Morgan Tyree

Fair Duckies, Camera: Kodak Brownie Hawkeye


Tea Party Cowboy   Camera: Kodak Brownie Hawkeye


Powell Leaning Shed, Camera: Diana


Dead Cow & Girl, Camera: KMZ Yunkor


Trojan Helmets, Camera: KMZ Yunkor


Muley Point Pool, Camera: Kodak Brownie Hawkeye


Superior Sunset,  Camera: Kodak Brownie Hawkeye


Note: All the images represent work from the artist’s ongoing series “Toy Camera Photography”.



Ask any two people to define a toy camera, and they’ll probably give you two different answers. I’d probably say that a toy camera is typically made from low-quality materials—a little metal and a lot of plastic, including the lens in some cases—and it offers little exposure control. This definition might include older cameras as well (i.e., Brownie Hawkeye).

My first encounter with a toy camera was the Diana model that my brother picked up at a carnival in the 1960s. In the bedroom I shared with him, his Diana lived on top of a dresser with his colognes and other trinkets. I’m not sure if he ever loaded film in it because I don’t remember seeing any photographs that the camera might have generated. But I used to pick it up and click the shutter over and over because I was fascinated by its sound. I’m not sure whatever became of that Diana.

It wasn’t until my mid-30s that I actually acquired my own toy camera—a Holga—and loaded it. From that first roll of film, I was drawn to the dreamy results of the low-grade lens on the film. Further, like most people with such cameras, I enjoy their limitations, where I don’t get bogged down in the technical aspects of operating a camera, but instead concentrate solely on composition.

Several more toy cameras have followed, but I refuse to tell anyone how many I actually own. These days, I always take a toy camera with me on any photo assignment or project. Then, after getting the required images with the digital camera, out comes the toy camera, and the real fun begins.



To borrow a move from LeBron James, “Morgan Tyree is just a kid from Akron, Ohio.” Tyree has been teaching graphic design at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming for 33 years. Prior to this appointment, he worked in printing and publishing as a graphic designer and prepress technician. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Communication from Arizona State University and a Master of Arts in Education from Northern Arizona University. 

In one form or another, photography has been in Tyree’s life since his adolescent years. His photo-documentary project on small-town high school football has been featured in gallery exhibits in Montana, Wyoming, Texas, and Ohio, and regional as well as national magazines have published it. Tyree’s work has included drone images since 2014, and the Cody, Wyoming Library featured them in an exhibit on Toy-Drone Photography.

During the warmer months, Tyree enjoys downhill longboarding—as long as the hills aren’t too steep. He maintains a small black and white film “lab” in his basement because he still enjoys film cameras. When the weather isn’t cooperating, he spends time in front of his computer working on digital collage projects or scanning photos from his film cameras. His cats, Eddie and Wilma, occasionally notice.

Tyree is looking forward to retirement after this academic year and hopes to take on all the freelance graphic design and photography he can.

Sun Magazine Publications

Morgan Tyree Blogspot

Morgan Tyree Air Wyoming

Morgan Tyree on Flickr


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