LEGO Photography 101

LEGO Photography MOC
LEGO Photography MOC

This post is from a presentation I did for my LUG. It covers the basics of taking quality photos of your MOCs so others can appreciate your creations. Tyler Clites also has a nice tutorial.



  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Lights
    • Daylight LEDs
  • Light Diffuser
    • Tent
    • Umbrella
    • Copy paper
  • Backdrop
    • Use one that contrasts with the MOC

A quick and cheap way to get a good setup is to order a lights and a tent from Amazon. I recommend this $40 kit that comes with two lights, a tent and several backdrops.


  • Lots of light
  • More light
  • Temperature of 6,500 K is best
  • Diffuse light
    • LEGO is too shiny
  • Wight background tip: try to light it separately (hard)
  • Mind the reflections

Camera Setup

All of these tips are for static (non-moving) MOCs. As far as photography goes, these are pretty easy. The hardest part is limiting the reflections off the LEGO bricks (but this is a lighting issue, not a camera issue).

  • Tripod + Delay/Remove
    • Stability is key
    • Even pressing the shutter button will move the camera
  • White Balance
    • Especially if lights are not daylight
  • Manual Focus
  • ISO
    • Lower is better (I use 100)
  • Aperture
    • Technically this is the amount of light allowed
    • Practically, this controls depth of field
  • Shutter Speed
    • I adjust this last
    • I often need over two seconds
  • I rarely use the flash on the camera (use a diffuser if you do)

For your first photo shoot, I would recommend allowing two hours, especially if you have not used the manual settings of your camera. After the first one, they go quicker with practice. I can set everything up and take photos in 15 minutes now.

Photo Editing

Photo editing is worthy of its own article; I will just cover some basics.

In general, the better your photos are, the less you have to edit. At the least, cropping photos is almost always necessary. Always zoom out a bit more than you need when taking photos.

I recommend the following programs:

  • Gimp (a free photoshop replacement)
    • Cropping
    • “Healing” tool to remove dust
    • Watermark
  • Nik Collection (free)
    • Especially Viveza for ‘removing’ backgrounds and adjusting lighting
  • Adobe Lightroom

Photo editing can easily take much longer than the photography itself. Again, give your self at least two hours the first time.


Having good lighting and using a tripod are key to taking good pictures of your MOCs. Nice pictures are key to showcasing your creations to others and getting noticed by the online LEGO community.

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