The character who can do anything: Woody

Most of us have a bucket list of things we want (or would like) to do in our lifetime. Whether it’s traveling to exotic locations, learning to cook delicious meals or taking on a dream job — we’ve all got something.

Nicolas Vallejos, known on Flickr as ANVRecife, had the same desire, which is in part why he started taking pictures of a character he calls Woody.

“Woody is a catalyst for fun,” he says in the accompanying video. “He can be anything, go anywhere. There’s no limit to what he can do!”

Nicolas’ favorite photos are those shots where Woody represents his alter-ego.

In his life, Nicolas always dreamed about being an astronaut, a biker doing 360 degrees spins, a sushi chef or a baker. One of his favorites is Woody getting a tattoo.

“I always wanted a tattoo and design it myself, but never had the courage to do it!” Nicolas says. “But Woody can. He basically can be anything that I wanted to be and didn’t have either the time, patience or skills. And taking those pictures are the most fun.”

Woody's secret

Radical decay

Photography has always a big part of Nicolas’ life. As a design manager in Minneapolis, he was used to directing photo shoots but wanted a more fun and hands on approach.

Nicolas discovered Woody in 2003 while shopping at IKEA. He noticed a bin full of wooden dolls and without question he realized he found his muse for his macro photography.

A la Norman Rockwell

“I just looked at him and thought ‘Oh my god, I can actually use him as my model!’” Nicolas says. “The moment I picked him up and instantly knew I had something special.”

What excites Nicolas about Woody is the figure provides many challenges as well as possibilities. In the beginning, one of his biggest hurdles was how to convey emotion from something inanimate that has no facial expressions. Nicolas discovered he could achieve this with different body movements, colors, lighting and backgrounds. One of his favorite examples is Slow, where he created a sense of darkness and emotion with the simplest lighting and use of shadows.

Levitation Weightless exploration

Nicolas also loves to use Woody to represent visual metaphors for those situations humans can’t do.

“I think people would love to have a restart button in their lives,” Nicolas describes. “For example, if they’re going through a rough patch, wouldn’t it be great if they had a CONTROL Z or restart button? Woody can do that!”


When Nicolas claims Woody can be anyone, he means it — including famous icons. Woody has impersonated everyone from Che Guevara, Charlie Chaplin, Tom Cruise to even Michael Jackson!

At the end of the day, Nicolas wants people to laugh and be wow’d by what they see in Woody. To date, Nicolas has taken over 300 shots in the last six years and knows there’s still more Woody has left to do.

Be my valentine...

“People always ask me what will Woody do next?” Nicolas says. “And I always say, ‘You tell me!’ Woody represents all of us. And it’s exciting to know that every challenge I get, Woody is going to come to the rescue, bring my ideas to life that people will hopefully connect with. And I love it.”

Visit Nicolas’ photostream for more of his photography.

Tweet us your ideas about what Woody should do next: @TheWeeklyFlickr #WOODY

Yahoooo! thank you MM

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