Practical Effects in Professional Toy Photography!

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We spend a day with toy photographer Johnny Wu (aka SgtBananas), whose beautiful photos bring toys to life and have gathered a big following on Instagram. Johnny shows us how he stages scenes in his miniature studio, lights his figures, and uses practical effects to add weather to his photos!

Find more of Johnny’s work at

Shot by Gunther Kirsch
Edited by Norman Chan

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Tested is:
Adam Savage
Norman Chan
Simone Giertz
Joey Fameli
Gunther Kirsch
Ryan Kiser
Kishore Hari
Sean Charlesworth
Jeremy Williams
Kayte Sabicer
Bill Doran
Ariel Waldman
Darrell Maloney
Kristen Lomasney

Intro bumper by Abe Dieckman
Set design by Danica Johnson
Set build by Asa Hillis

Thanks for watching!

  1. WikdSeafood says

    This is something that I would love to get into. I collect action figures, anime figures, model trains, car and build kits as well. I would love to photograph them so they look real (or as close to real as I can get).

  2. Nicole Clark says

    I’m trying to learn as much as I can to improve at this, thank you so much for this post 😊

  3. ColdsideRamrod says

    It's reassuring to know that there are still people who can afford, temporally and financially, to have hobbies like this.

  4. Swalks VR says

    As an artist I find his work beautiful, amazing stuff

  5. SamtheCat says

    I always wanted to do rain or smoke effects on my scale photography, but I in the last moment I back out because of fear of how it could damage the models or the equipment.

  6. Paolo Vega says

    "It's like… Like, just like, you know like"

  7. Coregeek Creations says

    Been following him for years. He’s such an incredible artist. Thanks for highlighting him here.

  8. Michael Nylif says


  9. Jessica L says

    Working with a physical object to recreate a mental image has the potential to be so frustrating, it seems. Like what if you want an epic shot, you get so excited, but then the toy itself isn’t physically capable of adjusting to that position? Definite props to Sgtbananas.

  10. Sonny says

    This video could have been 5-8 min long and would have still packed all the info in there easily…
    Reasons why tested videos are better with Adam

  11. DeeL2003 says

    Congrats Johnny! It's so cool seeing toy photography getting some exposure. Great job Norm and Tested!

  12. MrXelium says

    Dayum. That's hot. Very nice video.

  13. darrell taylor says

    Fantastic, so inspiring!

  14. gus bisbal says

    The reason he has so much light is because of his fast shutter speed. He should of spoken about that. At F-stop 2.8 I am surprised his ISO is so high (1600) with that much light. I guess his shutter is 1/1250.

  15. Peter Sackett says

    Every 7th word is “like”.

  16. Eric Badder says

    Is this not sad to any real men out there. Oh wait no real man would be watching this beta garbage

  17. Chad Glidden says

    you belong on a set.

  18. Whodat Ovadair says

    This guy is a cool cat! True artist!!!

  19. Zack Chappell says

    Imagine if the people who made The LEGO movie made a toy movie. Like action figures. Imagine if his photos were full on movies. Be super cool. Spider-Man running around with Star Wars characters, dragon ball z, ninja turtles. Be the real life toy story. I already want to see it

  20. Vanns Vintage Toys and Mods says

    Great and Cool Work, I hope you see this friend, Playmates TMNT ROCK, My absolute Best Childhood Toys, Here is my Vintage TMNT Diorama,

  21. Rene de la Garza says

    You should check Felix Hernandez work, he es great👌🏻

  22. ReallyBigBadAndy76 says

    People doing cool stuff well. This sounds like such a trivial, silly thing if you were tindescribe it. But it’s awesome. Never knew this was a thing until I saw this video.

  23. Damon Westenhofer says

    Haha I love how Norm just invites himself back at the end.
    Didn't know about Johnny Wu before, definitely going to follow. Great video guys!

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