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Anyone have dolls that don't photograph well together?

Aug 23, 2019

    1. Wondering if this is just me and the growing pains of learning to take decent pictures or if anyone else has run into this too.

      I have a few dolls now, all of which are beautiful. They're all different sizes and only two are in proportion to one another. Each doll is lovely photographed on her own, but the two girls who I'd actually like to get pictures of together just...don't.

      They're flattered by much different angles, so at best only one ends up looking good! Nephel will look nice, but the lights will shine off Excela's eyes to make her look crazy. Excela looks good, but Nephel looks like a peachy little pumpkin because their skin tones look better in different lights.

      Whaddup? Must some dolls just never meet in pictures?

      Bonus: This is the best they've looked together and this was BEFORE the planned photoshoot/when they were fully dressed/ready. :'D

      • x 3
    2. I've tried taking pictures of Candie and Mattie together and it doesn't always work. I mean, there's a bit of size difference, but I've found some of the best doll pictures I take always end up being portrait close ups. Pulling back to take a photo of two dolls always takes something away from the photo. Then again, I've seen some great photos with more than one doll here on DoA. :sigh
      • x 2
    3. In my experience, it's all about posing.
      Of course you'll want your camera settings and lighting to be good (indirect natural light like a cloudy day is best, a diffuser over white light if not, make sure you have a little bounce light, or heads angled so that theres no deep harsh shadows, etc)- I most prefer a large aperture in order to get a nice bokeh effect background, but with multiple dolls you'll want something a bit smaller so that both can more easily be in focus. I underexpose all my photos a little for ease of post processing, and for the most part so long as lighting is coming from good angles, subtle editing after the fact will allow both dolls colors and skintones to shine.
      The one thing no post processing can save is angle and posing. Its the hardest part of good doll photos in my book, and made doubly hard when you have multiples in one shot, but here are the basics i keep in mind.
      1) shoot at or below the doll's eye level 90% of the time
      2) POSE at or below the doll's level, so that the pose is natural and doesnt make them crane upwards.
      3) make lines of weight flow through the body (shoulders tilted, more weight on one leg, etc) try looking up action lines for traditional artists and emulating those in doll poses, or just look up candid photos of people and try copying the poses.
      4) Focus on cohesive differences. Pose them differently but balanced, dont have one doing jumping jacks while the other stands still, but dont have them looking like the shining twins in the exact same pose. Put dolls on separate levels from the camera. Lined up directly side by side can look awkward and forced, for a more genuine feeling photo have one a little closer, one looking away from the lens and one towards. You almost never see people in photos together on the same level and pose and looking at the camera at the same time- and the ones that have that are usually awkward family portraits.
      5) have them interact with each other and/or themselves. I've found often the difference between a good picture and a great one comes with touching. One doll playing with the hem of their skirt or their hair, one with an arm draped over the other's shoulder, a hand on a hip or resting in their lap or even the other doll's lap. Contact with the doll's own body or possessions, or contact with the other doll itself can do a lot to show personality and relationships in very easy to do ways, and can definitely elevate a pic to the next level.

      Hopefully that makes some sense and is helpful! I really love posing dolls and find that it makes a world of difference to a good doll shot, though of course technical stuff will always make up the bulk of a good photo. If you'd like, I'd be happy to take a look at pictures from the planned photoshoot you feel failed and offer suggestions on it!
      • x 11
    4. All my dolls have different proportions, so although they don't take 'neutral' photos well together, if I pose them expressively it's usually fine. Then again, I'm not a professional and usually only take photos with my phone for fun. I think it's all trial and error, doing the best with whatever you're using to take your photos!
      • x 1
    5. My biggest problem has been trying to take photos of dolls in drastically different colors, like is one is white skin with a natural faceup and light hair and the other is dark brown skin with natural faceup and dark hair. Lighting that flatters one doll washes out or hides detail of the other, and I'm not a good photographer in the first place, so I'm not sure anything short of actual classes would help me. :sweat
      • x 1
    6. Yes. My girl is so dark, what settings look good on my lighter dolls look awful on her, and vis versa. She tends to photograph best alone, and even that is iffy.
      • x 1
      • Dios mio yes! I have a lovely couple that just refuse to take good pictures together. When they're apart their pictures are really good. And when they're just hanging out together they're super cute! But once I pull out my camera it's like they know. Can't do well for them both!
      • x 2
    7. Oh wow, @fairithilien thank you! That’s all really useful! I’ll probably take you up on that offer. ^^’

      But LOL, @Smokiee Bear EXACTLY. They even look cute together in person but like you said...they know! It’s like trying to take a picture of my cat.

