fashion doll

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!

EXCLUSIVE Tutorial by UNNIEdolls

UNNIEdolls gives us the first look at her newest tutorial. An adorable off shoulder blouse with easy to follow directions. ENJOY!

I created this pattern maybe a year ago. Many of you have been interested how I make the off shoulder blouses for my dolls. So, here is a tutorial, where I show you the whole process. If you make a blouse by using my pattern, please share with me on facebook, instagram, flickr, deviantart by using this hashtag #sewingwithunnie

HUNGARIAN SUBTITLE is available!

if you have any questions, please ask!:)

♥ Webpage/blog/shop: http://unniedolls.com
♥ Etsy Shop: http://unniedolls.etsy.com

My social sites:
♥ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/unniedolls
♥ Google+: https://plus.google.com/+unniedolls1
♥ VK: http://vk.com/unniedolls

♥ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/UNNiEDOLLS
♥ Tumblr: http://unniedolls.tumblr.com
 

Lashing Out Loud - Replacing those pesky eyelashes the easy way

Laurie Lenz, one of the jaw dropping repaint talents in the group The Repaint Society, has provided us with us awesome tutorial on eyelashes. 

I know that the majority of my ladies get crushed or missing eyelashes at one point or another - the downside to actually playing with my toys. Thankfully, it's not that hard to replace them and here's how:

What you need:

*Eyelashes...preferably a strip without glue on it. (Dollmore, or Volks sell them.)

*Aleene's Quik Dry Tacky Glue
(I recommend the Quik Dry, or you'll be waiting for FOREVER.)
(Never EVER EVER use Crazy Glue! It's from the devil.)

*Angled tweezers

*Angled scissors (that little piece of yarn is there to warn my family--"touch & die.")

*Toothpicks

*Damp Cotton Swab (not pictured.)

 

Hold your eyelash strip up to the doll's eye to get a rough estimate of how much you'll need.

Cut the section off the strip and gently roll your lash around a pencil to give it some curl.

Take the Quik Dry Tacky Glue and apply it to a toothpick.

(This is a water based glue.  If you ever want to remove the lashes, just wet a Qtip and dab on the lashes and they will come off. Never use any glue but a water based glue. )

Dot dot dot the glue from her tear duct to the center of her eye. (Do not go past the center.)

Apply tacky glue to half of the eyelash.

See that Q-tip? I always have a damp one there just in case I get some glue on my doll

so I can quickly wipe it off.

Allow to sit for a few seconds and then with your angled tweezers, place the lash against the eyelid -glue to glue.

With a clean toothpick, gently press the lash into place.

Go make a sandwich, waste time on Facebook, place a bid on a doll, or move your wash to the dryer, and allow the glue to dry.

Once the glue has set, press the eyelash down, so you can judge where it needs to end.

Pull the lash up gently, and cut to fit.

Pull the lash back and run a bead of glue on her upper lid, 

and run a bead of glue on the back of her eyelash.

With the clean toothpick, press down and position.

Allow the spider lady's eyes to dry.

Once they are dry, take your angled scissors and trim the lashes.

From ordinary to extraordinary. Love those lashes, Daphne!
Special thanks to Laurie Lenz for this tutorial. She the original below and check out all her other amazing work - seriously, check it out! 

http://etsylaurielenzangels.blogspot.com/2014/07/lashing-out-eyelash-tutorial.html

Making a custom wig - Not as hard as I imagined

I found this fantastic tutorial today and was mesmerized watching her. I'm sharing part 2 which is about placing the hair on the wig, I think making the cap is probably fairly simple and I'll leave it to you to go to her site and watch that one.  I really just wanted you all to see that it isn't as hard as you might think to make your own.

Of course, I probably never will as I'd prefer to pay someone else to do it, lol...BUT if I got crafty (though my crafting skills are really limited) I actually think I could pull this off. So who knows, maybe I'll get industrious one day and give it a shot ;)

Give this a watch and check out Unniedolls website for more. She does some fantastic mods and repaints.

REVEAL - the May Lookbook - Fashion Doll cover

Each issue of the STAND Lookbook will feature two variant covers. A bjd cover and a fashion doll cover. If you purchase a physical copy for your collection you will have the option of choosing whichever cover you'd prefer. 

The fashion doll cover of our first issue is by Dollcis. For those unfamiliar with Paul Pham and his Numina ladies, I highly recommend you take a peak!

Thanks so much Paul for contributing this image! If you'd like the chance to see your work featured on the cover of an upcoming issue click the CONTACT link at the top of the page to learn how. 

Matchbook nightstand

I stumbled upon this one and thought it was a fantastic idea and fairly simple to follow along.  I was finally able to trace it back to the original poster, who does some fantastic crafts, so be sure to check her out. (I'm also completely jealous of her nails, though I wouldn't be able to function - they are beautiful)