Toky Photography

California Homes Magazine

Posted in Collaboration, New Work, Published, The Furniture Maker, Toky Photography, whyrHymer by tokyphotography on October 3, 2010


Sept 2010 Issue


Check out the Sept 2010 Issue of California Homes Magazine for a new Toky Photography tearsheet. Featuring the awesome work of Brandon Morrison of whyrHymer. I’ve know Brandon for many years and have photographed his Furniture & Lamps for a long time. His eye for detail in his furniture photos has influenced my still life and product photography and has helped me work with other designers (in different disciplines) with a better understanding of what they (designers) are after when their 3D creations/pieces need to become 2D digital images for promotions, websites, line-sheets, etc…

Aside from that, I’ve collaborated with Brandon extensively in other projects, such as the Music Videos we’ve been directing recently. Also, you might recognize him as “The Furniture Maker” from my photo series of that name. Make sure you pick up a copy of the magazine and read the article.

In the meantime you can visit his website: (make sure to check out the video section for some cool videos Brandon has made)

and you can follow him on Twitter @whyrhymer


California Homes Magazine September 2010 issue. Photo by: Toky Photography.... (Look B!, you finally made it to the "September issue"... okay... "a September issue ;-)"



The Furniture Maker

Posted in Ali Rahimi, Exhibit, If life gives you lemons, models, New Work, Peeps, Still-life, Toky Photography, whyrHymer by tokyphotography on October 20, 2009

This is the culmination of my Furniture Maker project that I’ve been working on for on and off since 2006. A recently added series of still life images complete the series as “Part 1” and the orginal fashion story becomes “Part 2”.

In two previous posts I talked about the behind the scenes and the logistics. This is the final product. My vision, presented to you.

On Vimeo:

Or on YouTube:

The Furniture Maker project is about the narrative experience, which blends reality and fantasy, 2d and 3d imagery, and fine art with high fashion. It harkens back to those who have been criticized in their attempt to make their stamp in the art world. Such as those who are considered commercial photographers or fashion photographers, like Richard Avedon. It’s a piece that stakes its claim on a personal vision that isn’t about one thing, beauty or couture designs. It is about blurring all of the lines between those who are considered artists and those who are merely commercial photographers. It is about the imagination and query into the darker aspects of fairy tales. It is about blurring the lines of fashion and story telling, creation and destruction, and the attempt to rise to the occasion of our personal journeys.

The video was originally made to be played this Friday at the Furniture Maker Exhibit… but… some logistics, venue issues, etc… made me change my mind about how I wanted this video to be seen. Today life gave me lemons so I made lemon meringue pie and I saved the rest to make some lemon scented potpourri!

So sit back and enjoy some pie!

And a heartfelt and never-ending thank you to EVERYONE who lent me their talent, ideas, enthusiasm, and time for this project. They are all mentioned in the credits. I heart you all.

The Furniture Maker (Behind the Scenes) Part 2 (of 3)

Posted in Ali Rahimi, Boulevard 3, Exhibit, Outtakes, Peeps, Toky Photography, whyrHymer by tokyphotography on October 7, 2009
That's Scott

That's Scott

Continued from Part 1….

Next up was our ‘welding’ shot. This was a shot that we knew what we wanted but lots of things had to be changed last minute to get it as we envisioned. The original shoes were not high enough, thank God Amy had brought a pair of her own. The original necklace was too thin, you could barely see it in the photo. So we didn’t use the one we had borrowed from Erica Courtney, instead we did a Target run and got that one for $10 bucks (and returned it later). So because of that this is the only shot that has an outside piece of jewelry that is not from the Erica’s line who was gracious enough to lends us more than a million bucks worth of jewelry for all the different setups. Also you cannot see it in the shot as it was taken out but to get Amy’s dress to look like that we used an industrial fan, a house fan and a leaf blower. (Ali: that was Scott’s idea, not mine!). Also for that shot Brandon insisted that we use the real flame on the shot…. but of course… I was not willing to get a flame close to a 5,000 dlls dress, so the flame was dropped in photoshop later. Besides, we needed a much bigger flame effect than the one that torch puts out.

Why is my dress not flowing in the air?

Why is my dress not flowing in the air?

Also, interesting tidbit from that shoot. Our awesome model Amy Correa Bell (who is also an amazing singer-actress) can nap, sitting down, without moving at all as to not ruin her hair and makeup. She doesn’t move an inch and she’s completely asleep!

The shoots had been happening every weekend until now and at this point the crew started getting restless. I had stolen all their Sundays and I got the first “when do you think we will be done?” comments? I felt bad and disappointed but I had a vision and needed to complete it. So I let a month go by before shooting again and made sure the remaining shots were all spaced out over the next couple of months.

