BJDs

Getting Naked - baring it all behind the scenes

by Sharon Wright

Cat Hammond, over at The Doll Affinity, wrote a really fantastic post in response to my article about 12 Tips To Being a Better Photo Blogger.  In it, she talks about wanting to be more candid and pulling back the curtain a little to show some of the magic in the process of this hobby we love - photography. It really connected with me. I love watching behind the scenes videos and seeing other peoples' BTS photoshoots and whatnot - but I really haven't shared any of my own.

Since Cat sort of challenged others to do it, I thought I would kick it off and strip down to my bare bones. You'll see that I am not a perfect photographer, that most of the 'magic' actually happens in the editing room. 

To start off with, I shoot on a Canon T3i. It's not a super fancy camera, more of an older (discontinued) lower end pro-sumer style DSLR. I have a few different lenses but my lens of choice is my nifty fifty, 50mm. I shoot in full manual mode and usually manual focus as well. I prefer to shoot in RAW as that gives me the greatest flexibility to fix all my mistakes ;) I work in Adobe products for post processing. 

Now, I need to say this because it comes up all the time. It is not the camera that takes great pictures. Yes, it helps, but it is the skill and eye of the photographer and editor that makes it amazing. There are some pretty freaking jaw dropping images I've seen that were shot on a cellphone camera - so there are zero excuses. All the tools are available on the internet for you to learn any skill you want. That is how I taught myself. 

For this challenge, I tried to select a few different things to give you just a simple quick peek at my before & afters.  

Anyway - here goes... 

Brazen Beauty Natalia Fatalé - one of my all time favorite Integrity Toys ladies. She is from the 2013 convention (my first, and favorite, convention of theirs)
Dress by Ursi Sarna

Underexposed. She was shot deep in the shadows and since I didn't want to drop my shutter speed lower (to avoid blurriness from camera shake) I chose to take the darker shot at a faster shutter speed to get a crisper shot.  I knew, since I shoot in RAW, that I would have the ability to easily adjust the colors and contrast in post processing. I could have adjusted my ISO but I was, honestly, just being lazy. I fixed a few crazy hairs and added a bit more sun haze coming from the left side of the shot. 

Intrigue Elise Jolie by Integrity Toys, from the 2014 convention
Dress by Ginny Liezert

Same shoot, same day. This time I overexposed. Not on purpose. I snap a few shots as I'm making my adjustments in the camera. Sometimes the first couple pics end up being good and I want to save them, Again, since I shoot in RAW, I was able to fully adjust and play with the lighting in post. You'll notice that I also fixed a couple stray hairs and the gap in the petals on the dress too.

This shoot is one I did for Mombie & Son (Bo Bergemann and her son). It was an entire series of about 40 amazing, cinematic style images promoting their zombie bjds they featured at the 2015 SDCC. (Seriously, it's pretty damned cool. You can check the shots out HERE)

As you can tell I photoshopped some lights onto the vehicle to add a bit more realism to the 'moment' that was captured. I also adjusted the color levels to get a more creepy/greenish/horror feel to it and a bit more haze to give it a bit more 'tooth'. This was shot during the later half of golden hour and the effect of the sunlight in the hair and the movement in the dolls just really made these shots work so beautifully in creating that "movie moment" I was going for.
Without a doubt - one of the funnest and most creative shoots I've ever done!

Ginny, by Linda Macario. Coming very soon to JpopDolls

This one was really fun. Most people know me for being a mostly outdoor, natural light photographer. I don't do a whole lot of indoor diorama shoots - not that I don't enjoy them - I'm just not great at lighting them or working with flash effectively - but I'm trying to learn.  
I bought this fantastic bed set on Etsy from One Sixth Avenue, originally to use for my Naked Trooper series (absolutely NSFW). However, when I put glasses on Ginny she instantly came to life with this fantastic geekness to her and I knew she would have a bed set like that - and, like all teens, she'd have a really messy room.  
I got two really awesome paper lanterns (that actually lit up) in my 70's themed One Sixth Box a couple months ago and I had a desk lamp from the Dollar Tree that lit up. I used a few LED lamps placed just under the "TV" to give the effect that she was watching something and then placed a small lamp just to the right of the room on the other side of a velum paper window to give the illusion of maybe a street lamp or house light at night.
As you can tell, I did not adjust my white balance well so the original shot is very yellowish. No problem, I can easily adjust the colors when I bring the image in. I enhanced the lights to give them a bit more glow, adjusted shadows and selectively increased the exposure in some areas.
There are a lot of things I wish I still knew how to do better, but over all I'm pleased with how it turned out.

