Although Adrian — better known as Berol Mirado on Instagram — has been an avid collector of action figures his entire life, he only recently turned his collection into an artistic pastime by combining them with his knack for photography … and, of course, a little cannabis-fueled inspiration. After moving to Colorado Springs, this three-year MMJ card holder found himself suffering from boredom and isolation, and began photographing his action figures in his now-abundant spare time. He quickly hit upon a unique aesthetic: figurines posed in humorous situations, often involving extravagant amounts of cannabis, shot in a cinematic style.
Adrian’s passion project has since gained quite the following — since 2015, his Instagram account has grown to almost 30 thousand followers. He has received several accolades, worked with local dispensaries and recently had a photo featured in the April 420 Issue of DOPE Magazine.
“Cannabis has always been an inspiration. I medicate, watch TV, listen to music and ideas start to happen,” Adrian says. “I figure since it’s part of my life, why not make it part of my action figures’ lives. They seem to enjoy it!”
Heavily influenced by his love of the ‘80s, Adrian often brings nostalgic movie moments to life, but his work also references pop culture, 420 exploits, and political events — some of his most popular photos feature Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un goofing off. Despite not really being into politics, his work lends itself to satire quite well. “I do enjoy comedy,” he shares, “and right now we seem to be living in some crazy reality show.”
To capture these mischievous moments, Adrian uses a Sony a7 camera equipped with a 55mm lens or a 90mm macro lens, giving him the ideal perspective to tell the story. Setting up can be complex at times, so Adrian typically does a test run at home before transferring his subjects to their on-site location. “I always try to put them in a setting that suits them,” he explains. Arranging these scenes is time-consuming and requires close attention to detail — most of his work happens in-camera, not in editing software. Although re-shooting is common, Adrian’s post-production is generally limited to removing a few wires or adding some explosions.
Luckily for fans, Adrian intends on staying focused when it comes to future shots. That means more movies, more music, more satire and, of course, more cannabis!