Cynthia, who started it all was back for her actual series shot. That shoot was a breeze. Aside from a little hair issue… (black hair is not white hair people!!! learn this lesson early on and all your models will always love you). Brandon was not supposed to be in this shot and I didn’t want to steal any more of his time, but at the last minute after having the shot all setup, Cynthia ready and being shot already I asked him to “step in” for a couple of shots. He did and that was it. The shot was completed. Phew!!!

"Shaving of the wood"

"Shaving of the wood"

After that shot because of scheduling issues the shoots kept being pushed back. But Ali called me one day and he said that the dress we wanted Della to wear, was going to be auctioned next week, so if we wanted to use that one, it had to be “now or never”.

Now then.

That was also the first shoot that Scott, our art director and set dresser extraordinaire wasn’t a part of. I know that if he had been there, he would have made that set completely different that day, but looking back, the simplicity of the shot, the empty “doll house” look is exactly what I wanted for “the final piece” of The Furniture Maker creations. Also, this is the only shot that Brandon is not in. Completely on purpose and necessary for one of the girls to make that direct contact with the viewer of the series and not “be caught”. Probably my favorite thing about that shot is that she is barefoot. Courtesy of the genius that is my friend, fellow photographer and sometimes assistant extraordinaire Amber Gress.

At Runyon

At Runyon

Now for the last shot (schedule wise) of the series, but first in sequence for the viewer, we needed a redhead. And after several failed attempts, I ended up going with a blonde and added red highlights in photoshop. You have no idea how hard it is to find tall redheads in Los Angeles!!!

That shot was our only location shot so not only do I needed to find a model, I needed the perfect location. If it had been up to me I would have shot in the woods outside L.A. but with a crew full of friends who I had already had asked too much of, I knew I could only make them go a few blocks away. So that mystery, enchanted Forrest where The Furniture Maker envisions his first creation is actually Runyon Canyon. At noon. On a really, really hot day where hikers where being airlifted because they were falling down dehydrated and where other 3 helicopters were circling around because of the Paris Hilton jail thing. The cops came and asked me for my permit. Luckily.. I had one… haha, suckas! I had a generator to power the fan, battery powered strobes, hair, makeup, models, and 2 assistants (thanks Cori!). I really love how that shot turned out. Our model Laura is so incredibly pretty and her skin is like the most delicate porcelain. She was the perfect girl to represent “the dream”.

"Are we done yet?"

"Are we done yet?"

So originally after this shot I had always scheduled a group shot. The final shot was always meant to be all the girls stored in a warehouse after the “furniture maker” was “done” with them….

End of Part 2. Part 3 coming soon.

The Furniture Maker exhibit

Posted in Ali Rahimi, Boulevard 3, Exhibit, Fashion Show, New Work, Peeps, Still-life, Toky Photography, whyrHymer by tokyphotography on September 27, 2009

I’m really excited about my upcoming (and first) show. I think -everyone- that’s alive should attend 😉

Please come see “The Furniture Maker” series photo exhibit at Boulevard 3 on October 23, 2009.

Fashion Fusion Invite

Fashion Fusion Invite

As you can see I will be joined by two incredibly talented artists (and friends): Brandon Morrison for whyrHymer and Ali Rahimi for Mon Atelier.

Anyone can come and can bring as many people as they want. Doors open at 9:30 am and the entry is free until 11 pm (from then on, you will need to pay $20).

There’s a free fajita bar and fresh fruit fondue as well.

RSVP here:

or see our facebook invite here:

I wil be showing the 13 large size prints that make my series “The Furniture Maker” as well as the addendum to the series “The Furniture Maker (still lifes)” which will be shown digitally on all screens inside the venue.

The Furniture Maker (still lifes)

The Furniture Maker (still lifes)

If you want to come see the show, make sure you RSVP and if you have any questions send me an email at tokyphotography at gmail dot com

The Furniture Maker show

Posted in New Work, Toky Photography, whyrHymer by tokyphotography on September 25, 2009

This is a little promo image for a new series of still life images of Furniture making tools I shot to accompany “The Furniture Maker” exhibit I will be having on October 23 at Boulevard 3 in Los Angeles. More info to come on that but for now, this little teaser.

The Furniture Maker. October 23, 2009. Boulevard 3. Nine-thirty pm.

The Furniture Maker. October 23, 2009. Boulevard 3. Nine-thirty pm.

Vote for #40

Posted in Peeps, whyrHymer by tokyphotography on September 23, 2009

My bestest friend needs your help. Voting is open for one of his pieces to earn the title of Top 10 designs of 2009. California Home + Design is holding the contest. Please vote for #40. The Kalifornia Lounger.

Vote for #40!

Vote for #40!

Click on the image to vote. Thanks!

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