Doll Photography Tips: Let's Talk Lighting

6:37 AM

I have had a few requests to do photography pointers here on da' blog.
So why not?

The first thing you need for photography is a camera. (hopefully it was obvious enough) Now in the dollie instagram world, there is a lot of controversy about this subject. For those of you that don't know this, I'm going to tell you in hopefully the nicest way possible:

The doll iPhone photographers often get angry at the DSLR (fancy camera) photographers claiming that there photos are just as good and you don't need a nice camera to do doll photography. Bla bla bla. Then they also get mad because the DSLR people have more followers, etc.

What is my side on this?

Honestly, I have no idea. I myself started out with iPhone photography, so I do feel some sympathy for these girls.

But cameras do matter. You also need some decent photography skillz.
I recommend starting with something nice, simple. When I swapped over to my DSLR, it was like woah, this is complicated. So, I suggest starting simple and working your way up!

All my photography is trial and error, so I will share what I have learned. 

One of the things in my most recent photoshoot that I really struggled with was lighting. As you can see in the photo above, it's a little too sunny. Now, I can easily edit this to get the perfect look, but if I'm going for SOOC (straight out of camera) then this wouldn't work. 

This one is a little bit better, to get the photo to be slightly darker I just turned my body a little bit. 
And that is often what changes the lighting, moving slightly. 

This one has good lighting. 


This picture above is focused on her bangs, rather than her face.  

Now, the camera is focused on her face, but it's a little dark. 

I moved slightly closer to get a better look. 

AHHH! TOO MUCH SUN! And, shadows are being cast on her face which is not good. 

Moving closer...Better? Hmm...maybe with a little bit of editing. This is not the best shot, but failure helps you learn. ;) 

Full- body shot! As you can see, there is not too much sun, and there are no shadows. I'd say the only flaw here is that you can see the fence of a neighbor. If I moved the camera more to the left, I could fix that. (I could also crop it) 

Now this photo is way, way, WAY too much sun. 

I moved a little farther down, and ta-da! 

Here is a nice photo of Mia- full focused! 

I tried to re-take the photo (I often take multiple of one shot), and it was totally OUT OF FOCUS! I don't even know what this was focused on

Here is a lovely photo of Caroline. 

I tried to move a little, so you saw more of her face but the sun did not like that. 

Sometimes even after you get a good shot, and try to make it even better, it turns out bad. 

I hope these helped! Is there anything you want me to give you tips on (photography wise)? 


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6 lovely comments

  1. Yes, getting the right lighting can suck sometimes :) The good thing about a nicer camera is that it can sort of fix the lighting a little bit in your picture, unlike how phone cameras are more prone to exaggerate shadows and contrast. The one thing I'd add is that cloudy, overcast, days are best, as they even out lighting and help prevent shadows and such.
    Thanks for the post!

  2. Awesome tips! Your a great photography! :)

  3. Your photography is really good! When I started taking pictures, I didn't know squat. You can tell too, if you go all the way back to the first few posts of my blog ( Even with a DSLR, I'm still learning! I'm no expert at pictures. ;-)
    One thing I would recommend to any photographer is using Manual mode if you don't already. You have to take more shots with different settings, but you can control the pics better. :-P

    ~Mama Hen

  4. Hi!, this is Zoë from I use my iPad for taking pictures because my camera doesn't take very good ones. What type of camera do you use? Thanks! Zoë


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