I never really put a lot of thought into showing my process, but after reading Cat's post I realized that I too love seeing the nakedness of other peoples work - so why not bare my own.

I will try to do posts showing my process more. And, if I don't - remind me and I'll make sure to get it done ;)

Oh - and for real - check out The Doll Affinity. Her 1:6 mini-me Cat is the best ever, and she does a dynamic job putting together some truly creative photo stories. 

We'd love to see your shots as well. Are you daring enough to get naked in front of your peers? Post them on our Facebook page under this link. 

To see more of my crap - a.k.a. - the stuff I do when I'm not working on STAND...
Facebook
Instagram
Flickr
All the NSFW stuff ;) 

12 Tips to Being a Better Photo Blogger

12 Tips to Being a Better Photo Blogger

Photo blogger and STAND editor-in-chief, Sharon Wright, lines out 12 keys to success 

Read More

This Super Amazing Handy Dandy Scale Converter Will Save Your Sanity!

If you hate to math - like me - then this will change everything!

I was trying to make a newspaper today as a prop for a shot I'm working on and wanted to scale it down to 1:6 size. Well, I'm HORRIBLE at math, seriously, I can't math at all. That is when I stumbled upon this little gem...

SCALE CONVERSION CALCULATOR

If you ever want to scale something up or down - this will save you time and headaches!!!

Check it out and bookmark it for future use!

DollShe changes ordering system - drops bomb about Johnny Depp doll

In a post today by Master Sculptor, DollShe-Ki-yong an announcement was made that DollShe would return to their previous way of ordering - a 4 time a year, limited run.  (I guess I didn't realize that they had changed that)

In that post was also a bit about the Leonardo DiCaprio doll (personally I would never doubt their talents but I do understand people wanting pics before ordering) BUT he made mention that if orders were low that they may put off the JOHNNY DEPP doll.

Wait, WHAT! Theirs a Johnny Depp doll? um, tell me more about this!

Read the entire post below:

SORRY FOR THE INCONSISTENT WAY OF SALES
We will change the order way to taking only 50 units for each line 4 times like we did before.

We were planning to take orders on all line-ups with time and quantity limit until this year but we have decided to change it to the way we did before. We are sorry for confusing you. We respect our customers opinion who are planning to order dolls next year so we will take orders for 4 times until next February.

We ask for you to understand that we set up a new project while we are behind on delivery.

There are some people criticizing us for setting up a new project while we haven’t finished the delivery for delayed orders. I think it is a given that they wonder about this because I didn’t explain it earlier.

First of all, I’m sorry to my customers who have been waiting for a long time but still support us. However, I think I should make everything clear about your misgivings about the new project.

As a Master Sculptor, my schedule and Dollshe Craft dolls producing schedule is different. My schedule is making a prototype of the doll. Currently I am done producing the prototype and sent it to the casting company, that was my schedule. I am proceeding with several new projects at the same time. Sometimes it could not be shown yet or it could be shown like Order-made BJD like Leonardo Di Caprio. We are currently taking pre-orders for Order-made BJD for Leonardo Di Caprio.

5 people have done a preorder so far. It’s a sixth month project from making the prototype to shipping and I haven’t done anything. It is the first Order-made BJD so I will produce as many as I take orders, even if there are only a few orders.

In a statement someone posted a photo, I know there are some people that doubt our skills and our project performance. We are planning to show you a head prototype of Leonardo Di Caprio in about one month later first. I will give you a refund if you aren’t satisfied with a completed doll. If this project is successful but if the amount of orders are low then we will defy producing the next Order-made BJD for Johnny Depp.

There is another delivery delay with the delayed dolls again due to the next projects.

