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Topic #3 - Photographing Art Dolls, Capturing Their Spirit - The Dolls


As mentioned before, I like angles. This applies to photos too. You can affect the look of the doll by changing the angle of the shot. Lighting makes a difference too, influencing the mood of the photo. 

Because these dolls have their own “souls,” each one will photograph in a different way. What I’ve noticed is the doll, like people, have a “better” side. What I do is shoot at different angles as well as angle their heads, arms, legs and torso if they can be adjusted, and I take lots of photos. Sometimes, when I have a photogenic doll, I take too many so it’s hard to go through and pick the best ones!

Like models, some dolls are “naturals.” Here are some photos – you can decide which ones have Clara Bow’s “It” or not.

 Lenci Fadette - notice the natural attitude of the doll, but turning her head and putting her hand on her hip makes a difference.

 Lenci Fadette - I angled this shot just a bit instead of posing the doll.

 German Apache - I think this photo could have been much better if it had a plain background with just the doll at the table.

 Blossom - This is an old photo I took about 10 years ago! Notice how she is slightly tilted, giving her a more flirty look.

French Les Poupees Pierrette - I photographed these dolls, shooting slightly up, giving the "mini-me" Pierrot more attention. He looks like he's about to fight anyone that comes near, sort of a Ninja Pierrot?

 French Smoker - I took this photo, aiming up. Since this was taken on the stairs, I could easily position myself below the doll.

 Lenci Zulema - I did the same here, aimed up, giving her a haughty look.

 German Pin Cushion - even this pin cushion has expression. I took this photo, aiming at a slight angle so her side glancing eyes were obviously flirty.

 Alma - Attitude doesn't begin to describe this doll!

 Jane - I posed this doll slightly forward to give her head a more tilted appearance.

 Lenci Mimi - This photo, too, could have been better had I angled better and had a plainer background.

I'm going to have to take better pictures of Mimi. She screams attitude, and I need to show that better.

 Sardeau Rudolph Valentino and Natcha Rambova - Mineralava Beauty Contest - These dolls are fabulous! I'd love to pose them dancing.....

 Lenci Fadette - I need to take newer photos of this doll. She's faded and needs a brighter background.

"Big Face" Anita or Anita-type - love this doll! She deserves a better photo.


  1. I just adore all of the dolls, but that French Smoker is incredible!


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