It’s all about the story Mitchel Wu
When Mitchel Wu first came across toy photography in August of 2015, it was an art form in its infancy. He immediately recognized the potential to explore new areas of creativity while developing a career around it. Though toy photography is admittedly an extremely niche avenue of photography, it is a unique and, in Mitchel’s case, incredibly impactful piece of the creative world.
For Mitchel, toy photography is about storytelling and expressing one’s creativity through the lens of a camera. After moving away from his career as a wedding photographer, Mitchel envisioned a new path for himself -– one that would combine memories of both his and his daughter’s favorite movies, stories and toys, and his desire to tell stories through photography.
Mitchel has worked with Mattel, Moose Toys and Warner Brothers, just to name a few of his more memorable clients. Most recently, he was commissioned by Disney to create a series of Toy Story images to celebrate and promote the release of Toy Story 4, one of his favorite projects to date. In the years since he discovered his love for shooting toys, Mitchel has accumulated an impressive social media presence, and continues to blaze new trails for creative toy photographers in the toy industry and beyond.
Through his work, Mitchel has been able to experience various cultures around the world, having most recently traveled to Taiwan and Japan to photograph toys. The main purpose of his career, however, has remained clear throughout the entirety of his journey: to simultaneously express his creativity and tell meaningful stories.
“I hope to continue experiencing new cultures and to develop my storytelling,” Mitchel shared when asked about his personal and professional goals at this point in his career. “Storytelling is my priority.”
Throughout the span of his toy photography journey, Mitchel shares that he has become “more comfortable with following his instincts and being in the public eye,” mainly because of his appearances on various TV shows across the nation such as Chicago’s WGN Morning News, PBS SoCal’s LAaRT, Cheddar Business News, and an upcoming feature on the widespread 60 Second Docs YouTube channel.
Mitchel’s work is currently on display at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Virginia as a part of the Toys As Art collection, and has upcoming partnerships with Wix.com and toy company IAmElemental in the near future. Additionally, Mitchel has set up his own ongoing mentorship program, in which he actively helps guide both newbie photographers and advanced professionals alike. Mentoring, he shares, gives him the opportunity to help others interested in learning more about this unique art form.
The most exciting aspect of his growing presence in the toy photography community is his dedication to his underlying message that “age shouldn’t stop you from playing or having fun,” and that imagination and storytelling shouldn’t diminish as we grow older.
When asked about what advice he had for those looking to get into the world of professional photography, Mitchel’s main pieces of wisdom were to “know your worth, be professional, and find a niche that you can work in.” Mitchel stresses the importance of acknowledging that artists know that their work has value, and that the more unique their art and creative projects are, the less of a commodity they become. In terms of business advice, Mitchel offers up social media as one of the key factors to establishing a well-known presence within your respective field, as well as the importance of “putting your work out there” and staying focused on what you do.
You can find Mitchel on Instagram at @mitchelwuphotography, and on Facebook at Mitchel Wu Photography. Additionally, Mitchel’s website, www.mitchelwutoyphotography.com, features memorable clients/sponsors as well as a collection of various images and projects. For more information on his current showcase at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center, check out https:// pfac-va.org/exhibitions/.
Photos by Mitchel Wu
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