Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us as we continue our newest series: Interview with an AFOL. In the following weeks, every Tuesday and Friday, we will be having interviews with AFOLs of different kinds. There will be photographers, collectors, builders, animators, and even bloggers! We’ll try to learn a little more about them and see how they came to love the plastic brick (or people) we all love. Some of these AFOLs are well known throughout the community, while others, not so much. No matter who they are, they are all incredible people who have at least one thing in common: Love for LEGO.
Today we have Mena, a.k.a. misslegomena on Instagram.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Mena. I live in the UK. I’m 37 and a mother of one.
How did your journey with LEGO begin?
My LEGO journey started when my son was little. I started collecting the collectible minifigure series for him but then I started to want some for myself.
What about your journey with photography/ collecting?
I have only been collecting LEGO for about 2-3 years now. Once I got into collecting LEGO, my friend told me about the world of LEGO photos on Instagram. I had a personal account so I looked into LEGO pics and really liked what others did. I do like photography myself but never been a pro at it.
What do you collect? Sets? Minifigures? Rare parts?
I have all Marvel sets up to Endgame. I have some Modular sets as I am preparing to start my own city. I collect random sets like Stranger Things and Friends and Big Bang. I have some Star Wars sets. Architecture sets. But my main thing is minifigs. I have loads. I have an account on Brickset and according to the database I own 620 LEGO sets and about 1,200 minifigs.
Are you a purist? Or do you collect custom figures as well?
What has been your biggest challenge in acquiring something you want?
I really wanted some Bricktober Toys”R”Us Marvel figs. And because Toys”R”Us went under in the UK, they were hard to get and selling for silly money online. Eventually, I managed to find a decent price on some…
What do the people around you (friends/family/spouse/children) think about your obsession?
My partner supports me and actually likes a bit of LEGO himself. My son likes the fact I like it. My family thinks I’m mad… but they do think it’s good stuff.
What is your favorite theme?
My favourite theme has to be the Creator buildings. Each building has its own building technique. I find I am learning new ways to build with each modular. I can’t wait to set up my mini city so I can take photos in it. I also love the Marvel LEGO sets. I have a lot of them. I love the minifigs that come with them.
Who has been an inspiration to you?
There are some fabulous LEGO photography accounts that have done amazing things with their LEGO and skills. The Geekool is one of my faves.
What kind of gear do you use?
For a lot of my photos I’ve only used my iPhone. But recently I’ve invested in a Canon camera and now take shots with that but sometimes if I’m out they are done on my phone. I edit all my photos on Insta tools.
Would you say you’re more of an indoor or outdoor kinda person when it comes to photography?
I find the light outside to be the best so I tend to take my LEGO outside.
What kind of preparations do you make before taking a picture?
Anything I need to stay still I use blu tack. Keeps those figs still hahaha.
How much do you edit afterwards? Do you have a favorite software or app?
I only use Instagram’s filters and editing tools. If I need speech bubbles or wording on my pics, I use a comic app.
What is your biggest challenge when photographing?
Focus… I like to get my pics as sharp as I can. Phones are limiting and the lens on my camera isn’t a micro lens so I can only get the focus so far.
Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas come into my head… I see something and it gives me an idea. I’m always thinking about what to do next… and when I make these ideas, I write them in my notes so I don’t forget. It’s a great way of not forgetting what you thought about last week.
Any advice or tips you’d like to share? A secret of yours, perhaps?
Just believe in yourself. If LEGO is your passion and you want to photograph it then do. Doesn’t matter about the likes. Just have fun. My tip would be to note down any idea you have.
And that’s it, folks! Thank you, Mena, for having this interview with us and letting us take a sneak peek into your world. As for everyone else, don’t forget to check out Mena’s Instagram page and give her some love! It’s always a pleasure to see her collection and her images tend to make you smile.
All the images belong to misslegomena