iPhone Photographer Captures Miniatures Staged in Intricate Scenes

Derrick Lin is an iPhone photographer who captures intricate miniature sets that can take him up to a week to perfectly stage.

His photographic collection shows miniature characters that take on Lin’s mindful musings and help him express his moods and thoughts through serene and atmospheric scenes, that are carefully crafted on his desk.

Lin was first introduced to the world of miniatures nine years ago and immediately began to collect them. He started to take photographs with them showing scenes that revealed a different and creative perspective on his stressful life as a professional in the advertising world. First, it started out just as entertainment for himself and his coworkers but soon evolved into a larger series when his work began to receive attention from media and brands such as Apple, Disney, the Wall Street Journal, and various features on Instagram.

Unlike most other toy and miniature photographers, Lin shoots his work exclusively with an iPhone.

“To me, the appeal of smartphone photography is first and foremost spontaneity,” he tells PetaPixel. “I can take out my phone and start shooting whenever inspiration strikes.”

Smartphone photography also gives Lin the advantage of getting into small spaces and gives him the opportunity to take photos in tricky angles where a larger DSLR or mirrorless might not be able to. On the other hand, the downside is that the specifications and capabilities, such as macro focus and the number of pixels to work with, are more limited by comparison. However, this doesn’t hold Lin back as he sells prints to his online fans and audience who are thrilled to decorate their homes with his photographs.

Mood plays a crucial role in Lin’s work and a lot of times, Lin finds inspiration from seasons, nature, urban living, and mental health.

“I strive to visualize, create and depict stories of moods and thoughts of mine in recent events,” he explains. “I choose the quieter, reflective thoughts that I (or most people) typically hesitate to express as the topic and I construct miniature scenes to highlight them with the miniature figures as the main manifest.”

His miniature sets feature desk objects like stationery, pencils, notebooks, books, and mugs. All of these help him create a world of imagination projected onto the work surface. Generally, Lin doesn’t glue down his items so the sets tend to be fragile and require a steady set of hands. To complete a set, it takes approximately a week of trial and error, and fine-tuning, due to lighting conditions and camera framing.

More of Lin’s miniature photography work can be found on his Instagram, where he also announces any new and upcoming print sales of his work, which then can be purchased on the Society6 website.

Image credits: All images by Derrick Lin and used with permission.