Chasing Toy Planes with @vnthota
As the son of a helicopter pilot, Macau Instagrammer Varun Thota (@vnthota) developed an early love for flying. “I used to play Microsoft’s Flight Simulator for hours and even used it to train for my mock pilot’s certificate as a kid,” Varun remembers.
Now in his late twenties, Varun is still simulating flight patterns but has taken to Instagram to explore his fascination with aviation in a series he calls #mytoyplane. “I decided to start the series when my dad picked up a limited edition Kinder Egg chocolate pack, which included five Airbus A330s inside them,” says Varun. Drawing inspiration from the #putaplaneonit hashtag, Varun adds, “A lot of the photos using that hashtag are quite amazing and it was interesting to see how people even blended in photos of planes with insane backgrounds. I wanted to do something similar, and the idea of using the perfectly sized Kinder Egg planes with someone holding it to add perspective was what I decided to try.”
The results are an imaginative set of photographs that playfully weave viewers through skyscrapers, city streets and the Macau countryside. When it comes to choosing his locations, Varun says, “I try to pick them when I feel they are realistic enough to have actual planes fly over or by them, so this is usually over resident buildings or estates. One of my favorites is looking up through a fire exit ladder.”
More than anything, what Varun looks forward to about the #mytoyplane series, and Instagram in general, is the relationship building: “The thing I enjoy most about the series is how fun it is to include other people in it. It’s always fun to show people the plane, tell them the story and then ask them for a helping hand in taking the shot.”