The next photographer to tackle a themed shoot is Jonathan Miesch with a brand new series which tie’s in nicely with Robots and Droids week. The shoot focuses on the Identity of his custom BB8 & R2 figures as they are the only ones of their kind.
Honestly, when I was given the theme “Identity” for my shoot I was mildly intimidated. Identity is such a broad theme and can travel across vast universes that pinpointing one central figure to shoot proved almost difficult. I had thought of Spiderman and various other superheroes as many of my favorites have secret identities and struggle with maintaining real life with their secret life. Ultimately, in the end I decided to go with my BB8 custom figure. I chose to go with BB8 (and R2) mainly because they’re the only ones of their kind. Also there’s something about the complexity and loneliness of a robot who is self aware that speaks to me.
Never really knowing who you are, what you are, why you are. I think that most people can identify with that level of personal uncertainty. The search for one’s self can be a daunting and crippling journey and most don’t like the answers they receive. Being able to accept and know yourself (whether you are flesh and bone, metal and wire or all four) is a very freeing feeling but ultimately we are all prisoners to our doubts, our faults, our memories but what if you didn’t have any of that? What if you just…were? Who would you be?
I tried to make BB8 and R2 seem as human as possible (like when R2 dies and hands the data card to BB8) while still retaining their “Android-esque” appearance. I want the viewer to feel the confusion of being a creation, yet able to relate to the idea of “who am I?”. Everything is open to interpretation. Loosing a friend, finding out lost truths, saying goodbye, making your way through hell and then finally coming to the end of the journey.
I had a lot of fun working on this project, albeit some anxiety, haha. Normally when I shoot there’s not much of a plan of attack, more of a lightbulb goes off and then grab the camera, figures and shoot. This was much more involved. I had thought of so many scenarios for BB8 and R2 (which are now known as BB9 and R6, cause of their jumpsuits) and I’m sure their were parts where I overanalyzed. Ultimately I’m happy with the outcome and had an awesome time creating and really building a story behind characters that have such awesome and iconic imagery. I really hope y’all enjoy this as much as I enjoyed working on it. Thank you for looking.
A massive thank you to Jonathan for creating an in depth new series tackling the Identity of custom droid figures. Be sure to catch more of his work over on Instagram via @superdinorobotninjas and for more of the latest from the toy community, stay tuned to Exclu.
Last modified: September 1, 2017