Thanksgiving is one of my favourite American holiday right next to Halloween and Christmas. I like it so much as it is colourful and bringing the whole family together is the theme of this very holiday. I started toy photography long back and since day one I try and post some Thanksgiving theme photo. In the past I did Toy Photography around Tony Stark’s Family for 2020, Justice League for 2021 and this year I picked Spiderverse as my theme.
Lets start with the theme and inspiration behind it, shall we? I was looking for an inspiration and browsing through pinterest with limited luck… then I switched to the world favourite image search engine Google with multiple keywords and “Marvel Thanksgiving Comic” gave me this! This caught my attention for its sleek art and the table arrange, which I felt I could achieve but I dint want to do it with avengers but with Spiderman from my recently acquired “Into the Spiderverse” Marvel legends action figures. Then I finalised this as a theme for this year and started working on it.
With the theme fixed, its time to pick the characters for the photoshoot! Initially I wanted to do it with the original characters of the movie “Spiderman – Into the Spiderverse” but I couldn’t fill the table with them. So I added few more (Peter Parker and MJ from Homecoming) from the Spiderman movie, this also added some family touch as well.
In my opinion, good prop selection and setup make for a great photo and for this photoshoot I used quite a collection of props (apart from the food) even for wall! These props includes few skateboards, some minion related mini miniature statues and a wall hanging. I also added a serving tray to add to that meal time vibe.
I added few more furniture as background set pieces to bring in the Thanksgiving vibe… The main piece being a wooden bookshelf, which I made using balsa wood to scale few years back. And other main piece of furniture being a set of four chairs (actually needed 7 chairs but had only 4) where the family sat down for Thanksgiving meal.
In the past I have used photoshop to add background but this year I decided to do them as well in real. So I used a bookshelf and loaded them with few items. To add a bit of spidey character, I put on two skateboards on the wall. Then I felt the top kind of empty so put on a animal skull, actually I wanted clock there as spidey is not into hunting but I dint have one to scale so worked with what I had!
The main piece of furniture being that big round table where all the food is spread across… But the unfortunate part is that I dont have such a big table so I improvised! I made the table from role of parcel tape, piece of cardboard and some cloth piece. Though this dint look very nice but worked its magic!
I been building my food collection for few years now and this they all came in together this year to make my Thanksgiving photoshoot the greatest to date. All these food items came in as separate pieces except for few like the bread and cheese. Only thing I am missing is a set of fork and spoons as I only have knifes for now but thats ok for this year’s shot as most of these are not visible in my planned shot.
The hero of any Thanksgiving dinner is a turkey in a plate and some dressing to keep it exciting! This turkey was made by my sister few years that used in my most of my Thanksgiving photoshoots. This year I got the entire turkey on a plate with sticky glue (tried my best to hide them) which helped me set the scene without them falling onto the setup.
There are lot of unsung pieces and these are some of the most obvious… Most of these figures stand all by themselves but we may need some peg stand to make them stand with some accessories in their hands! I also used these peg stands to raise the figures a bit! The tweezer is a tool that help you place small micro stuff with precision.
I also used generous amount of sticky glue, which helped me set the figures, props and even the props. This definitely is a game changer. If you see closely, you could see these green stuff all over the place. These are reusable and they work like magic.
The stage is all set and all the props are in place, only the chairs and guests are missing in this scene! I actually did a full dry run with all the figures before the table is set so they will fit like a glove!
First to arrive in the scene is this Spider Noir from Marvel’s Lizard wave with Thanksgiving turkey. I have to put this Noir figure on two peg stand as he gets a bit too front heavy. This Marvel Legends Spider Noir also comes with two gun holding hands, which perfectly hold this plate.
Second to arrive in the scene is Peter B Parker from the Stilt-Man wave. He is one of the host, so he comes in with a bottle of Champagne and he too need to set on one peg stand. You can clearly see sticky glue in his foot and this is done as this figure cannot stand all by himself even in flat surface. His cappuccino holding hand perfectly hold the Champagne bottle.
When the guests arrive they all find their place… I only used 40% of the table for sitting guest and food items, that was intentional as the frame will show only the other side. Six of the figures would be facing camera and the spiderham would be facing the host.
There is one more important piece to complete any photo shoot setup. Yeah any real photographer would agree that great lighting gets you great photo. I used my room’s ceiling light as a main light diffused by a photo umbrella! I also added two more lights to give that spotlight effect.
I used a Nikon D3100 with a 55-200mm telephoto lens to click the entire photoshoot. This lens gives good background compression making these shot cinematic and real. This photo is right out of the camera and I am relatively happy with the output. I am very confident that this needs very few photoshop tweaks.
I only have to do very little Photoshopping and I only have to bring up some color details and crop to photo to get it to this longish format. I also made a 5:4 format photo for Instagram (check it out here @figstop), I like them both as they have sightly different Thanksgiving vibe.
Overall I felt good to get this photoshoot on time for Thanksgiving and that too without sacrificing much on quality! This photoshoot took a toll on my ability to multitask, organise and also evolve. I also had so much fun with the figures and the props… overall a nice way to spend some time off your hectic work schedule! Happy Thanksgiving everyone, have a good one… Ciao.