David Schrader is the next photographer to take on an Exclu themed shoot as he tackles his topic “The Journey” which was designed to challenge the narrative thinking of his shoot. Be sure to check out the full final outcome below.
My journey begins with a Storm Trooper who is asked to perform another ‘off the books’, ‘Black Op’s’ job for The Empire. He is tasked with locating a local menace and terminate with extreme prejudice. Agreeing to the job the trooper gets a ride with a biker scout until they have to part ways.
Upon parting, the trooper gives the biker scout a bottle of wine as a thank you. From here the trooper meets with a local Jawa to find out about the Local Menace and gives the Jawa some food as a thank you.
Now with the knowledge of where to find the Local Menace the trooper sets up and waits. Finally, as the sun starts to go down the Local menace shows himself and the trooper completes his mission. On the long journey home the trooper finds shelter and takes a break reflecting on the mission and his place in the Empire. Returning home, he visits the local Commander to report in and hands over the Tusken Raider’s Gaffi Stick as proof.
The trooper then sits in a bar drinking the memories away while a mate tries to comfort him. The hardest part of the process was coming up with the narrative thread. I didn’t want to follow a story from the Star Wars films as we all know them. So, something original but small was needed. The theme of ‘The Journey’ implied change to me, the character who starts the journey may not be the same at the end of said journey. Who better to show that kind of change than a simple Storm Trooper.
I almost used the Biker Scout as the focus of the story. In a lot of ways, the Biker Scout would have made more sense, but I wanted the iconic Storm Trooper, the face-less killer. I like to take photos of my toys on location as much as possible as natural lighting and natural surroundings help make the toys look more life-like.
Each photo comes from a different location except for the interior shots, which were taken in Sets I had previously built and dressed with doll furniture. I use a Cannon Power-shot G-15 to take my photos. I’m happy with the outcome, but I do feel I needed some wider establishing shots. Unfortunately, that’s the tricky part as the smaller you make the figures in the frame, the more they look like toys.
It’s something I need to work on, finding that balance. Having the background colours reflect where the trooper is mentally in each shot worked out well, ending with my favourite shot of the series. The last photo is my favourite as it can be either a sign of the Trooper showing remorse or that the Trooper is slipping into darkness. What will become of him? Thank you. Dav Schrader.
Figures used: Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series 6-inch Storm Trooper Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series 6-inch Biker Scout Trooper and Speeder Bike Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series 6-inch Death Squad Commander Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series 6-inch Jawa.
A huge thank you to David for compiling an incredible shoot in line with his narrative challenge. You can catch more of Davids work over on Instagram @schnijder_berry and for everything toy photography, stayed tuned to Exclu.