I’m following my schedule that I work on a new dolls and the delayed dolls are casting at the Dollshe Craft casting company. The production of the silicon mold and casting are proceeding smoothly.

Problem of the delivery for delayed orders.

As we have notified we will finish the delivery orders that we have taken so far in 3months. Some prototypes that I haven’t been done yet will be finished in a month and some dolls that haven’t show you will be released.

Sincerely yours,
DollShe-Ki-yong
DollShe Craft CEO/Master Sculptor

STAND Lookbook - Volume 3 COVER REVEAL

The much anticipated moment is here - the cover reveal for the next volume of the Lookbook.
Each volume is offered with 2 different cover variants, a bjd and a fashion doll, allowing you to choose whichever you prefer the most. 

Releasing on September 6, this volume is called "Out of the Darkness". It's about all the dark and heavy weights we carry. Each image was selected because it identifies with an emotion, a feeling, or a memory that we have all experienced. It's a darker, slower journey than our previous volumes but one, when fully appreciated, will tug at you in all the right spots. I can't wait to show you all! 

Of course - this is also the chance for everyone to check for spelling errors or mistakes in names - we all know I make them ;)

As always, thank you SO much to all of our contributors and sponsors - without you it would not be possible!

Our bjd cover is an image by Simone Rule. An MSDoll (now Soolee Doll) Drayton 2nd with a peek at a Souldoll 4 armed Shiva in the background. (the full picture is in the book and it's fantastic)
Check out Simone's work (and clothing design) HERE

Our fashion doll cover is Mansion by Superdoll shot by Kim London. A little bit of vanity seemed fitting for this issue. 
Check out more of Kim's creativity on Flickr

The Value of Integrity - Tips From One Artist to Another

by Tracy Promber
Facebook Group
JPopDolls

 

With so many new, and talented artists coming out, I thought I would pass along some useful tips that were once offered to me when i entered the world of dolls. Maybe this will be helpful to some, maybe not. You can love it or leave it. It's up to you, but it's worked for me.

Be an ORIGINAL. With copyright and recasting issues rearing its ugly head more and more, don't be the person who gets accused of copying another artists work. That is a big unwritten no-no. While there is only so many ways you can re-invent the wheel, don't blatantly "emulate" another's work for resale. It's just flat out wrong.

No, it's not flattering to see something that took you a very long time to design, and put together, remade by someone else a week after you put your work out for the world to see. Be it sculpting, painting, sewing, etc, things inevitably can end up similar to someone else's work but, please, put your own spin on things. Make your work unique to you. Be an individual who shines on their own. I promise you, you will be admired that much more for it, plus it just feels good being able to create something that came from your heart. Not to mention that you may find yourself infringing on copyright, which can carry some stiff penalties.  And on that note, get your work registered with the copyright office too.

Be SUPPORTIVE. I am very fortunate to have a close group of friends in the doll world. They are a second family to me. We always support each other, whether it is personal or work related, I know without a doubt they will be there. Being able to run ideas past each other, or gather input on current works in progress is fantastic! It's just nice to share with them, and have that sounding board of feedback when needed whether it's good or bad. We all in this industry should support new artists and help guide them to be great. There is so much talent out there that should be nurtured instead of put down out of jealousy.

Dedication. The doll world is such a large and diverse area. There is a lot of room to spread your creative wings so to speak. Don't be afraid to try new things. Put your self out there. Challenge yourself with new projects. Most importantly, don't give up! Stay focused on your goals. Sometimes walking away from a tough project for a few days does the trick for me.  Especially when starting again with fresh eyes. If at first you don't succeed, try it another way. Some of my best creations were trial and error over and over, until I got it right. I've also had many a project make its way into the trash bin too. Don't get frustrated. We all have "those" projects. Just don't quit.

Stay humble and be thankful for the opportunities that come your way. Don't complain. Especially online. If things don't go your way, try again. Your day will come. People get turned off by excessive whining. We all have our own struggles, and sooner or later they always work out.  Be conscious of what you post online.  What is aggravating today and led you to a big Facebook ranting, will probably not seem like that big of a deal tomorrow, making you regret having posted it in the first place. The doll world is not the place to try to gain a sale out of sympathy or anger. If people like what you create, they will seek it. Don't guilt people into buying your stuff.

