The Art of Fashion Doll Photography and Blogging–Part 1: The Introduction
I promised people who were not able to make it to the NBDCC presentation I did this July that I would repeat sections of the presentation via the blog so her is first section.
I introduced the class with this video
Who am I?
Hello everyone. My name is Rebecca Berry and I am the creator, writer and photographer for Inside The fashion Doll Studio. It is a blog with around 1,000 subscribers and focuses primarily on 1/6 scale fashion dolls. First of all, I have to say a very quick and heartfelt “Thank You” to my readers and subscribers. Without all of you, I would not be here doing this so I thank you for your support and words of encouragement.
I am a self taught photographer which means I did not go to school for formal training as a photographer. I have been behind the lens of a camera for quite a while. In high school, I was the one typically behind the camera taking images of a friends sporting event and /or performance. When shooting I was usually most interested in capturing the relationship or emotion of the moment and not necessarily the action. I wanted a fun facial expression or quite moment of concentration before the long jump kind of image. When it was time for college, I never considered photography and instead studied an entirely different thing..number crunching and financial analysis LOL! A whole world away from photography, or so I thought. So how did I get here?
I am here today because first and foremost, I am like all of you…a collector. This is my eighth convention. I played with Barbie when I was younger and have many fond and happy memories from that but like many, when I hit my teens, I gave Barbie up for other things. Barbie was not done with me yet though…she came back into my life through this little munchkin….
How did I get Started Collecting?
This is my daughter Megan. When she was three years old she got her first Barbie for her birthday. It was a collector Barbie of all things and I said to myself “ Oh great…she is only three and she is going to trash it”. But she didn’t. She had other Barbies that she wanted to play with but the collector Barbie she considered “special” and put it on a shelf to look at.. and I thought “hmmmm…maybe this is something we can do together…like a Mommy/ daughter thing. We could collect every Birthday and Christmas”. So, I was a former financial analyst which means when I don’t know about something, I do research. I researched collector Barbies and found the Barbie Collector website. That is when I went down the rabbit hole .
While I may have started out researching for ideas of dolls to collect with my daughter, I soon realized that I was avidly looking through the images of amazing collectible Barbies for myself. I have always loved fashion and in particular fashion from the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. I found the Silkstone BFMC line ,in particular, very appealing and began to acquire those. That was thirteen years ago and I have no plans to stop.
My Photography Background
As I have said before, I am self taught. After many years of working in the shark tank of financial markets, I decided to stay at home with my kiddos while they were young. When you have little ones, you typically have “after school activities”. These activities had me picking up the camera again after years of neglect. Finding that love of capturing an images again was wonderful and after photographing a number of my daughters dance performances…I realized I wasn’t too bad at it. Again, it wasn’t necessarily about photographing the action ( although that was nice), it was more often about the emotion it conveyed. More importantly, it became more about showing these young and impressionable young girls the amazing work they were doing. It became a self image booster for them.
When I started photographing Megan in dance, she was at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School of dance which was the dance school arm of the professional ballet company in Seattle. Megan performed in their Nutcracker ballet for two years in a row. While there, I recognized a photographer whose work I had admired. Here name is Angela Sterling. She is a former soloist dancer with PNB who had to retire due to injury. When she left the company she realized there were very few images to show for her many years of hard work and decided to go into photography to give the dancers those images of “their best moments”. I loved that concept. Capturing someone’s best moment. I wanted to do this for my daughter and the young girls she danced with. I wanted them to have the opportunity to see themselves at their best dance moments. I wanted to improve my craft so I could do that in the way it should be done…with the best of my ability.
While improving my photography skills and knowledge, I was also collecting. I became involved in the very vibrant collecting community that surrounds this amazing hobby and was noticing how the field of photography was helping to drive some very popular doll forums…and I wanted to be a part of that. I was always interested in fashion and some of my very first photography inspirations were images from Vogue and Harpers Bazaar from the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. I loved pouring over images from noteworthy photographers such as Horst, Cecil Beaton, Irving Pen, Richard Avedon and Norman Parkinson.
Within the doll photography community, there was one photographer whose work I admired and really tried to emulate. His use of lighting, composition and styling is just exquisite. His work never fails to inspire me even to this day. His name is Ernesto Padró Campos. His doll photography blog is treasure trove of beautiful images.
If I can be as good as this someday…I will be happy.
So that wraps up the introduction. For the next couple of months, each and every Friday, I will be continuing the series. Here is a preview of the overall presentation
Within doll photograph basics, I will talk about.
Within doll blogging, I will talk about.
Hope you all enjoy and see you next Friday! Feel free to ask questions with each post and I will try my best to keep up with responses.