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Not Wanting a Doll?

Mar 29, 2012

    1. So, I used to be really involved in the BJD hobby; I owned two dolls and about four years ago I decided to sell them both and get out of the hobby. For the most part, I had no regrets and never really thought about BJDs unless I was looking through photos I took of them- the only time I really missed them, I guess.
      And about a month ago, a BJD popped up on my dashboard on Tumblr and it reminded me of this hobby, so I logged on to DoA for the first time in years and found a bunch of BJD related Tumblrs and started following them. I find myself really loving dolls again, especially the photography options they offer.
      But thinking about saving up for a doll and then having to save up for all of the accessories and modifications I'd need definitely turns me away from buying a doll again. I really love doll photography, just not so much the doll-owning part of it :doh and I really don't think I'll be saving up and buying myself a doll any time soon, if ever.
      Am I the only one out there? If not, how do you guys cope? I've thought about trying to find people that would let me take pictures of their dolls but I know how some owners are with others handling their dolls and the fact that it would be their doll and I would be unable to customize it how I please.
      What have you found are good alternates to owning a doll? And doll owners, how do you react to people like me?
    2. I haven't encountered that before, haha! Most of the people I know that like my dolls but don't want to own a doll are family and are just fine with looking. I think the idea of a dolly photographer would be pretty neat. Kinda like photographing human models...using them to get an idea across. I think it'd be flattering to have someone be interested in them like that! :)
    3. I'm not sure exactly what it is that needs to be 'coped' with? If you don't want a doll...then don't buy one? No one says you have to buy a doll, and if you don't want to be a part of the hobby then who is pressuring you? I don't know how easy it is for you to save, but would a cheaper alternative work for your photography needs, perhaps a Resinsoul or Bobobie?
    4. im not very into photography myself but maybe if the other person had real talent and fancy equipment I wouldnt want to invest in I would be ok with another person photographing my dolls. I would want to stay and montior the photoshoot because I wouldnt want to leave my babies, but aside from that id be happy to have some "glamour shots" of my crew lol
      I dont really have this problem, I love saving and bringing home new resin...
    5. I guess cope wasn't the best term to use. Basically I was asking how someone would go about wanting to take pictures and such without owning a doll.
      I know I'm not pressured or anything, but there is a huge personal desire to use dolls to express ideas photographically. As for saving up, I know there are cheaper options out there but I'd have to factor in face-up, wigs, eyes, clothes, etc. which racks up quite a bill usually. I'm not really in the situation to be saving up for much (I'm about to be a poor art school student, woo!).
    6. If you want to take doll pics without owning a doll, hit up all your local Meet-ups. Take pictures of the dolls there and get to know people. If you make friendships with doll owners they are more likely to go out on photo-shoot trips with you or loan you a muse.
    7. oh i know what you mean! though i don't personally experience it myself, i hear you about the "ownership woes", specially if you're fussed about the sort of character you want, you end up spending heaps just to get that face right or them to wear the right outfits.

      I think a photographer is more what you are than a collector/owner of dolls. Just like real people sometimes go and use the services of a professional photographer I imagine there would be interest from the BJD owners to do this. I for one would be interested to volunteer my dolls as models because I can never seem to take good pictures of them.
    8. Like idrisfynn said, meet ups would probably be a good option for you! Network with doll owners in your area, plus at meet ups people usually set up their dolls for everyone to enjoy. I'm sure they wouldn't mind an enthusiastic photographer. ^^
    9. I don't have a problem with people like that. If you don't want a bjd anymore but still love looking at pictures that's up to you. And if you'd rather be a photographer than a owner that could be a nice way to be in the hobby.
    10. I would love, love for someone to take pictures of my dolls. So far, I can't do it to save my life. I have so many cool props for photos etc. going to waste.
    11. Oh I totally know how you feel! You could definitely be a dolly photographer! I know, because I've had several people ask me to photograph their dolls ^_^ It's nice when you aren't emotionally attached to the doll to photograph because you can always give it back. It's a lot of fun, you should try to branch out and ask ^_^
    12. I'll have to give 'dolly photographer' a shot. That definitely sounds like a great compromise.

      This thread also got me thinking...is there anyone that's the exact opposite of me? People that love the dolls but not the photography aspect? For me, BJDs and photography are so linked, I couldn't think of another reason to want one.
    13. Like most people have said, networking at your local doll meets is a very good way to do doll photography without having to invest in the dolls.

      However, if you truly are interested in personally customizing a doll, then as InkyBear has stated, there are a lot more options for cheaper, good quality bjds nowadays than a couple of years ago. A bjd on the lower end of the cost spectrum can still be styled beautifully, as I have seen from very talented people on DoA, and in that way you can cut the cost of this hobby down. I love looking at beautiful bjd photos, and in my mind I divide most of doll photography into 2 major categories: one type concentrates on the doll itself, capturing the light and shadows of the sculpt, the engineering, the aesthetics of the body, in which case the emphasis is a stark lack of props and accessories and clothing, the doll thus becoming more of an object to be studied and admired for its own sake; the second type uses the doll as a mannequin, much like modern day fashion, in which case the doll plays in the background while the beautiful and colorful face-ups, clothing, hair, and accessories take center stage.