Being recognized for your accomplishments. Again, be humble and thankful. I've been fortunate enough to win numerous awards for my work. The awards that mean the most to me are the ones that my customers and peers voted towards. It is very gratifying to know that my work has touched people the way the Iintended it to. If it gives someone joy, it's all worth it to me. This is why I do it. Having the ability to create is definitely a blessing, and I am thankful for it every day.  Having been given a GENUINE award is a phenomenal feeling. Always remember this is a business. One award does not a master make though. Keep up the good work. Keep building and honing your skill. It all will pay off in the end.

 

Integrity is really everything, and it's an easy thing to have and maintain. Just remember:

Don't get caught up in drama.
Stay focused on your originality.
Keep your head screwed on straight.
Keep your moral compass in check. 
Stay honest and humble.
Don't be afraid to explore new ideas.
Don't step on other artists toes
Do ask for help when you need it.

The doll world should be a fun and exciting place. Let's all do our part to keep it that way

This is all advice that has been gathered and taken to heart over the years. No one is perfect or exempt from screwing up. We all do it. Everyone is expected to make mistakes here and there. That's how we learn right?

This doll’s dress - it's what’s for dinner

by Michelle Hughes

If you thought Lady Gaga’s version was gimmicky, wait until you get a load of this!

Oh, the meat dress. No one can forget the uproar that followed the debut of the raw beef dress worn by Lady Gaga at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. Animal rights activists cried foul while the fashion forward hailed it as unprecedented and gutsy. Regardless as to which side you might have sympathized with, if any, there’s no doubt you had an opinion.

Now, a hotpot restaurant in Beijing has taken it to another level.  Not only can you feast your eyes upon a version of the infamous dress, you can actually feast on the dress.

The idea is that you’ll peel the layers of meat off of the doll to put into the hotpot.  As you do, the doll’s body will become more and more exposed with each slice removed. While the majority of responses to Elyse Ribbons’ photo have been positive, a post on The Shanghaiist reported that readers of the popular Chinese blog site Weibo were less than impressed with the style of presentation with which their dinner was served, citing concerns ranging from hygiene to sexism.

What do you think? Is this sexist or sassy? Would you try it?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Source: Toychan Net
Images: Weibo/1401200201

Collectible, OOAK, or Artist Dolls - oh my! Award Confusion Abounds

I have been looking at the Public Choice awards/Dolls Awards of Excellence Awards that DOLLS magazine does.  I have to admit this confuses the heck out of me. It actually always has but when I was working for them (Jones Publishing) I didn't want to admit I was a complete idiot when it came to the wide world of dolls. 

But, now I am.

For the awards, there are Collectible Doll categories, Artist Doll categories and OOAK doll categories. (There are also faceup, fashion, baby dolls and reborns.) 

The Artist dolls are all ball jointed dolls, I am guessing they are all one-offs of various existing/upcoming dolls done by the artist, right? That is what it looks like. That one is fairly easy.

The OOAK category is where it gets really confusing. dolls are all over the board in that category. The OOAK Fantasy Themed dolls are all figures. The OOAK Less than $1250 and Over $1250 are all figures except for one bjd and a baby doll. Were those mistaken placements? I guess not, since one (or more) was an Award of Excellence winner in that category.
(note - I'm not discounting the winners, stay with me here...)

Looking at the entries, some of the Artist Dolls are also OOAK so I'm not sure what the distinction is between an artist doll and a OOAK.

THEN, if it's not confusing enough, there is the Collectible Doll categories. Okay wait...aren't they all collectible?  

It's kind of all over the board, some of them are OOAK and some were pre-orders...and one is a statue. And wouldn't most of these fit into the other categories, or vice versa, so why the different category? And what is the difference between an Artist doll and a Collectible doll? 

AAAAGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!

Seriously. Do you see my conundrum? How do you even judge this? 

I always thought what classified something as a doll was that it was poseable in some way. The head turns, the arms move, etc. I understand many dolls are mainly for display, but they are still meant to be interactive in some fashion.

Then there are figures. We have collected quite a few of them. A 'figure/figurine/statue' is created in a particular pose and, many times, affixed to a base. It is not meant to be played with, modified, or even redressed. Really, it's only purpose is to be looked at.  

