Doll Photography 101
Our step by step guide on how to take the perfect doll photos
Every month we hold a photo of the month competition so we can give back to our loyal fans. With help from our fan club, we choose the photo we think is the most beautiful and best fits our monthly theme. Anyone can be a doll photographer! Do you want the honor and glory of winning next month’s competition? Do you want to win fabulous dolls and doll accessories? Follow our doll photography tips and you just might become our next lucky winner!
Get Comfortable with the Camera
You don’t need fancy equipment to take a great photograph! If you have a digital camera or a DLSR, that's great, but you can take equally good photos just using your phone! Work out how your camera functions: How do you focus on your subject? Does it have a portrait mode? Can you use different lenses? Understanding the tools you use will help your photos look more professional!
Find Your Light!
Proper lighting is crucial for a good photograph! Too dark and your Flower Fairy or Romantic Princess might turn out looking dark and gloomy, too light and the photo can become overexposed, meaning all the beautiful details of your doll are lost! The best light is natural light, try to shoot by a window or in a room full of natural light. If you are shooting outside, it's best to take photos where the light is more diffused rather than heavily concentrated. For example, many photographers like to take advantage of ‘golden hour’, the period shortly after sunrise or sunset when the sunlight is softer and redder. Taking photos at this time will give your photos a ‘golden’ glow, imbuing them with a little bit of magic!
A Sense of Proportion
Photo composition is another important skill for a good photographer to learn. The most basic trick is the rule of thirds. Imagine there is a grid on your camera of four horizontal lines and two vertical lines creating nine discrete squares (sometimes we don’t even have to imagine, a lot of cell phone cameras come with an optional grid superimposed over the screen and Instagram also offers this feature in their app!). You can use these squares to guide your picture, sometimes it will look good to have your doll in the center square to make them a focal point, or you can place the doll where the lines intersect to create a more visually interesting picture.
Obviously, every rule has an exception, and some are made to be broken. This rule will help you create great photos, but you can always experiment with it to create truly creative pics!
Get the Edit
Nothing is always perfect on the first try. Don’t be afraid to tweak your photos a little to achieve a polished product. Editing is not a scary word! There are lots of editing tools already in the palm of your hand. Most modern phones have basic editing tools. From changing the contrast, saturation, or even the definition in your photos, it's easy to make your pictures pop! You can even apply filters to imbue it with a certain mood or feeling. Filters that add a film grain can give your photos a vintage feeling, or a black and white filter can make your dolls look classic and timeless. Play around with the editing tools at your disposal and let your creative side run wild.
Props to You!
If you're looking to win our photo competition, props can help you! Every month there is a different theme, like ‘Easter’ (currently), ‘Winter Wonderland’, or ‘Back to School’. You can make your dolls fit the theme by posing them with cute accessories and in front of imaginative backdrops. You don’t have to break the bank to make your dolls look on point. A toothpick can be colored in to look like a tiny doll-sized pencil, you can paint your own adorable Easter eggs, or make your own snowman out of styrofoam balls. Make sure to visit the Ruby Red Fashion Friends blog page to follow DIY tutorials that will help you make these photo props. You can trick the camera by using clear elastic bands, blu tack, or even fishing wire to make your dolls ‘hold’ things, suspend items in mid-air or get your doll to nail a difficult pose.
Be a Model Citizen
Ruby Red Fashion Friends & Siblies have 9 points of articulation. They can strike almost any pose. Instead of having your doll standing still, try to create some motion in the photo. Catch your dolls mid-stroll, give them a yoga class or learn a new dance together. Trying different poses and positions lets you tell a story with your dolls, let us know what they like to do and who they like to do it with!
Switch It Up
Keep your photos fresh and interesting by mixing up your doll's fashion and hairstyles! Ruby Red Fashion Friend’s outfits can be mixed and matched, express your own style with brand new combinations. Ruby Red Fashion Friends have high-quality luxurious wig hair. It can be styled and re-styled again and again. Give your dolls a brand new look by switching up their ‘do. They can look sophisticated with an up do’, youthful with braids, or super-stylish with space buns. Different clothes and hairstyles can make your doll look completely unrecognizable, meaning you can diversify your picture portfolio!
Taking a good picture is all about enjoying it! Don’t agonize too hard about angles, lighting, or editing. Just enjoy sharing your dolls with your friends. Your light and positivity will shine through the photos no matter what.
Have you enjoyed our photography tips? Do you have any to add? What tips would you like to see next? Let us know down in the comments or email [email protected]
Take a look at some of our fans who have already won the photo of the month competition for some inspiration, happy snapping!