6 things to prepare for a dolly photo shoot
Honestly, dollings, I sometimes get reluctant to go out and take dolly photos simply because it's just too much work. Imagine, YOU ALONE are your own team of a creative director, stylist, hair and makeup artist, photographer, assistant among other roles, to have a successful marketing campaign. Oh, and yeah, did I mention I also designed and produced the garment myself?
But always, it never fails, that I feel happy when I wrap up a photo shoot. Seeing the photos I took of the dolls just reconfirms my love for this miniature thing ;D The dolls always look the best outdoors, in natural lighting. And that, my friends, instantly blurs out all the crazy stunts I would do as you can see in the photo above LOL ;)
Here's how I prepare for a dolly marketing campaign photo shoot, at least the night before:
1. the outfits
Since most of my photo shoots are aimed at marketing my latest creations, I make sure that the new pieces is ready to be photographed. That means they are clean, neat, and have matching pieces if they are not an entire outfit. This is when my staple tops and shorts come in handy. My staple garments are mostly in neutral colors or are easy to mix and match with so that I don't need to stress out on coming up with a new piece just to complement my new creation.
2. the models, in this case, the dolls
I choose the models that most complement the outfits. If I have a variety of outfits to shoot, I make sure each outfit is worn by the most suited models, skin tone-wise. If my outfit is white, or bright-colored, my tan girls get the job. If the outfit is dark, I choose a light-skinned girl so the contrast will be interesting.
Most often, I give them a bath, and prep up their hair so that they dry nice the next day. Sometimes, I just spray them with water and clean up quickly, but there's nothing ever so satisfying than giving your dolls a soapy bath. I enjoy it a lot, to be honest. Who doesn't enjoy the scent of clean stuff, tell me ;D
3. the theme or scenes
You gotta have at least an idea or a story behind every photo shoot. This prepares you at least a few poses and scenes to begin with. This makes it easy to pose the dolls, and to save time. You don't want to stress out coming up with ideas while out in the sun, carrying all your apparatus with you. Just be prepared with a story, there's no harm in that. But also be prepared to change up the plan, because you really can't tell what your location may come up with. Be open to opportunities ;)
I am usually using the idea of a girl just strolling by, checking her phone or just chilling. I like that my dolls look like they are "happy and at peace" with everything around them. It gives me the positive vibe.
It also helps that you can prepare some scenes that would fit your social media platforms. For my recent shoots, I first take photos that highlight the clothes because I use them in my product listings. Then I follow with fun, lifestyle types of shots. I also take short videos. They might be useful for future montage projects at my youtube channel.
4. the accessories/ props
Since you already kind of figured out what they will be doing in their poses, you will know next what to bring for your props and accessories. Aside from shoes, my go-to pieces are a bench, a drink, a phone, sunglasses and sometimes a bag. My girls don't wear a lot of jewelry so I seldom bring some, though it also depends on the outfit. Some outfits require bling, you know.
5. the technical stuff
I make sure my camera has sufficient memory for the project, and that its battery is full. I also bring a piece of white paper to be used as a bounced light source. Sometimes, I like to shoot at low exposure but I still need to highlight the face, so the white paper is such my instant lifesaver. I also bring a comb, a water spray, napkin, a q-tip, a painting brush that I use for removing stuff from the clothes or from the doll. Oh, I use masking tape as a lint remover, too LOL. It works awesome every time! I never forget also to bring a set of hand sewing tools just in case. To make the doll stand, I bring a small stick for her to lean on. I keep these small tools together in a pouch, separate from the doll and the outfits.
6. you, the one-man team
I just make sure I'm healthy when I'm out for a shoot. I bring a big bag to put all my photo shoot stuff in it, and I make sure I have lots of water with me, especially when it's hot. I love taking photos when the sun is out, so I gotta improvise and make sure I don't dehydrate.
Sometimes, I'm with family or friends when I do these shoots. They can lend a hand and that is very much appreciated, most especially when you're in a crowded place with people being weirded out by what you are doing LOL..
So yeah, that's all that I usually prepare when I'm off for a sunny photo shoot the next day. If you have your own tips and tricks as to how to have a successful dolly photo shoot, please let us know in the comments section below. It would be so much fun to talk about this "weird" thing we do here for sure.
Thanks so much for being here, dollings and I hope you enjoyed this post. I'll see you on the next one...