Then - you come to art dolls - which, apparently, which don't have to conform to a damn thing, which is where a lot of the confusion all comes from, Is it a doll or a figure? WTF?!?! And why does it get to be whatever the hell it wants? 

Confused yet? 

Shouldn't there just be a figure/art doll category? Because, really, it's a nightmare to even try to judge this. How do you compare an engineered, functional bjd next to a filmmaker Santa figure? Or a Don Quijote figure with a baby doll. Was the baby sculpted? or from a kit? Because that would make a big difference, right? Do you get what I'm saying? 

Now, don't get me wrong, I greatly appreciate the talent and skill it takes to create all of these, and they are all wonderful. That part is not up for debate. I'm only bringing up the category choices because it's confusing as hell and I wonder if it is as confusing to everyone else.

With all that being said - I highly encourage everyone to go check it all out and cast your vote. Support the artists that work so hard to create the treasures we love. You'll find all the info in the latest issue of DOLLS mag and Haute Doll mag - they were both the same issue this time.

Leave your thoughts, I am genuinely interested. 

BJDC 2016 - Everything you've been waiting for

We come for the shopping, but we stay for the friendship. That is one of the reasons why the Austin BJDC is one of the best bjd conventions out there. Not only is it the best place to see some of the most talented artists in the industry but it is in a relaxed and enjoyable environment.

The theme this year was Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales and as you browse through all the images I'm certain you will have fun guessing which tale each is based on.

Enough rambling, Sharon. Get to the good stuff!

Here ya go - feel free to share the link, the images, etc.  (Just right click to save the image you'd like to keep)

FRIENDS, FOOD AND LOTS OF FUN
(the awesome people shots)

THE SALES - TONS AND TONS OF EYE CANDY
(everything you really want to see - gorgeous doll shots)

THE COMPETITION 

I had a blast being one of the judges this year. There were so many really creative entries all based on the theme. I congratulate all of the contestants on a job well done! 

I am now beginning to dig through all of my client and advertiser shoots - there will be lots more images to see so stay tuned.

HOME

BJDC sales floor gets underway

The craziness began late last night as everyone began setting up the sales floor. 

By this morning the last minute fluff and primp was underway as the crowd began gathering outside eager to get in and give their wallets a workout. 

I admit, I too am running about just in awe of everything offered this year.  

Stay tuned, we'll have lots more coming up 

The wait is almost over - Giorria's preorder starts August 4th!

Ok, I can't even lie - this is one I have been waiting for. I'm done with the pics and teases - give me that damn rabbit already!  Thankfully, she goes on preorder the same time as the Austin BJDC starts and Depths Dolls will be there, so you KNOW I'm taking pics and talking to them so I can share it all with you :)

(If you are coming to Austin this week, my little birdies have told me there will be a handful of them there!!!!)

The first offering of her will be in grey skin and will only be produced in this color one time. She also arrives with a factory faceup and a random pair of eyes..

I actually like the grey, it will go with just about everything and fit almost any style so I think it's a nice coming out color. Of course, I'll probably also want her in white, and maybe pink, and maybe.... ;) I might just be a tiny bit excited. 

Her order window is only open from August 4 - September 4 and, again, this color will not be available again after, so don't hesitate!!! EEEK!

Visit Jpopdolls.net to preorder and get more information. 
You can also check out Depths Dolls (and see what other creations (cough - mermaids) they have in the process) on Facebook HERE

Liz Frost's newest girl makes you wanna say "awwww" Make way for Mia!

Liz Frost welcomes her newest addition.

A little sister to Luna, Mia is 13" tall, a 1:4 size bjd.
She wears a 6/7 wig and 14mm eyes.

Visit her website to learn all the details. Preorders open today, July 30th at 10am Australian time (AEST) for a very limited time.

http://www.wizworx.com.au/

EXCLUSIVE - Shinju surfaces in resin. First Looks at Charles' Creature Cabinet baby mermaid

Thanks so much to Charles for sending us the EXCLUSIVE look at the 1st artist samples of his 8cm baby mermaid. 

