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Tips for taking doll photos

I wonder if anyone has any tips for improving doll photography.

Specifically about lighting and creating backgrounds.

I've been trying to think how to set up a doll shoot where I could control the lighting better, and get rid of background clutter.

I just don't seem to have enough hands, and beyond the old 'paint a cardboard box' technique which served me in my younger days I'm finding myself a bit stuck for ideas.

We don't have the space to store room dioramas (unless they could fold somehow?)...I've been thinking black cloth over a chair...use a torch somehow (in my mind I am sticky taping those coloured sweety papers over to get colours :D)...but every mental scenario winds up with many things falling over, or needing to spend loads of dosh on equipment, or holding a doll in position with my foot while I hold a torch in my mouth :D

I found an old camera tripod, but it is the clamp type...and I've no idea what I could clamp it to,,or if that would help.

Any ideas welcome.

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Replies

  • hi ! for my photo i use 3 lamp! 2 halogene  that i install  on the 2 side ( left and right) and one office lamp in the middle .. after i control the light moving them after shooting first pics and see the result .. i move the light till i m satisfied and then the shooting can begin ( excuse my very bad english i hope you understand what i mean^^) after it depend too of your camera.. i use an reflex numerique canon eos... it help a lot^^ hugs

  • yes this is a great idea. I do not have a lot of craft store (like Michael's) http://www.michaels.com/ but a cheap bazaar store near by hold lot of end of series wall paper for close to nothing and I am using them to decorate my gang's condo.

     


    Mark Herr said:

    I found that a Cheap and effective way for making backdrops are by buying some stretch canvas or some decorative crafting paper or wallpaper samples. Its easy to store and all are usually pretty cheap or free and the canvas can be painted or decorated however you want and as much as you want and the crafting paper or wallpaper samples come in so many styles and verities.

  • I found that a Cheap and effective way for making backdrops are by buying some stretch canvas or some decorative crafting paper or wallpaper samples. Its easy to store and all are usually pretty cheap or free and the canvas can be painted or decorated however you want and as much as you want and the crafting paper or wallpaper samples come in so many styles and verities.

  • I just got the FDQ book too!  It's very easy to follow and has a lot of useful tips and examples, along with stunning photography. A lot of the recommendations aren't limited to specific equipment but are more related to technique and composition, so you can follow them with what you've got on hand. 

    For example, you'd think this was a great photo op, right?  Veronique Style Counsel is playing a glossy black grand piano in a room with gold patterned wallpaper, her Louboutin-shod feet resting on an Oriental rug. She's nabbed one of the Bratz' ice cream sundaes and a Starbucks coffee, because playing concertos takes a lot of energy. Someone's already thrown a rose bouquet atop the piano in appreciation, and her iPhone lays nearby to receive requests for more concert dates.

    Thanks to this book, I'm looking at her haphazardly-tied bootlaces thinking, there are a lot of details that need to be cleaned up before even dreaming of taking her picture.  

     

  • see you are all set!! most of the time I place my camera on a tripod but not always. you have to try ..a lot..I take lot of pictures then download them..and look a the first result...then I go back to my doll and take other pics . I discover that we can see all the imperfection with the photo that we do not see with the necked eye, so better try before.

     

  • It's inspiring to know you can get such good results with basic equipment. Amazingly we have that same lamp but ours is green.
  • --

     


    as you can see Kate, my photo equipment is very basic. I am sure there are lot on the market that could help us doing better pictures but until now this is handy and cheap :)

    dolly cheers

  • These are great ideas, thanks. Sometimes I wind up going around in circles and having somebody else's input is so helpful.

    After reading this thread I found an old white drawing board which is A3 size...actually I was walking past it and thought aha! :)

    Next..table lamps..

     

  • Kate :

    I am not sure I am the right person tu give you advice as other here are doing pictures way better than me, but I'll tell you anyway :)

    except when I can use my Hubby's hands (and you are right some time we need ore than 2 hands)

    most of the time I am only using my desk lamp  as light supplement, as the flash over light often the picture.

    as for the background. I am using for most , fabric black or white depending of the effect I am looking for. I kept a piece of cardboard 9like from a big computer box or washing machine (I asked for mine in a store where it was ready to be discarded.I cover it with the fabric pined on the top. it does stand by itself on my sewing/cutting table and it leans against the wall. -after the picture is done-  it is just a sheet of carton board easy to store- a lamp that goes back to my desk- the fabric back to my boxes. ( you can see my last example for this september glamour challenge.

    Hope that will help you somewhat

    dolly cheers

     

  • Admin

    Hi Kate,

    There are lot's of diorama experts on dollobservers who will be very glad to help I am sure. Plus of lots of talented photographers too! I bought the FDQ magazine book on doll photography (http://fdqmedia.com/Book.html) which is great although you would really need a full time doll room to do all the suggestions. Which I would love to have BTW lol!

    I also purchased a photography tent which folds flat for storage and comes with different colour backdrops and is great for getting good lighting. I use it in bright natural light or with bedside lamps! It also stops a glare from flash if all else fails. You can pick them up cheaply on ebay.

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