When it comes to playing Star Wars, nobody does it quite like Felix Hernandez.
The Mexican photographer has spent two years turning Star Wars figurines into larger-than-life portraits that look like movie production stills.
At first glance, you’d think Hernandez got access to a Hollywood studio set to do his shoots. But his behind-the-scenes videos show what he can accomplish with a few toys, common household items such as flour, and some mad Photoshop skills.
Hernandez lives off commercial photography and advertising gigs, but he’s recently turned to toy photography to relax, play and self-promote. He says the craft is specially good at bringing out his “thoughts and dreams.”
“I always liked creating stories; playing with my toys was a way to become immersed in fantastic worlds,” he told Fusion. “I discovered that with a camera I could share those stories with others.”
Although he says he’s not a huge fan of the Star Wars franchise, Hernandez is fascinated with Imperial Stormtroopers. “I think they have a great design. It’s been so many years since their first appearance and it still looks so contemporary,” he said.
Hernandez says his creative process is made up of three steps: creating the concept, which usually comes to him in a dream or an idea that haunts him for months; materializing that idea with toys in a studio; and finally applying some digital art to the photographs.
In promoting the art of toy photography, Hernandez joins a list of other established artists like Canadian photographer Daniel Picard, who has a cult following for his stills featuring action figures.