Nendoroid Photography Tips: How to Photograph Nendoroids

Nendoroids are a famous type of action figure known for their airbrushed appearance and aesthetically slightly rounded features. These unique aspects make Nendoroids highly photogenic, the centerpieces of truly creative scenic recreations. Here are the most notable tips for photographing Nendoroids.

Right Out of the Box

Nendoroids are wonderfully stylized action figures with so much potential, both on the shelf and in front of the camera lens. After ordering, you could wait a while as the action figure travels through the mail system, depending on where you ordered. As soon as you receive your Nendoroid, it’s time to unpackage the box and take it out for a test drive.

Nendoroid Animal Crossing Isabelle

Play Around for a Bit

Nendoroids are action figures; you should enjoy them! Play around with the figures for a little bit and imagine all the scenes you could concoct with them. Take your camera out and start snapping away. No premeditated, carefully crafted settings—just pure, unadulterated photographic fun.

Though you may end up deleting almost every single photo from this initial session, you’re learning about the curves, lighting, angles, and more that work with this particular figure. If anything, you now know what you don’t like before moving on to intentional staging.

A Quick Note: MIB vs. BIB

When deciding to photograph any action figure, you must understand how its value changes. Though many collectors never intend to resell their precious figures, chances are that you want to at least have the option available to you. Otherwise, you may miss out on a prime investment opportunity.

All that aside, if you plan to photograph Nendoroids, know that other collectors will consider your toy mint-in-box, or MIB, at best, or back-in-box, or BIB, at worst. These designations describe the toy’s conditions to prospective buyers.

If the figure lacks the original luster, has any loose joints, or suffers small scratches, its value immediately plummets in collectors’ circles. As you plan your photography session, be sure to consider a brief cost-benefit analysis of the photo’s worth to your action figure’s cost.

Nendoroid Clockwork Orange Alex

Setting the Scene

Every photograph captures a specific moment in time. A smiling child on their parent’s lap, a bird flying in the breeze, a still-life arranged for only a few hours—regardless of their subject, photographs encapsulate the entirety of their front-facing world. When you photograph your Nendoroid, what do you want it to say?

Nendoroid Love Is War Fujiawara Chika JoJos Bizarre Adventures Abbacchio Leone
Building Miniature Sets

The most fitting arrangement for a Nendoroid is a miniature set. Because the Good Smile Company manufactures Nendoroids from all sorts of franchises, you have a plethora of setting options to recreate, from manga panels to film scenes. The entire background surrounding your action figure is up to your imagination.

When building a miniature set, you should think about the mood you want to create. Are you trying to reproduce a dark, gloomy rainforest or a late-night dance club? Depending on the overall aura you want for the photos, you’ll need different architectures and materials.

For example, if you want to place a My Hero Academia character in a proper sequence, you’ll need to replicate the characters’ high school buildings. You should try to find a way to render every detail, from the glass to the grass. Once you have each element ready, you can position it in the background of your figure and find the best way to portray the scene.

Building miniature sets is no simple task. You should practice beforehand with small-scale creations to get the hang of the art form. Good Smile Company even sells tiny dioramas for Nendoroids, which could benefit beginners. Once you understand the ins and outs of scene recreation, you should bring your Nendoroid and camera into play.

Practical Tips

Photographing Nendoroids isn’t just about the backdrop; you need practical suggestions for the perfect shot. Action figure photographers experiment with all kinds of equipment and tools to make the most of their productions. However, the simple tips make the biggest creative differences.

Nendoroid JoJos Bizarre Adventures Risotto Nero
Remove the Stand

If you’ve ever talked with someone who has photographed Nendoroids, they will undoubtedly recommend that you remove the stand from the base of the figure. Though this serves as a necessary stabilizing force, it doesn’t benefit the overall photograph to have a thick, plastic, monochromatic shape. Whether you have a clear stand, a heart base, or a collector’s container, the fact of the matter is that your character’s stand will only detract from the photo.

While the stand serves a vital purpose on collectors’ shelves, they do have their limits. When you’re ready to photograph, turn your Nendoroid upside down and fiddle with the base until the character comes free. Once you have the unattached statuette in hand, you can manage the arrangements to suit the new shape of the character.

Nendoroid: Kaguya-sama: Love is War - Chika Fujiwara #1434
Nifty Tools

Photography is all about capturing a moment at the right angle. A Nendoroid without its stand will often be unbalanced, lacking the internal center of gravity necessary to stay in place during a photo shoot. One of the best hacks to get around this problem is the paper clip.

The niftiest tool of them all is the paper clip because it is so versatile and malleable. You can bend and shape a paper clip around a Nendoroid’s leg or torso with a longer piece standing in the back to create the best photo ever. The best part of using paper clips is that they’re incredibly discreet. Depending on the angle at which you shoot the action figure, the bendy metal piece will be entirely invisible, shadowed by the action figure itself. Mess around with the paper clip to find the best configuration that will ensure an outstanding hidden setup.

With these tips for photographing Nendoroids in hand, you can create iconic photos of your favorite characters. No matter how you decide to capture the action figure, it’s best to have a continuous stream of new figures flowing to keep your creativity and shelves alive. If you’re looking to buy Nendoroids and photograph them in all their aesthetic beauty, check out our selection online at Shumi Toys & Gifts today.

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