Saturday, July 11, 2015

Behind the Scenes: Perspective

It's funny how much time I think I'll have in the summer during the school year.  I imagine and romanticize everything into this perfectly free environment where everything is creamsicles and lounge time.  Ha.  Good one, Syd.

Still, my summer has been grand.  The weather's been marvelous, so I've been whitewashing fences, taking photos, dancing, and attending parties since the beginning of June.  The clouds have finally rolled in, though, and I'm left with enough time to share with you my most recent Cozi photo shoot.  Here are a few tips that may be helpful when you decide to venture out on your next photography session featuring our favorite vinyl buddies.

Very often I see pictures of dolls where the camera is aimed down at the doll as opposed to straight on.  This can work stylistically if you plan the shoot in advance and are going with a specific idea, but usually when a photographer does this, it simply looks off.  This is because, as humans, we are taller.  We look down at our dolls, so we take pictures with our camera looking down at them and thus remove reality because this high angle (unknowingly) puts our perspective into the picture, not our subject's.   When taking photos of other humans, we face them straight on (not down).  By getting a low enough angle of the doll's face, you're mastering one of the main steps in creating a realistic photograph of a doll.  

I shot this around 6:00 am, just as the sun was hitting our lawn.  Using my reflector, I bounced the light (shining directly behind her) back into her face.  The result was an evenly lit photo with a touch of rim lighting around her hair.  

Perspective is extremely important when attempting photography of something so much smaller than our perceived world.  Jimmy, Cozi's little fox, appears to be looking up at her in a slightly realistic way.  I placed the camera as low as I could to freshen the perspective and provide a picture from his point of view.  It certainly helps when you want to tell a story with inanimate objects!

You can see the individual hairs of Jimmy's felt peaking out from his seams in this one because of the rim lighting.  I used a reflector on him as well.  Since he isn't vinyl, he absorbs the bounced light very nicely and is far easier to photograph than a doll.

Once again, perspective is your ally for realistic photos!  With the camera flat on the ground, I  enabled the feeling that perhaps our world is doll size, too.  

Let me know if this helped you at all as you continue to document your doll-filled adventures.  If you have any questions, post them in the comments below and I'll be pleased to assist.  
- Syddie


  1. WOW THESE PHOTOS ARE STUNNING! Yes I love your photography tips, they really help! Also were these pics edited? Just wondering! Seeing them makes me want to try get a reflector, they seem to be very useful :-)

  2. I love your photos so much, Syddie they're beautiful!!
    This post really helped, as I'm planning on doing a photo shoot with Ruthie and her doll, Felicity soon.
    Although I don't have a fancy camera that takes super clear photos.
    Or a reflector.
    But I'm hoping I can get it to work ;)
    ~Jessi xox

  3. i've always admired the angles at which you capture your doll photos--they always make the dolls appear almost real. i recently purchased the reflector you had mentioned a few posts back, and am finding all your tips very useful. :} stunning pictures, as always, cozi and jimmy are just darling. ^_^


  4. Stunning photos and great tips! I always aim to make my doll photos as realistic as possible. Angles can be tough (I tend to photograph them on my knees or even lying on the ground), but very important as you said. Also, I really need to get myself a reflector. They seem like a huge help!

  5. These photos are beyond beyond amazing! These are so beautiful <3
    the tips you shared are really good, i might have to look into getting a reflector. what camera do you use, may i ask? this is my first time here, so i should probably look around first ^_^

    1. ok, so it says right in your bio that you use the Canon T3i....do you have a special lens you use?

    2. Thanks! I use two lenses: my 50mm and my 30mm. Both are wonderful for photographing dolls. And believe me, a reflector is the best tool you will buy!

  6. These tips are great! It's always nice to learn how to be a better photographer!:) The pictures are fantastic and Caroline looks so cute in those overalls!:)

  7. Stunning photos. Thank you for the tips. I really need them. :)