Photographer Erin Sullivan creates miniature outdoor scenes using household items

When Los Angeles-based journalist and travel photographer Erin Sullivan found herself stuck indoors because of COVID-19 lockdowns, she wished to find a method to maintain her creative imagination and imaginative method alive. Making use of food and various other items she discovered around the house, she started creating small outside scenes, including toy figurines. Appropriately labeled Our Great Indoors, her wonderful “nature photography” collection allows her 190k+ Instagram fans to share her love of neverending nature.

“When California started going into lockdown mid-March, I began thinking about how I could stay creative and connected to travel/the outdoors while I stayed home,”

Sullivan tells My Modern Met. “I had the idea to create adventure scenes using household objects and ordered a handful of model train figures so that I would have a sense of scale in the images. I kept having ideas for new scenes, so I continued the series.”

The clever photographer’s very first miniature scene– entitled Pillow Ice Caves– consists of pillows, pillow cases, and a set of small explorers in a canoe. Ever since Sullivan’s portfolio has broadened to include all kind of day-to-day items, but her shots with food are specifically outstanding. In one photo, heaps of pancakes are repurposed as canyons, while dripping golden syrup appears like a river. In a different image, Sullivan created a broccoli woodland from the environment-friendly veggie and positioned a small walker in the scene.

Each little landscape is planned beforehand and shot with smart illumination to make sure that it looks similar to the actual outdoors. “I try to get very clear on the idea for a scene before I start to assemble it,” Sullivan reveals.

“Once I have an idea and sketch it out, it can take me 10 minutes to an hour to set up a scene, then usually 30-60 minutes to photograph it. Sometimes things don’t go the way I planned, so I just try to stay open to changes and to enjoy the experimentation part of the process.”

Please scroll down for a few of Sullivan’s pictures from her Our Great Indoors series, and afterward follow her on Instagram for much more.