A Family Affair

by Pierre-Jacques Ober

The marvellous imaginary world of toys in general and little soldiers in particular have always been an integral part of my life. I always loved history, military history in particular. I think the attraction had a lot to do with the beautiful costumes of the past, the sounds and smells of cavalry. For my Australian wife it was different. It took me a while to coax her into my world, but now Jules is my partner in this as well as everything else!

In a recent interview Jules said:

“ I hated history at school – so many dates to remember. All concerning men killing each other in enormous numbers, seemingly with no rhyme or reason.

But in the process of photographing these little plastic men I have grown closer and closer to the plight of the young men they represent and I began to get a sense of the terrible array of emotions they experienced. To feel with them. It must have something to do with the macro lens…”

“Toy photography poses an array of interesting challenges, but the aim for me is always to capture an emotion with each image. We work with natural light and have explored the notion of time passing by photographing our subject at different times of the day. Allowing nature to have her hand in the scenes, creating an eerie reality that takes the viewer beyond the plastic edges to experience moments such as our character stepping out into the early morning light to meet his executioner. I realised I was truly engaged with the project when I found it hard to face the moment where we had to put our little plastic figurine in front of the firing squad. I was sad all day!”