer Joel Robison regularly creates surreal self-portraits that show what his life might be like if he found himself on the receiving end of a shrink ray. The conceptual photo-manipulations show him interacting with objects that are suddenly the size of trucks. In one image he is seen sitting on a Christmas tree next to some body-sized ornaments. In another, he’s exploring a globe while perched on top of a bottle of Coke.

Here’s what Robison tells us about his work:

The majority of my images are self portraits, I live in a smaller town with not a lot of people interested in modelling for conceptual photos.

I enjoy making the miniature photos because I believe it gives people the opportunity to see everyday objects in a new light. I like being able to take something as ordinary as a book or a typewriter or teacup and then turn it into something new or change it’s function. I’ve always been a fan of the book “The Borrowers” and it gave me a lot of inspiration to create my own series of a tiny person experiencing the larger world.



















You can find much more of Robison’s work over on his Flickr page. If you’re interested in purchasing prints of his work, he’s also selling them through a separate Etsy shop.

(via Incredible Things)

Image credits: Photographs by Joel Robison and used with permission

  • JoanieGranola

    Interesting, great prints. Not an easy thing to do. Good job!

  • Stan

    Wouldn’t it be more accurate to call this expressionist, and not surrealist, photography?

  • Ray Liu

    Extremely beautiful and creative.

  • monteraz

    These are images that you would not find quite often in the real world, so why not surrealist?

  • Marcus

    Can be named surrealism.
    But Surrealism is the total breackup of natural rules, even related to matter and how it relates in natural laws.

    Surrealism is the aesthetic of sub conscience.

    Formally, you can call this photos as “Fantastic Realism”.

  • frank

    so sick of these

  • Stan

    I agree with Marcus. Surrealism is very much subtle compared to “Fantastic Realism” or Expressionism.

  • olafs_osh

    come on! even quality of composite is mediocre. I did these things after one year in photoshop.

    petapixel guys – if you going to post these kind of news, then learn more so you can see, what’s good and what’s bad and only slightly related to photography.

  • nab111

    Some hits, some misses, but a lot of them are great!

  • nab111


  • Kodachrome64

    People who feel inadequate or insecure are likely to be overly critical of others. Which one are you? The concept is a little cliche for my tastes but so are babies in flower pots. I don’t feel compelled to act all uncouth about it.

  • Jennilyn Burrell

    This is really good work… Anybody who says otherwise is just miserable they didn’t think of it first or can’t do the same.

  • DamianM

    Being that little wouldn’t make it to peaceful. I mean what did he do about all the spiders and birds?

    Has he not seen “The incredible shrinking man”?

  • Matthew Neumann

    Nice work. I’m just impressed a GUY got attention for doing this kind of stuff. Usually it’s all the 16 yr old girls who become flickr-famous for this style of work.

  • olafs_osh

    yet you call other commenter a person ” who feel inadequate or insecure are likely to be overly critical of others.”

    I am both and even MORE, if you like, but that doesn’t change the point of my comment. For me these pictures are exactly that – “babies in flower pot” kind of thing. And my issue, that I don’t want to see those posts in PetaPixel. If anything – I am loyal reader, who cares about this outlet’s quality.

  • AveAtqueVale

    Sponsored by Coca Cola.

  • DamianM

    btw this isn’t photgraphy!

  • Jason DreamArts

    F*cking clever use of photoshop and photography = Nice portraiture.

  • Brad Cobb

    Olaf is correct! Sometimes you see excellent work using photoshop blending and layering. This pretty poor learners quality, you should not be able to see the backgrounds in cutouts, it takes a lot of time and skill, not done here! 2/10 can do better!

  • Fart

    stop with the “dreamy self portrait” nonsense

  • eraserhead12

    so men are unfairly underrepresented in this field? what about philippe ramette? david talley? caulton morris? kyle thompson?

    most of these surrealistic self portraits come from 20yo male photogs who explode on social media. name these apparently underqualified 16-year-old girls.

  • Matthew Neumann

    I wasn’t asserting that there was anything “unfair” about men being underrepresented in this field. Underrepresented and under-appreciated are two different things. Fact is, people are just more interested in seeing a pretty girl doing selfie photoshops than a guy. A girl doing mediocre surreal self-portraits on flickr will amass a hell of a lot more views than a guy doing a stellar job. I see it all the time, and I apologize but I haven’t really taken the time to memorize a bunch of names like you have, as it’s generally not really work that’s relevant to anything I do. The only one that comes to mind is rosiehardy.

  • Julian Maytum

    I really like these. Very creative and inspiring. Thank you!

  • Mbugua Kibera N

    love this site…