Chances are you’ve never heard the term “plastography,” even though you might have inadvertently run across it a time or two.
You’re not alone. Even Jill Brooks, Lakewood’s resident “plastographer” — if such a term exists — didn’t know it was an actual thing until recently.
When a photographer sets up scenes with children’s toys and then proceeds to take pictures of said scenes, that’s plastography. Sound weird? Well, it kind of is. But it’s also kind of fun, and that’s the point.
Brooks fell into plastography almost by accident. During a road trip to the Grand Canyon, she bought a toy cow as a mascot and took pictures of him posed in various scenes along the way.
She was so tickled by the outcome that she decided to keep the little guy, Kaibab, as a sidekick for future adventures.
Then, last summer, while on a mountain-biking trip, Brooks stopped at an art gallery that was featuring the work of several artists, one of whom was Mary Kenez.
Kenez is one of the photographers who coined the term “plastography.” She was at the gallery, so Brooks met her and bought her book, “House of Plastography.”
Brooks realized she and Kaibab needed to expand their horizons. They needed to think bigger. They also needed more toys.
“That was the evolution,” she says. “So I had the cow, and then I got a dinosaur when I went to Seattle to visit my parents.”
Then, while helping her mother-in-law move, Brooks opened a chest and found tons of tiny treasures.
“There were all these toys in there,” Brooks says with a laugh. “And I said, ‘Um … Berta, can I have these toys?’ She goes, ‘Only if I can see them on Facebook.’ I said, ‘Done.’ ”
And thus began Brooks’ plastography adventure.
These days, almost all of Brooks’ Facebook posts are of “critters,” and surprisingly enough, none of her friends seem the least bit fazed.
If you want to follow her plastic menagerie, find Brooks’ Instagram handle, @plastogirl.
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