      I think that for the first type, which focuses on the doll itself, the beautiful engineering and subtle aesthetics often go hand in hand with a higher price tag (though not always), but I have occasionally seen beautiful photos of dolls on the lower end of the cost spectrum. In this case, I don't think 'cheaper' dolls always lack the finesse and quality finish of more expensive dolls, but just that sometimes people naturally assume they aren't as fit for more artistically minded photography. So either way, you can do a lot more with a lot less now than a few years before. If you look through the gallery threads, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, and if you need more information on specific dolls, the size-specific doll discussions are always helpful, not just with the dolls, but also places to find affordable and well-fitting clothes and accessories.

      Besides the stated Resinsoul and Bobobie, there are also Doll Leaves, 5Stardoll, Only Doll, Doll Love, etc. They offer minis for between $150-200 (and many brands offer discounts and events at least once a year; second-hand dolls from these brands can often be acquired for much less on the marketplace; it's still very much a buyer's market here, and you just need to be patient), and tinies for less. Deverdoll.com, Junkyspot.com and Mintoncardinc.com are good North American dealers with helpful and informative owners.

      And as to enjoying dolls solely from a photography aspect, I have to say most of the time, I just like looking at my dolls. I like dressing them, rotating their outfits and wigs and eyes; I like to pose them; I like to show them off (sometimes naked); and I really like looking at other people's dolls. I don't take pictures of my dolls often, and when I do, the results certainly aren't very good. I do enjoy learning about photography, but it certainly wasn't the reason I got into this hobby, though my appreciation for it has certainly increased because of my immersion in bjds.
    14. I take pictures of my dolls, but that's not how I enjoy them. I take them with me to certain places. I change their clothing. I arrange them. I occasionally have one down either to hold or "sit" with me (usually the newest). Mostly, I just admire them. I don't need a picture for that when I have the real thing. I take pics if I think something looks cute or to show others, but I'm not into setting elaborate photoshoots or making photostories. Sometimes I wish I did know more about my camera to shoot a particular way, but not enough to actually go out and learn.
    15. I make myself take pictures because I feel like I need some to keep a record but I am so bad at photography...I wish I knew someone who could photograph my dolls! Professionals studios won't do it...they say a human has to be in it also...Hmmm Xstrike I see you are in NC.....
    16. I know what you mean, I really enjoy taking pictures of my dolls, that somehow bring them to life, and sometimes they can be so much more gorgeous depending on the angle and light.
      I don't have many advices though, have you tried cheaper type of dolls? Maybe like monster high, they are popular lately.
      Or maybe you could buy some yosd size? still cheaper than bigger dolls, and you could try making some clothes yourself?
    17. I guess you could say that I am the opposite. I love the dolls but don't really care about the photography part as much. I enjoy it once in awhile, but not nearly as much as looking at them in person. The ownership of the doll is what I love, and creating something beautiful. They fascinate me, so I like to have a hands-on experience. This can include photography, but mostly includes sewing, posing them, creating their characters, planning new doll purchases, and just looking at them. Sometimes editing photos can be frustrating for me, I find it boring and my computer just deleted my PS on top of it. I would rather spend the money on a doll than an expensive camera and editing software. My dolls are my most valuable posessions, and I enjoy having them around! We all enjoy the hobby differently, and I'm sure others feel the same way as you.

      After you go to a doll meet (if you wanted to) and take some pictures, you might decide whether or not it's worth it to you to own a BJD. It sounds like you are unsure, so I think it would be wise to test the waters ^_^ Good luck!
    18. Well, gee, I'm sure there are people who would love to let you take pictures of their dolls. I definitely would. Let's be honest; at best, I suck at photography and I have a cheap camera.
      If we were closer, I'd totally go out with you on doll shoots. I'm sure you can find people near you who won't mind :)
      I think everybody else's suggestions have pretty much covered it. I also agree that I have seen beautiful ​Bobobies and the like.
    19. I enjoy taking lots of pix, but I enjoy owning dolls too.

      I would say borrowing a friend's doll could be fun. Of course, you can't customize it (unless they want you to) and they may have restrictions on poses they're ok with you doing. For example, all of my dolls have set character traits and I do not want them photographed doing anything they wouldn't do in character, whether that be cheating on their lover or my skater punk in a dress or my vegan eating meat or whatever.

      If you want your own doll to photograph, but don't want to do the full hobby, have you considered maybe getting a less expensive doll that can easily wear "cheap" clothing? For example, a ResinSoul 27cm isn't very expensive and can wear a lot of Barbie clothes, and they still photograph well. Or maybe go to a doll meet and take pix?

      I would think it was really cool if somebody wanted to use my doll as a model. :P
    20. I get what you mean, me myself I need to own one or I get antsy >.> But I think a cheaper alternative could be either obitsus or other dolls of the same scale but made of different materials. Sometimes I do wonder why I bother owning my dolls but i always turn out liking them, especially when they photograph well.