‘Toying’ around with photography

Shahzad Bhiwandiwala, a HR professional by day who moonlights as a toy photographer, talks toys with Jasmine Jerald

Published: 30th January 2017 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2017 12:34 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

Next time you see a grown man playing with toys, look closely before you judge him. He might be taking lifelike photographs of these toys, just like 24-year-old Shahzad Bhiwandiwala.

“Not many know about toy photography in India. It was alien to me too until I stumbled upon a toy photography community on Instagram that sparked my interest,” says the Mumbaikar.

His creative spurt found an outlet in theatre initially,  “I was completely into musical theatre and I even performed in massive Broadway adaptations of musicals like The Sound of Music and Grease. But then it struck me that I can’t support myself just doing theatre. It also requires a huge commitment of time,” says the MBA graduate.


But he didn’t want to be stuck in a typical 9-5 job that held no creative outlet for him. “After I took up a regular job, I figured that I needed a hobby. So, while searching for one, I dabbled in different areas of photography, but nothing quite gave me that ‘oomph’ factor that I got from theatre.

That was until I found toy photography,” smiles Shahzad. His love for cult movies like Star Wars, Terminator, Die Hard, etc combined with his knowledge of lighting and positioning of ‘characters’ from his theatre days is what makes him stand out. “Toy photography is no child’s play.

The smallest details can bring a toy to life in a photograph. One of the most important lessons that I learnt was that the lens needs to be at the toy’s level and it should fill the frame. The lesser the dead space in the picture, the more lifelike it looks,” explains Shahzad, who recently showcased his work at the National Institute of Photography’s annual exhibition, Clairvoyance.

Reach Out: www.instagram.com/sbphotographs1/

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