Monday, August 15, 2011

Photographing Art Dolls

Yesterday my art doll collective (Chris Fondi, Joyce Compton & I) met all day to work on our portfolios.  Much of the day was spent preparing dolls for the photo shoot.  When the dolls were finally ready we set up the photo stage. It consists of a small seamless backdrop, an ironing board, two color balanced lights with reflector umbrellas and a tripod.  It doesn't take up much space when we aren't using it. The excellent photographer we had arranged to take photos of our dolls with a high quality camera did not arrive.  Joyce and I decided to have a go at taking our own photos with our point and shoot cameras.
 
In the photo below Joyce is setting up a shot of one of her dolls.
I'm working on a series of dolls that are busts.  This is a departure from my previous work.  The heads are larger and the proportions of the piece must include consideration of the supporting assemblage structures. I found that the photos help me see the proportions and details of my work with a fresh eye.   There is something about photographs that lets me see my own work critically.
I like this detail shot above because it shows personality and subtlety in the face.  The character has a dynamic gaze,  But in the photo of the entire bust below the face is washed out and dull.  I either have to improve my ability to manipulate the lighting or I must make dolls with more strongly defined detail in the faces.  I also realize after looking at this photo that the collar is simply not big or dynamic enough. This doll is not as close to being finished as I thought he was.  That's OK.  I like to push a design.
This is another doll in the bust series.  This detail shot is less successful than the previous one.  I think the eyes need to be further developed with needle sculpting and the application of eye lids for the doll to have a purposeful gaze.  The interesting thing (at least to me) is that I didn't pick up on this just by looking at the doll.
 I can say exactly the same things about the relationship of this doll's head to the supporting assemblage structure that I did about the previous doll. 
 This impish doll is also a work in progress.  The detail shot looks great. But  I'm not even going to show you the supporting assemblage structure until I rebuild it. 

Finally, there was a photograph that I was really satisfied with at the end of the day.  This is a doll that I made while working through my feelings about my sister's death. This is the first photo that I feel accurately expresses both the detail and the feeling of the doll. I will include it in my portfolio. 
The intention of the day was to generate a lot of photographs for our portfolios.  I didn't end up with a lot of usable photographs but I did find direction for my bust dolls.  I consider the day a success.

1 comment:

Joyce Compton said...

Em, your photos came out well!