We’re huge Pop enthusiasts here at Exclu and so we’ve gotten a very special insight into one of the communities best Pop photographers – Matt Heywood who goes by his handle @heywoodpop on Instagram. We get an exclusive look into what makes Matt tick and an image gallery of some of his best , most defining shots.
I’ve been a toy collector as far back as I can remember thanks to the bond my Dad and I had over the original Star Wars films, and the Kenner action figure lines that supported them. Over the years I’ve collected many brands from Mighty Muggs to Mez-itz, and action figures galore, but in 2010 I stumbled upon a new line of collectibles from Funko and to this day my obsession with Funko Pops remains so strong that my collection features over 700 of them.
As you can probably tell I love collecting geeky stuff, but it wasn’t until the Spring of 2016 that I decided to do something with all of my toys rather than keeping them in their boxes, or only displaying them in my man cave. Thanks to Instagram I was exposed to the world of toy photography, in particular the talented Funko Pop photographers that litter its pages. When I first saw a Pop shot from @jgtoys I was blown away by his work, and what could be done with a Funko Pop and a camera. Naturally I enquired about his work and how he went about it, then I set out to buy my first real camera, which ended up being the Canon 80d.
With the Canon 80d in hand I set out to test my skills with it, and to see if I could even come close to rivalling some of the Pop photographers I look up to on Instagram. My first few efforts were rather poor, as I had to get practice in with the new DSLR to learn all of its features, and more importantly, how to shoot in Manual mode. In time things started to click, and with that I began to get featured amongst the top Pop photographers thanks to the @topfunkophotos account, which holds daily photo submissions for all things Funko.
Through that community I also stumbled upon a few other toy photography accounts that host photo submissions, so my obsession took off, and graciously people began to follow and leave amazing comments on my shots. It was a very humbling experience, as most artists of any kind will tell you we tend to not think our work is as great as others do, so getting the feedback really drove me to take even better Funko Pop pictures.
Thanks to the practice I’ve put in shooting Pops, and getting involved in the toy community on Instagram, I came across this particular magazine’s account, and was blown away by the photographers it featured. To this day I can’t believe Exclu Collective is willing to feature my work, because the other featured artists are more centred around action figure photography with amazing special and practical effects to bring them to life, so I didn’t think they’d even bother with a Pop account.
A huge thank you to Matt for sharing this special artist insight with us for this feature – its always intriguing to see another angle of Toy Photography , especially one thats so close to our own hearts with Matt’s staggering collection of Pop Vinyls. Check back later in the week to catch Matt’s top 3 images and in the meantime head over to @heywoodpop for all the latest Pop photography.