HOW CUTE ARE THEY?

With head fins antler & dreaming eyes goggles

Shinju will be offered in two color combos

1) Resin skin color: Rose Quartz Pink & Glow-in-the-Dark White - Fish tail & accessories in Serenity Blue & Glow-in-the-Dark Blue
2) Resin skin color: Serenity Lavender & Glow-in-the-Dark Purple - Fish tail & accessories in Pearly White & Glow-in-the-Dark White

10x Full Sets "Rose Quartz Pink" (including WeeDollyWears Outfit)
10x Full Sets "Serenity Lavender" (including WeeDollyWears Outfit)

By Marie Patterson/WeeDollyWears: The custom made outfit for Shinju includes a tiny crop top and skirt created using my dip dyed flower petals and a pair of sparkly net sleeves. Each outfit may vary slightly due to the dye process.

Including a Special CCC Pillow Pouch (bag) for safe travels. 

FLASH SALE & PRE-ORDER
August 4, 2016
10pm CET (European time / The Netherlands)
3x in stock samples "Rose Quartz" 
3x in stock samples "Serenity Lavender"

Price: €249
Full Set (incl. WDW Outfit) 
Price: €267 

Mon Cheri by Tracy Promber - preorder reminder

Available exclusively through Jpopdolls, Tracy's newest darling makes her debut.

Mon Cheri is a young girl born in Paris, an artist, a poet, a very sensitive soul.   With her thoughtful eyes, her pouty mouth, and nose that cannot be missed, Cheri will capture your heart.  Slim msd body, she can share clothing and shoes with Connie Lowe's Twig.

Mon Cheri is42cm tall
Takes a 7/8 wig
14mm or 16mm eyes

Est delivery: December

For all the details, please visit Jpopdolls.net 

Dollmore releases Illua Doll - virtually a miniature version of the popular Lusion dolls.

Dollmore has recently released a new line of 48cm dolls called Illua Doll, essentially a miniature version of their popular 80cm Lusion Dolls!

Illua Dolls have the same shaped body as the Lusion, and currently the same head sculpt as the original Lusion, Dahlia, thanks to may customers requesting a smaller size doll in Lusion proportions!

Currently there are two Illua Dolls available: Chocolat Noir (LE40) and Chocolate Blanc (LE40), each with a different clothing set and default faceup depending if you prefer darker or lighter colors! 
You can also ask for a different wig or different set of acrylic eyes if you prefer, free of charge.
If you would like a custom faceup, there is an order option on the page as well

Dollmore has also provided some extra information and plans regarding the new Illua Doll:

  • The current limited Chocolat Noir and Chocolate Blanc are the most economical way to acquire an Illua Doll, as Dollmore is planning to create a more elaborate (and therefore more expensive) Illua Doll in the future as their next Illua release
  • Customers who order an Illua Doll by the end of this month with receive her in approximately 30 days, which is about half the usual waiting time, because Dollmore is prioritizing Illua Doll creation over other dolls for their new release this month

Chocolat Blanc Dahlia (LE40) webpage: Dollmore.net :: Everything for Doll & more
Chocolat Noir Dahlia (LE40) webpage: Dollmore.net :: Everything for Doll & more

* Illua Doll Size 
---------------------------------------------------------- 
* Eye size : 16mm (Diameter) (14-16mm eyes recommended) 
* Tall : 48cm
* Circumference of Head : 21cm (8-9 inch wig recommended)
* Circumference of neck : 9.7cm
* Width of shoulders : 8cm
* Circumference of chest : 20.5cm
* Length from shoulder to wrist include a wrist ball : 14.5cm
* Circumference of Wrist : 6.8cm
* Circumference of waist : 16cm
* Circumference of hips : 24.2cm
* Lenth of "from hips to ankle" : 24.5cm
* Lenth of "from knee to ankle" : 10cm
* Circumference of ankle : 8.5cm (foot width : 3.3cm) 
* Foot size : 7.5cm (She can wear most SD size shoes which are wide)
* Weight : 1kg
----------------------------------------------------------
Illua Dolls can wear some SD clothes, but Dollmore says they are willing to custom tailor clothes to Illua size if you ask on their Q&A board!