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I Photograph Small Models with a Big Imagination



For me photography is not portraying what exists, but portraying what exist in me.

Ever since I was a kid I used to spend hours alone in my room playing with my toys. Now that I’m a “grownup,” I’ve realized that I never stopped playing and that the only difference is that now I have a camera on my hands.

Photography and digital art just gave me the ability to bring alive those scenes that I’ve had inside my mind ever since I was a kid.


Scale is one of the most important aspects of my photography. If what you want is to give the sense of “realism” to your scaled models (toys), you will generally need to get close with your camera.


I use focus stacking with a 24-105mm lens to achieve a wider depth of field on my small subjects.


I shoot my models in my studio with studio flashes. It’s similar to shooting a product, but again, if you want to give the sense of realism you have to think in the scale. I take lighting principles and apply them to a smaller scale.

I normally shoot with a beauty dish and/or a snoot for the models and two more lights for the background if I want it to be pure white.


I love photo manipulation and digital art, but what’s really cool is doing as much as you can in-camera. For snow scenes, I use wheat flour. For desert scenes, I use corn flour. For atmosphere, I add smoke. For rain, I spray water. For droplets, I add corn syrup.





In some photos, I insert images into my background.




I also use Photoshop for adding effects that are difficult or impossible to do in-camera — things like adding a sense of motion, color grading, etc.


In the end, my small scale photography is just a mix of playing and technical photography. The hardest part lies in our minds and in our hearts — staying childish, foolish, an ddreamy.

About the author: Felix Hernandez is a commercial photographer, digital artist, and graphic designer based in Cancun, Mexico. You can find more of his work on his Facebook, YouTube, and 500px.