Save 20% on our optic swap collection and get a free omni bonus kit

Learn More



Discover which effect is right for you. Whether its a sweet spot of focus, a dramatic slice of focus, or a swirly bokeh, we have artistic effects for any type of photographic vision.


Get inspired by our Lensbaby Ambassadors and image galleries in our Inspiration Center. Learn everything there is to know about Lensbaby and our lens effects, from the pros who use them!

© Ute Reckhorn

© Ute Reckhorn

The Beauty of Toy Photography | Lensbaby

  • 3 min read

The Beauty of Toy Photography

Artist Interview with Shelly Corbett

Shelly Corbettis a photographer based in the United States who brings our favorite toys to life with her toy photography talents! We had the opportunity to interview her and learn more about her process!

Shelly Corbett with Lensbaby Sweet 35

Q: When did you start taking photographs and why did you continue?

A: I started taking photos in 1988. I keep taking photos because I find it as endlessly fascinating art form. Photography can be whatever I want it to be. It's a satisfying avenue for self expression, it's continuously challenging and a fun form of storytelling.


Q: Which is your favorite Lensbaby lens and why?

A: Composer Pro II. I love the compact size and the variety of lenses available for it. I really enjoy pushing the lens effects to the limits to see what I can capture.

Shelly Corbett with Lensbaby Edge 50

Q: What tips do you have for beginners just learning how to use the Composer Pro II?

A: Put your preconceived expectations aside, expereiment, and embrace the 'happy accident'. Above all: be patient with yourself!


Shelly Corbett with Lensbaby Edge 50

Q: What is the most difficult part of being a photographer?

A: The most difficult part of being a photographer is carving out the time to make the noun a verb. There are so many demands on our attention, especially if you're a woman, that placing a priority on actually doing the work can be difficult. But by embracing the creative process, we can actually bring energy back into our lives.


Shelly Corbett with Lensbaby Sweet 35

Q: Do you have formal training as a photographer or are you self-taught? What was that journey like?

A: While I was trained in a university and received a Bachelors of Fine Arts I've always said education is wasted on youth. I've been reading about and practicing photography seriously for the past 15 years. I'm trying to learn all those lessons offered to me that I honestly wasn't old enough to grasp.


Q: What details do you believe make the best photographs? How do you go about focusing on them in your work?

A: Curiosity. I try to maintain a beginner's mindset and observe what's happening around me. While not always easy, it's easier to approach any topic with an open mind and abundant curiosity.


Q: What inspires you most?

A: Nature and light. There is nothing more beautiful to me than natural light. It can bring a sense of magic and possibility to the most mundane objects. When I see rays of filter through a forest, light up a little rain soaked moss or dance with a flowing river I want to be a part of that moment. By combining this light with toys I can hopefully infuse my photographs with a little bit of that magic.


Shelly Corbett with Lensbaby Obscura

Q: Tell us your favorite quote!

A: "Everything you can imagine is real." Pablo Picasso


Q: What is your favorite subject to photograph?

A: Toys


Shelly Corbett

Seattle photographer Shelly Corbett has been using toys in her work for nearly ten years. As a former LEGO Ambassador, founder of and currently a creativity coach, Shelly shares her love of toys and photography. She’s discovered this combination can be a powerful tool for self-expression and creative storytelling.


Follow Us for Your Daily Dose of Art!