Journey into LEGO photography
By Captivating Photography Journal profile image Captivating Photography Journal
7 min read

Journey into LEGO photography

Together with Bryan Mosheim we delve into how he combines his passion for photography with his love for LEGO to create stunning visual narratives.

We are excited to bring you our exclusive interview with Bryan Mosheim, an innovative photographer from Auckland, New Zealand, whose unique blend of LEGO and landscape photography has captivated audiences worldwide.

Bryan delves into how he combines his passion for photography with his love for LEGO to create stunning visual narratives. As he nears the completion of his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photomedia at Whitecliffe, Bryan shares his experiences, challenges, and the serendipitous moments that have marked his journey in LEGO photography. Dive into Bryan's world, and stay tuned for our next issue on 1 April, where we'll explore "toyrism" and its impact on the tourism landscape through the lens of toy photography.

Bryan Mosheim

Bryan, please tell us a bit about yourself and how you ventured into the niche of LEGO figurine photography.

Throughout my childhood, I was always somewhat curious about the art of photography and would sometimes take the family camera with me on trips to capture the wildlife and landscapes around me. But it wasn't until February of 2019, when I borrowed my brother's Canon 700D for a school project and photographed a LEGO figure on my driveway, that I became completely hooked on taking photos. Not only of landscapes and wildlife but LEGO figures and sets within the places I visit. Since then, I never venture out to a stunning location without a few LEGO figures in my backpack and a camera in my hand.

First ever image by Bryan Mosheim

We're intrigued by your "until LEGO comments" project on Instagram. How did it start?

On Instagram, I noticed a video trend where photographers would upload their photos with the caption ‘posting my photography until (brand/company) comments’. I thought about doing this trend for months, thinking it would be impossible to get LEGO to comment, and finally, I said, ‘why not, let’s see what happens’?

Darth Vader by Bryan Mosheim

Each day I would post a new video on Instagram with the caption ‘posting my LEGO photography until LEGO comments’. After day two, each post would get a ton of engagement with people all around the world tagging @LEGO and commenting about my work and giving their own interpretation and opinion on my photographs. Then on day 4, LEGO France officially commented on my post, which I never expected, although it wasn't the main LEGO Instagram page, I was still really stoked they saw my work! Having LEGO France comment on my video definitely made me realise that this challenge I've set for myself is achievable.

When they commented, I was initially shocked and didn't believe it was them until I saw the blue tick. Shortly after commenting, they sent me a message saying how much they love my work and said they will be in touch about any future content they would like me to do, which sent me over the moon. Having my childhood toy brand reaching out to me felt unreal and made me realise I have an opportunity here to push my LEGO photography to new audiences across social media.

As I was in the process of writing this, it was day 13 of posting my LEGO photography until the official LEGO Instagram page comments, then on day 14 it finally happened. The official LEGO Instagram page commented on my post, saying, ‘We commented! Keep posting though, we want to see MORE!’. A crazy dream I never thought would happen, to have the official LEGO brand itself notice my work and ask for more couldn't have been a better comment.

Cowboy by Bryan Mosheim

Why LEGO? Have you experimented with other objects or toys as well?

I’ve been doing LEGO photography for just over 5 years now, and what fascinates me the most about this art is being able to use ordinary LEGO figures and make them look like they belong within real-world environments around New Zealand.

Bilbo by Bryan Mosheim

Whether that be on sandy beaches or snowy mountains, it has always been such an enjoyable process of laying the figure down and photographing it in a unique way. LEGO figures allow me to tell stories and continue to keep a special part of my childhood with me while also incorporating New Zealand's stunning landscapes into the images. At this moment, I haven't used any other toys for photography and don't think I will, as LEGO photography allows me to be super creative and, to be honest, I don't own any other toys other than LEGO!

How does photographing LEGO differ from other photography styles you've tried, in terms of challenges and rewards?

LEGO photography allows me to look at an environment and bring attention to unique textures that most people tend to not notice at all. Textures such as barnacles, sand particles, fluffy snow, and even fine blades of grass are all things we might see on a daily basis but never up close and especially never with a LEGO figure amongst it. It can be challenging to choose which area of the location is best for a particular shot. For example, it took a few attempts to find the perfect spot for this scuba diver. I find most of the ideas I have are trial and error until I land on something I'm happy with, which makes the final shot I get so much more rewarding. Even when a particular image doesn't go to plan, it allows me to learn from what went wrong.

Gandalf by Bryan Mosheim
If you want to explore more about textures in photography, how they affect the viewer and how you can implement them in your work, see our latest article on Excio.

What is your favourite photo?

Although I have a few images that I'm really fond of, this shot has to be my favourite, and it actually has an interesting story behind it. During the first few weeks of lockdown in March of 2020, photographer/videographer and YouTuber Peter McKinnon set a challenge for his viewers. The challenge was to photograph anything that represented the theme ‘lockdown’, and at the end of the week, he would pick his favourites and review them on his YouTube channel. I took this challenge head-on and recreated one of his own images entirely out of LEGO in just one day, driven to get this photograph. A week later, after posting it to Instagram, he reacted to my image on his video, and he was absolutely thrilled with my submission, but not as much as I was! Having my photo recognised by one of my idols was an unbelievable moment that I still cherish to this day.

Peter McKinnon by Bryan Mosheim

Can you discuss your approach to editing? Are there any specific techniques or software you prefer?

When it comes to editing my images, I use Lightroom to adjust the colours and lighting of the image, then Photoshop to remove objects or sometimes people out of the shot to keep the image authentic. For every image, I go through my own Lightroom presets that I've developed over the years to see which one best suits the image. Next, if it's necessary, I will import the image into Photoshop to remove any dust particles or scratches off the figure to make them look as pristine as possible for the final image.

Bilbo and Gollum by Bryan Mosheim

What's in your photography bag when you head out for a shoot?

When I head out for a shoot, I will always carry with me my Canon 700D, 18-55mm f3.5 kit lens, Canon 50mm f1.8, 75-300mm f4-5.6, DJI Mini 2 drone, and I sometimes now borrow the GoPro Hero 12 off my mate and attach it to my chest to record behind-the-scenes footage of my shoots. What I've learnt throughout the years is that to get started, you don't need the most expensive gear. Once you have learnt to shoot with what you’ve got and create incredible images, then and only then, I would recommend you upgrade your gear.

Where can we find you?

Instagram: @bryan_mosheim/

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