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How to Photograph your Doll Collection

Updated on October 16, 2008

There are various reasons why doll collectors may need to photograph their doll collections. This is by no means an easy feat but these basic guidelines should assist you and save you many wasted hours making all the most common mistakes people make when photographing dolls.

Reason to Photograph your Dolls

There are a number of reasons why you may need to photograph your dolls.

• To show your dolls to the world and/or your friends

• To identify your doll for insurance purposes

• To add to your doll inventory documentation

• To sell your dolls on Ebay

Dolls are not the easiest of objects to photograph, mainly because of the fine detail that you would want to obtain with your photographs. Single lens cameras or a similar digital camera are an absolute must if you want to ensure that you get good quality photographs of the dolls. The advantage of using a digital camera is that you do not need to wait for the photographs to be developed to determine whether your photographs are a success and if not you can immediately try to correct your mistakes. In the long run the additional cost of a good digital camera will be saved by eliminating the costs of developing ordinary photographs.

Perfect Lighting

To get an attractive detailed photo of your doll proper lighting is essential whether indoors or outside. Artificial lighting, usually from your flash can have a trendous effect on the quality of the photographs.

Photographing Indoors

Most houses do not have sufficient natural light to give you a clear detailed photo of a doll. It is not only the brightness of the light but also the influence that different lights can have on the end product that must be taken into consideration.

Bear in mind that a regular light bulb can cause a yellowing of photos and a fluorescent bulb can give a greenish effect on the overall coloring. This can be compensated for with most digital cameras if they have offer "white balance" adjustments. Nevertheless, a flash will be needed to give clear well-lighted photos. Check the distance range of your camera's flash. You could consider investing in standing photo lights if you plan on extensive studio photography.

Photographing Outdoors

In the absence of proper flash lighting a good alternative would be to photograph your dolls outdoors. Choose a setting in strong but indirect sunlight preferably in light shade. If you need to increase natural light and are looking for a soft flattering light which will improve shadows on your doll, place plain white cardboard to the side of the doll and then take the photo.

Background Options

Simple one-color backgrounds work the best to bring out the best features of your doll as even slight textures and bright colors can distract from the dolls natural beauty and overwhelm the doll. Plain or single colored cardboard is ideal for backgrounds and can be purchased at any art or stationery store. Do not place the dolls too close to the background as this can cause shadows.

The time spent perfecting your photography techniques may well be worth the effort in the event of an insurance claim, the need to sell your collection on Ebay or should you need to identify your dolls. Enjoy it and have fun.

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