Toy photography eclipses so many different genres of popular culture and photographer Toni Wright has the knack for cherry picking the best characters from across the board to use in her photography as is the case in this exclusive themed shoot “Tomorrow”.
An exclusive series by Toni Wright
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
When given the theme word “Tomorrow”, my immediate thought was to do something with the sun setting or a literal thought of tomorrow. The more I thought about it, and the more I looked at my shelf of figures, I decided on something a little more obscure since I have the chance to explain the shots.
Most people following me, know I love the Bungie (and 343 Industries) Halo stories. Halo: Reach’s story is one of sacrifice, and the passing of the torch for the hope of humanity’s survival “Tomorrow”.
Noble Team gave their lives so humanity could have a chance at beating the odds in the coming days/future. Delivering a ‘payload’ (Cortana and her knowledge of certain Forerunner technology) to the ship, Pillar of Autumn. In the end, each of them knew that tomorrow wasn’t theirs. They knew they’d have to give it their all, so that humanity to carry on and survive without them. It’s a story that rings true for a lot of soldiers, fictional or not. So it was nice to have the chance to highlight it and pay my respects to it.
A lot of my photography is me trying to capture emotion or thoughts in the characters involved. I don’t do a lot of action shots, or studio or diogram work. There are so many masters out there that I’ll leave that to (for now). I love getting up close and personal with the figures, whether its zoomed in or simply a large aperture to get a nice focus on just the subject itself.
So I kept to my usual style and went outdoors to find some spots to set up little memorials of each character. Outdoor lighting is key for me. I like to work with shadows to try and highlight certain parts of an image. I do tend to add vignetting or extra shadowing later in Lightroom though, usually just for a little extra punch.
I used McFarlane’s 6” Halo figures, which are among my favourites to collect. The detail that goes into them is insane. They lack a little bit in articulation, but for the budget price of the figures I still think they are more than worth it.
Overall I’m happy with how the shots turned out. I like the simplicity of their signature weapons and helmets. I know the rifle and helmet is often used as a memorial for fallen soldiers so I enjoyed bringing that theme into the set ups. I like the how black and white turned out. It ties each shot together, with the colour highlight on the final shot showing Cortana’s stasis tube as the symbol of “Hope” and “Tomorrow”.
I would liked to have maybe done some shots that didn’t need as much explaining to be connected to the word “Tomorrow”, but still using these figures. Something to think on for later!
An amazing series with a rich backstory and perfectly executed vision makes for one heck of feature from Toni so a huge thanks goes to her for taking the time and effort to create this for us here at Exclu. Be sure to catch more of her work over on her primary space Instagram @315th_squad and leave a comment below to let us know what you think!
Last modified: May 3, 2017