Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fashion Doll Photography - Christmas Vacation

Photographing my fashion dolls in venues other than my home is something fairly new for me. It began a couple of years ago when a friend of mine and I hosted the official travel doll for the 2009 National Barbie Doll Convention. Since then I've taken various fashion dolls to local areas for impromptu fashion shoots. Over the holidays we made a couple of trips for which I decided to take a fashion doll, much to the amusement of my family.

Happy Go Lightly in the lobby of the War Memorial Opera Hou
The first trip was a quick visit up to San Francisco to see the Nutcracker Ballet at the War Memorial Opera House. I thought Happy Go Lightly Silkstone Barbie (HGL) would enjoy dressing up in her finery to attend a beautifully produced ballet in such an historic location. She took the opportunity to don Sheer Sparkle by Dressmaker Details. Photographing dolls out in the public is a constant learning experience. Available lighting, on-site props, people milling about, the camera, and the photographer's skills (just to name a few) all influence the outcome of the photo. In this case, there were so many folks visiting in the lobby that it was impossible to get a photograph of HGL without someone stepping into the picture. The unfortunate aspect of this is that it messes with the perceived scale of things. Also, I need to learn more about my camera's capabilities. While the lighting at the Opera House is fine for it's intended use, it's underlit for photographing HGL. I currently use a point and shoot digital camera and right now I only know either flash on or flash off. With the flash on, HGL was in focus but I couldn't see the background. With the flash off, HGL is a little fuzzy but we can see not only HGL but the background as well. And isn't that why I took her to the ballet in the first place? So for now, to explain the fuzziness, I'm going with the old Hollywood standby of claiming she wanted petroleum jelly slathered on the camera lens to give her a more youthful look.

Endless Summer Poppy Parker with Minnie Mouse.
For our next trip, we went to Disneyland. For this little junket, I took Endless Summer Poppy Parker. Poppy has become my favorite fashion doll (shh, don't tell HGL or any of my other dolls!). She has such a youthful appearance and she wears so many different clothing styles well. For this session she wore a jacket, top, belt, and pants from Clear-Lan and shoes and jewelry from the Ask Any Girl gift set from the 2010 Fashion Royalty Convention collection. This photo session went much better as we were outside for most of the photos which gave me natural lighting to work with.  Also, while there are just masses of people at Disneyland (the fire marshal actually closed the park to newly entering people due to overcrowding) the people have more space to spread out so I was able to do better about avoiding folks stepping into my picture. Here Poppy poses with Minnie Mouse in front of Cinderella's Castle.

While I do occasionally run into glitches with my doll photography, I still enjoy the experience immensely. When I first began I was a little timid about how people would react. Now I don't worry about that because I've experienced how much fun it is. As a matter of fact, on both of these trips, I had complete strangers come up and photograph my doll as well! And I know that with time and practice, my photos will begin to better meet my expectations.

If you'd like to see more pictures from these two photo shoots, please visit my Flickr.

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