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Forced Perspective Photography with TOYS!

Photo Cred: Levi C.

Background Information:

  • I love to use this lesson with the intro photography classes. This lesson helps introduce students to point of view and how photography can alter the audience's reality.

  • My daughter was ever-so nice to donate her old plastic toys for my students to use. If you don't have a bunch of miniature toys laying around, the dollar store usually has plenty--even army men!

  • To start this lesson off, I hand each student a random surprise toy--obviously with the message that they cannot keep it. This is usually followed by a few moans and groans.

  • I show students a few examples of how angles can distort the viewer's reality through the use of forced perspective.

Learning Objectives:

  • The student will learn how forced perspective is used in the photography and film industry to distort the audience's reality of size.

  • The student will create original photographs using the technique of forced perspective.

  • The student will reflect upon their own photographs.

  • The student will provide feedback to their self and their peers.

TEKS (Art II):

  • 1A. Consider concepts and themes for personal artwork that integrate an extensive range of visual observations, experiences, and imagination

  • 2E. Collaborate to create original works of art

  • 2F. Create artwork, singularly and in a series, by selecting from a variety of art materials

  • 4B. Evaluate and analyze artwork using a method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist's intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork

  • 4C. Analyze personal artwork in order to create a written response such as an artist's statement reflecting intent, inspiration, the elements of art and principles of design within the artwork, and the measure of uniqueness

Anchor Standards:

  • Anchor Standard #1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

  • Anchor Standard #2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

  • Anchor Standard #3: Refine and complete artistic work.

  • Anchor Standard #4: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

  • Anchor Standard #7: Perceive and analyze artistic work.

  • Anchor Standard #9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.

Enduring Understandings:

  • Creativity and innovative thinking are essential life skills that can be developed.

  • Artists and designers shape artistic investigations, following or breaking with traditions in pursuit of creative artmaking goals.

  • Artist and designers develop excellence through practice and constructive critique, reflecting on, revising, and refining work over time.

  • People evaluate art based on various criteria.

Essential Questions:

  • How does collaboration expand the creative process?

  • How does collaboratively reflecting on a work help us experience it more completely?

  • How do images influence our views of the world?

Project Duration: (1-2 Days)

  • Introduction to forced perspective: 10 minutes

  • Handing out props: 3 minutes

  • Shooting Time: 25 minutes

  • Editing and Uploading: 20-30 minutes (pending wifi stability)

  • Reflection: 20 minutes

  • Beach Ball Critique: 30-45 minutes

Reflection Questions:

  • Do you think your overall images are successful? Why or why not?

  • What do you think you did well in your images?

  • What could you improve on in your images?

  • What difficulties did you have when creating your images?

  • What would you change if you could reshoot?

  • Will you use this technique in your future artistic practices?

Project Extensions:

  • Students may photoshop environments around their images to enhance the overall finished product.


  • Students may work in pairs to help with posing and focus.

  • Students may have to borrow other's devices depending on focusing capabilities.

  • Students may have examples from class readily available when shooting images.

Student Gallery:

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Jan 28, 2023


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