      Thank you to everyone else too; I’m glad it’s not just me. The specific stories are so funny-relatable.
      • x 2
    8. Hehe, I can say without a doubt that it was rare whenever I had any dolls who could photograph well together! That could just be that I have a tendency to pick oddly stylized dolls. My current two just don't look good together when I pull out my camera. It's definitely not the same thing in real life, mind you. Something about translating into a 2d picture saps some life out of it I suppose.
      I try not to let it bother me too much because photography is not something I really want to care about too much.
      • x 1
    9. I only have 4 dolls currently, and they are all complimentary sizes, but my 2 girls couldn't be photographed side by side. For some reason one of the heads of my girl is a larger size than the other, so it just looked off and was like an annoying blip in my mind. Drove me crazy both in real life and in the photos. Ended up selling one of the heads and buying like 8 other heads in an effort to find a head that complimented the larger head I kept. Ended up caving and used the same sculpt for both girls because I couldn't find a sculpt I liked in a complimentary head size.
      • x 1
    10. I quite like having dolls of vastly different styles (as in one very stylized and one very realistic) paired together, but that definitely wouldn't work for someone who was trying to take realistic-type photos (or uniformly stylized photos). I'm the same way with pairing out-of-scale items and dolls together - I like the implicit humour of putting together photos where things aren't quite right. But if your goal is something more uniform then of course that wouldn't be the right choice, so someone else might see the same group of dolls together and not even consider photographing them as a group. :)
      • x 1
    11. Most of my dolls are only meant to be paired with each other or their ones within the size category. The problem is mainly with my two kid delfs and my model delf. They're all the wrong scale and proportion. It makes me mildly irked every time.
      • x 1
    12. My akagi yusri and iplehouse JID Colin... the iplehouse body is so wide which I wasn’t expecting. And I am not a fan of them together in the slightest.
      • x 1
    13. I used to be bothered by it and I had tried to make sure my dolls look like a big, matching family. But then I decided I can't part with eithe the animesqe or the realistic part of my collection, and neither can I move away from my MSDs. So now I have three groups that need to be photographed separate - two big-headed VS Nanas, four or five SD girls (I just lost the count, sorry xD) and two MSD babies. My Zaolls are cool in that they can be photographed with both the bigger girls and the small ones. I love them because of it!
      • x 2
    14. When i'm browsing dolls in stores i'm always thinking about facial proportion styles because I feel like realistic faces look good with similarly sculpted faces.
    15. Oof, I have the issue that a few other people mentioned before me.

      I have this one couple that I like photographing together. They look cute together in person, but whenever I try to photograph them....well, Valon tends to look washed out if Nira looks awesome, or Nira looks too dark and her facial details get blurred together if Valon is perfectly in focus. Because of the huge contrast in their resin colors, it would take very specific lighting for each individually to be able to get a photo with both that doesn't look...off. It's a real feat to accomplish, that's for certain.:XD:
      • x 1
    16. I feel like my single SD resin girl doesn't fit in with the rest of my group and i'm not sure how to work her in. I feel bad about it tbh because I love her, but I don't take her out because i'm scared of damaging her.
    17. for my collections, I always put dolls from same brand together for photographing
      I think some dolls are pretty "neutral" who can fit most of dolls with different sizes, sculpts and skin tones(My POPO Zimo), and some dolls I can only take pictures of their own (my doffie ICON)
    18. My Resinsoul girl and my Fairyland dolls do not work together at all :XD: It's just the style is so drastically different they look out of place together. Meanwhile, my MYOU Martha works with literally all of my dolls to some degree, Resinsoul and Fairyland included.