Hey folks! My name is Dave Debaeremaeker and I’m a judge for Round 35? Who would have thought, eh?
I’ve been a participant in the hunt since round 5, and I liked it so much I stuck around for a while. Actually, thanks to the hunt I developed my own style as a toy photographer. I love telling stories, and using action figures and other toys allows me to fully explore my imagination and bring it to life. I started with LEGO minifigures and soon transitioned over to 6″ and 12″ action figures. Slowly over time as I got deeper into the hobby I started enhancing the toys I bought from the store with props and dioramas I made in my studio. At this stage almost every photo I take in my studio has some homemade component, and some of my more recent work is entirely created with backgrounds I created and figures I have 3D printed and painted.
I have a day job as a Site Reliability Engineer for a large Internet advertising agency, and I do toy photography on the evenings and weekends as a hobby. Creating my own art is a wonderful way to relax and unwind, and ge away from all the annoyances and craziness of the modern world.
Along the way I studied photography under the mentorship of Ron Clifford at The Arcanum Academy of Artistic Mastery, a digital school created by Trey Ratcliff. Otherwise I am self taught, and self driven. Something must have stuck as I managed to win the Photoshopworld Guru Award in the composite category in 2019.
I have also moonlighted as a photography instructor for KelbyOne. My first class, an Intro To Toy Photography, was self-recorded in my studio during the COVID-19 pandemic. After that recording was completed I realized that I had accumulated all the gear I needed to start making my own videos. So to learn more about video production I started my own YouTube channel, called Studio Dave, where each video covers the various projects I work on in my studio every week. Making videos has been a nice addition to the creative process, and has given me reasons to get even more gear, and who doesn’t like more gear?
If you like my work and want to learn more, check out my website http://studiodave.ca, on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/therealstudiodave/, or my YouTube channel, http://youtube.com/studiodave