Balance and Friends: Nova Vista!

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Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.
Ansel Adams

I think one of the best things about getting into the toy photography hobby is getting to know more about others who are also involved in it! While we may share similar preferences on what we take a majority of our photos of, our perspective are all different! After getting to know more and more about each and every other toy photographer, I get a small idea of what their world looks like!

Today, I’ll be interviewing:

Nova Vista Photography!

While Nova Vista’s blog is a bit newer, she herself is not unfamiliar with the toy photography scene. Nova Vista’s been around since 2013 and has branched off into several different social media websites (of which you can find all of them on her blog). Join me as we get to learn more about Nova Vista!

Can you describe your first figure purchase? Was it your gateway  into collecting more?

My very first figure was a Banpresto swimsuit prize figure of Rika Furude from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Comparing her to all the figures we have now, she’s one of the most boring.. However, I’m glad I got her because Higurashi figures are fairly rare now! She was the gateway to collecting the rest of the set, but not necessarily collecting figures as a whole.

How long have you kept this hobby?

Since 2009 or 2010. It was a really low key hobby until May 2014 when I bought my first Nendoroid – it’s been downhill since then!

Is there a particular type of figure you prefer over others (ie,  nendoroid, cu-poche, prize figures, etc)?

I would definitely have to say I prefer Nendoroids over everything else solely because there are so many you can mix & match. I like several things about Cu-Poche and prize figures but I’m very picky about which ones I want.

What motivates you to buy certain figures?

Nendoroids are my main focus when it comes to figures due to their small size and interchangeable parts. A majority of the time, it’s an automatic pre-order if it’s from an anime I’ve seen. (Thankfully, my fiance has KanColle Nendoroids covered!) If I don’t know the source I’ll look at the outfit and face plates especially. For instance, I purchased Nendoroid #536 (Oono Akira) because her outfit would look cute on Homura & Nozomi; it even has a sitting part! The arcade machine and her interesting face plates also caught my eye. For any other type of figure, such as scales or prize figures, I pay attention to the price versus the level of detail.

Do you have a favorite figure manufacturer?

Not really, but if I had to pick one based on my collection size it’d be Good Smile Company.

Where do you normally purchase your figures?

Ami Ami! I like that they don’t automatically take payment so you aren’t surprised at a sudden loss of money. I love the postcards they include in each order; I like to collect them! I order WonFes exclusives from Good Smile Company’s online shop.

What is currently your #1 favorite figure that you possess?

Ignoring all of the Nendoroids we have, I’d have to say Flare’s Elin Slayer figure (Ouka Tsukikage Ryuu ver.) from TERA. I’ve played the game off and on since it began. There were two Elin figures sculpted by French Doll already but they didn’t appeal to me very much. I’m glad I waited because I have a variation of the outfit in the game. It’s almost like seeing my character come to life! The details are incredible and I don’t regret it one bit.

Any upcoming figures you’re excited about?

Nendoroids’ Nozomi Moritomo from The Rolling Girls and Galko-chan from Oshiete! Galko-chan! Also, my second scale figure which is Alphamax’s Super Sonico (with macaroon tower.) I love Sonico, but I’m really hard to please when it comes to her figures.

So I’ve noticed you have a blog for your photography! What drove  you to start one?

I never had an official blog before and I wanted to create a place where I could voice my opinions and thoughts on certain figures as opposed to ranting about them on social media platforms. I also realized I had been ordering so many figures that it seemed like I should do something with them other than just place them on the shelf.

Do you hope to achieve anything from the blog or is it something  you just wanted to have for fun on the side?

My ultimate goal is to show people the potential of certain figures and the warning signs for bootlegs. No one should buy a shoddy figure (unless maybe for custom/mod purposes!) Reviews are also fun for me because I get to play around with them in a casual way as opposed to setting up a diorama.

You mentioned on your blog that you like the mahou shoujo aesthetic genre. Why is that? Would you find that difficult to resist  in a figure?

Like many other fans my age, I grew up watching Sailor Moon even though I didn’t know what anime was at the time. Since I had an interest in astronomy, I thought it was really cool to see these powerful girls personified from planets! Puella Magi Madoka Magica became my new “Sailor Moon” as an adult. (The walls around my desk are like a shrine to them.) I love the transformations, cute outfits.. pretty much everything about the genre. Being a Sailor Moon fan, I actually have managed to resist Bandai’s S.H. Figuarts line. However, I’ve collected all but one of the Madoka Magica Nendoroids; at some point I’d like to collect some of the scale figures and figma. In the future, I’d like to design a majokko mascot for my blog!

Also in your blog, you mentioned you had an interest in  photography. What about it that captured your attention?

I had been taking photos of cats and nature with a point & shoot in high school. When I first got my DSLR three years ago, I was so excited to learn about photography; I didn’t want to be “another person that bought an expensive camera.” I originally wanted to take cosplay photos but my social anxiety held me back so I dropped that dream and toy photography has replaced it. Photography is amazing to me because you can have a tangible item of a memory to look back on later.

When did you start taking pictures of your own figures?

The first figures I took photos of were My Little Pony and Pokemon toys, and occasionally some of our Dollfie Dream Beatrice in late 2013. I didn’t know about the toy/figure community at the time. Toy photography wasn’t much of a hobby until about Summer 2014 when I started taking photos of Nendoroids.

Is there a particular set up you have when taking these pictures?

If I want to use natural light I’ll usually shoot on our front porch or inside near a window and use foam board to bounce light. For artificial light, I use two desk lamps using LED bulbs so the figures won’t get damaged by heat. I would like to experiment more with lighting as I’ve far from mastered it. I’ve collected a lot of miniatures but have yet to utilize them as I haven’t finished a bedroom diorama.

What kind of obstacles do you face when taking these pictures?

I think I’m the biggest obstacle honestly! I either tell myself I don’t have time to shoot or when I do I get impatient and frustrated that it’s not working the way I envisioned it. I try to remedy that by taking photos on my off days, reading about photography, or just taking a break and coming back to it later – whether it be a few minutes or several days.

Does anyone in the toy photography community inspire you? If so,  who and why?

Everyone in the toy photography community inspires me every single day! It would be hard to choose just one person but Kixkillradio and Love, Pinkcheeks are the reason I’m doing toy photography today.

Is there a special meaning behind your name: Nova Vista?

My previous username on Tumblr had “nova” in it which is Latin for “new.” Although I’m not very knowledgeable on the subject, I also really love astronomy so it has a double meaning. “Vista” is Italian for “view” – so the name is essentially “New View.” The idea was that I would be sharing a new or different view of things via my photos.

Indeed, the Toy Photography community is as vast and diverse as any other one out there! As her name would suggest, Nova Vista really shows a new perspective on just how we all are different in our styles and in our approach. It is because of that diversity that I think I will find this community to be rather invigorating for many years to come! Certainly a great privilege getting to know all these wonderfully talented people!

With that said, be sure to check out Nova Vista’s other social media platforms (and if you’re able to, follow her too)!

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