The right way to mild and {photograph} Lego constructing interiors

How to light and shoot Lego interiors

Taking pictures the inside of a brick-built scene might be very difficult for a LEGO photographer as a result of most fashions limit digicam angles and restrict lighting alternatives.

After I shoot official LEGO units, I’ve to essentially work round what the designer of the set has created, with displayability and playability as their priorities. It’s quite a bit simpler to shoot a MOC (My Personal Creation) as a result of I’ve designed it with totally different priorities: digicam angles and lighting.

On this article, I’m going to point out you ways I am going about taking pictures and lighting the inside of LEGO fashions and provide you with some tips about designing a MOC for images.

Restricted Angles

Most of the massive official LEGO units are absolutely enclosed buildings that are often constructed with removable ranges or flooring. Because you’re wanting down into the mannequin, the plain digicam angles to make use of with these sorts of units are a excessive angle or overhead/hen’s eye.

How to light and shoot Lego interiors

Excessive angle shot

It is a enjoyable angle, however it will probably get boring quick for LEGO images particularly as a result of it’s what we anticipate. We see the excessive angle steadily utilized in LEGO’s product pictures.


How to light and shoot Lego interiors

Product picture from

I would take a couple of high-angle pictures, however I want to get extra minifig-eye stage pictures basically as a result of they really feel extra intimate. This isn’t really easy to do in an official LEGO set, although.

Since we will’t shoot by means of partitions to get at eye stage, one choice is to shoot by means of doorways, home windows, or different small openings from the outside of the mannequin.

How to light and shoot Lego interiors

Taking pictures by means of the opening of the forge

To get the photograph above, I shot by means of the opening of the forge of the Medieval Blacksmith set. My macro lens was an enormous assist as its quick minimal focusing distance allowed me to get in shut.

How to light and shoot Lego interiors

Product picture displaying the forge

At simply 4 studs huge and a couple of and a half studs excessive, I solely had one angle out there to me: straight by means of the forge opening. I had simply sufficient room to tilt the lens down very barely so I may get a number of the purple coals that have been lit by a LightBrick, however solely a lot in order that I wouldn’t minimize off an excessive amount of of the blacksmith’s head on the high.

Home windows are somewhat bit greater at 4 studs huge and three studs excessive. I at all times come out any panes linked to the body, even when they’re clear, to get the clearest view.

How to light and shoot Lego interiors

Shot by means of a window with the lattice panes eliminated

Doorways are often 4 studs huge and 6 studs tall, to allow them to be nice to shoot by means of. As with window panes, I often take away the door itself and go away the empty door body.

Doorways will also be secret doorways just like the one within the Medieval Citadel that gives an escape from the dungeon.

How to light and shoot Lego interiors

If taking pictures by means of current openings proves too tough due to their dimension or placement, or for those who don’t have a succesful lens, disassembly is an efficient choice. It’s LEGO anyway so you could possibly at all times put issues again collectively after!

Within the behind-the-scenes photographs above, I needed to take down some partitions of the modular Boutique Lodge set with a view to shoot the inside. Even with a macro lens, the home windows and doorways weren’t sufficiently big or conveniently positioned to permit for a very good composition.

How to light and shoot Lego interiors

Second ground room

How to light and shoot Lego interiors

Lodge foyer

In a MOC, a mannequin you design your self, you possibly can construct for the digicam and spare your self plenty of the complications that include taking pictures an official LEGO set.

I at all times attempt to add as many home windows and doorways as doable. I additionally construct partitions which are simply detachable or can swing out of the way in which on hinges, for instance.

It is a MOC by bricks_fan_uy that I modified with a detachable wall in order that I may entry the second ground simply.

How to light and shoot Lego interiors

Made a detachable wall

How to light and shoot Lego interiors

Shot inside a 6×6 stud house

Different LEGO photographers like Shannon Sproule construct complete sections like partitions and flooring that aren’t linked in any respect however moderately pushed collectively. This presents much more taking pictures flexibility.


Lighting is the opposite huge problem when taking pictures inside a LEGO set. The openings you may use for taking pictures by means of are the identical ones you’ve gotten out there for lighting externally.

Generally, the extra closed the construct, the extra mild you’ll want.

I often have a light-weight supply at totally different depth ranges positioned exterior virtually each window, in addition to one greater mild supply overhead if the mannequin has removable flooring. That’s at the least 3 mild sources I’ve in my setups.

How to light and shoot Lego interiors

Two small flashes on the home windows and one flash in a small softbox overhead

By “mild sources” I imply a flash, LED panel, flashlight, or what-have-you. What I take advantage of as a light-weight supply is dependent upon what look I need for the photograph and what digicam I’m utilizing. After I need dramatic lighting or want plenty of energy, I sometimes attain for my flash. After I need flat lighting or fill, I would attain for the LED panels. If I’m taking pictures with my telephone, I can’t use flash, however each different mild supply is an choice.

Generally I’ll use tiny wired LED strips particularly made by third events for lighting LEGO units, however they’re not my favourite device to make use of as a result of the light quality and color aren’t the best for images. They’re nice for show, although, which is what these wired LED strips are made for.

I’ll additionally use tiny LED level lights as sensible lights: mild sources which are seen within the body versus the lights exterior the body. These are very delicate and may break with common dealing with, although. Count on to interrupt a couple of instantly since they will also be fairly tough to put in within the bricks.

Hiding the wires additionally takes some effort and, in the long run, most likely Photoshop to take away them digitally.

Just like the LED strips I discussed above, these aren’t designed for photographers who reuse these lights on a regular basis. They’re meant to be put in as soon as inside a mannequin and left there for a very long time.

If you wish to attempt utilizing LED strips or level lights, I like to recommend shopping for at the least 3 instances as many as you plan to make use of in your photographs.

You could find all these lights on AliExpress, Brickstuff, and white-label resellers (mainly firms that put their branding on stuff you’ll find on AliExpress).

However while you’re simply beginning out, use no matter mild supply you’ve gotten available. I’ve used balloon lights, keychain lights, and even the LEGO LightBrick to mild interiors.

Key Takeaways

You want plenty of mild sources, persistence, and almost certainly a macro lens or close to macro lens for those who’re taking pictures with a devoted digicam. A telephone digicam can work very effectively in a good brick-built atmosphere as a result of it will probably get shut, has a wide-angle lens, and may get extra of the scene in focus.

How to light and shoot Lego interiors

Taken inside my Tiny Crimson Home MOC with a telephone

An official LEGO mannequin, particularly the modular sort buildings, is essentially the most difficult to shoot, so I don’t suggest diving into inside pictures utilizing these. It may be very irritating for these simply beginning out. As an alternative, I like to recommend constructing a couple of unfastened sections like partitions and flooring, then pushing them collectively like on a film set.

Construct your scene whereas wanting by means of the LCD or telephone display so you’ve gotten a transparent understanding of the scale of the mannequin you want for that digicam angle in addition to the place you’ll place your lights.

As I’ve talked about “film set”, it’s a good suggestion to take a look at brickfilm communities to choose up set-building suggestions. Not all the suggestions will apply to images, however there are some good concepts there.

Concerning the Writer

Anna Bitanga, aka Four Bricks Tall, has been taking photographs of toys for a decade and teaches toy images on her YouTube channel. She additionally writes about toy images in her month-to-month Substack newsletter, Take Higher Toy Pictures. This text was first revealed here and reposted with permission.