It’s hard not to smile when you look at Terry Decorah’s Lego minifigure photography. There’s just something inexplicably endearing about a ceaselessly smiley, tiny plastic blockhead of a man wading hip-deep through the shallows of Moreau Lake on what is surely a very important scuba diving mission.
An ultrasound technologist and amateur photographer, Decorah first discovered the wide world of toy photography last summer. “I happened across some images by Shelly Corbett (@shellycorbettphotography) last summer, and they were just so delightful that I was inspired to give it a try,” says the Moreau resident of this growing trend that uses mature photography techniques to capture playtime nostalgia with tug-at-your-heartstrings results. “I enjoy learning new photographic techniques and especially enjoy seeing what other photographers are creating on Instagram.”
So, Decorah bought some minifigures (her 50-figure collection includes humans, chipmunks and robots, and she plans on adding superheroes soon), went to nearby Moreau State Park, and started teaching herself toy photography. “I’m still pretty new to it,” Decorah says, “but have found that you need to be very patient and deliberate in your techniques and pay attention to the small details. When you’re shooting at such a small level, every little detail matters.”
Since last August, Decorah has documented the adventures of her minifigures on her own Instagram account, @moreau.minis. “I got bored, so I bought some Lego,” her bio reads. (Fun fact: the plural of Lego is in fact, simply, “Lego.”) “I think I’m addicted now.” Exactly what is so alluring about toy photography? “The Lego minifigures are just so darn cute!” Decorah says. “I’m intrigued by the endless possibilities of images that can be created.”