Behind the Scenes with Force of Light

This photo is so intense! How long have you been photographing toys? What was it that first drew you to this medium?

Toy photography has been a part of my life for about 3 years. I guess the story starts a long, long time ago (wink, wink). As a little girl, Star Wars action figures were my go-to toys. Sadly, those figures did not follow me into my adulthood, and I thought Star Wars had become a ghost of the past…. Then came The Force Awakens. That relit my passion for figures and I knew that I had to start collecting. I began collecting Hasbro’s Star Wars the Black Series line and followed several pages on social media that featured the figures. Soon I came across the wonderful world of toy photography and the rest is history….

What does this assignment mean to you as a fan, especially now that the original Star Wars saga is reaching its conclusion?

This is an extremely exciting time to be a Star Wars fan. From the new movies, TV shows, and books to the amazingly detailed action figures, there is something for everyone. Getting to recreate a scene from The Force Awakens (the movie that brought Star Wars back into the spotlight) for fellow fans to enjoy is an absolute honor. I hope that it inspires others to be creative and inspire others!


The emotions that I feel every time I experience a new piece of the Star Wars universe… excitement, terror, passion, sadness, hope… that is what I wish to evoke in the people who see my art.

~ Force of Light

What are some of your favorite Star Wars memories, and how have they inspired your art?

Recreating my favorite scenes or creating new ones as a kid. Going to see the movies opening night and dressing up as my favorite characters. Reading the latest books in a day. All the stories, artwork, costumes, environments, and scores inspire every scene that I create (or recreate). The emotions that I feel every time I experience a new piece of the Star Wars universe… excitement, terror, passion, sadness, hope… that is what I wish to evoke in the people who see my art.

What’s the inspiration behind this shot—why was it important for you to recreate this particular scene?

In my opinion, Rey taking the lightsaber from Kylo is the BEST scene from the Force Awakens. It was the big moment when Rey truly begins to accept the power that she has. I wanted to include that scene in my shot. It’s the moment that angers Kylo and begins their epic battle on the disintegrating planet. Also, we got to see another prominent woman in a Star Wars movie… this time with a lightsaber!

Walk us through the steps involved in recreating the scene.

Once I knew what scene I was going to do, I needed to create a forest. I went outdoors and gathered various sticks with various sizes and colors. I used a piece of foam insulation to hold the “trees”. A black piece of cloth was used as the background and fake snow.

I ended up not having enough fake snow to cover the entire “forest floor”. So, I had to get creative with the positioning of the figures, snow, and the angle of the camera.

I used special effect to add Kylo’s lightsaber. Also, due to not being able to get an even, practical snowfall effect, I added that in post.

What are you hoping to evoke with your work?

I hope that this photo, the ones I’ve done, and the ones I have yet to do will inspire others. Behind the scenes are key when it comes to learning about different techniques and trying new things. Others’ behind the scenes photos and videos have helped me grow and learn more about photography, setup, and lighting techniques. I hope my photos will help others do the same!

I would like to thank Hasbro for this opportunity! It is every Star War fan’s dream. Thank you to everyone who has supported my work, and may the Force be with you!

This is Part 7 of an 8-part #HasbroToyPic/Star Wars series covering the epic battles of the Star Wars saga.