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