Barbie for big girls.

The Elyse Portrait – Behind the Scenes

Since the announcement of these 10th Anniversary dolls by Jason Wu over a year ago, I thought it would be so cool to do an Annie Leibovitz style group shot of all the dolls.  During the past year of releases and all the stress and uncertainty that can come with trying to purchase a super limited edition size collectable, I doubted this idea would ever come to fruition.  I was ok with that.  I can’t tell you how many great photo ideas I have had that have not and will not ever come to pass. 

Through the help of friends and fellow collectors, I was able to procure each of the 6 special limited edition dolls from this past year.  With that accomplished, my mission was now set…time to do a group shot with all of these lovely ladies.  I did research on Ms Leibovitz’s lighting style and composition.  I have been a fan of her work for many, many years and was so very honored to take one of her master classes this past year.  It was time to put that knowledge to work.

©2018 Inside The Fashion Doll Studio-The Elyse Portrait - Behind the Scenes

Figuring out composition can be the most difficult job of a shoot.  I’m not going to lie…this part took a couple hours and some outside consult from my good friend Rogier of Dutch Fashion Doll World.

©2018 Inside The Fashion Doll Studio-The Elyse Portrait - Behind the Scenes

The above composition was my first attempt.  After consult (Thanks Rogier!!) and more thinking, I finally settled on this set up

©2018 Inside The Fashion Doll Studio-The Elyse Portrait - Behind the Scenes

The next step was to get the right lighting.  Annie Leibovitz’s group shots always have everyone in the group lit so well.  I found out…she composites them….meaning…she shoots smaller groups then stitches them together in Photoshop.  I considered doing that here and I almost did…but found that I had a small enough group that I felt I could light it adequately.  I used a mixture of natural sunlight and 1-2 soft box lights.  I shot with a Canon 5D Mark III and a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Prime lens. 

©2018 Inside The Fashion Doll Studio-The Elyse Portrait - Behind the Scenes

©2018 Inside The Fashion Doll Studio-The Elyse Portrait - Behind the Scenes

And the final result after post processing. 

©2018 Inside The Fashion Doll Studio-The Elyse Portrait - Behind the Scenes

Hope you enjoyed the behind the scenes loot at how this image came together.



16 responses

  1. lovindollz

    Absolutely perfection, Rebecca!!!


    February 13, 2018 at 6:11 am

  2. dal

    Super fantastic! Love all of them. Your photo is superb!

    February 13, 2018 at 6:13 am

    • Thank you my dear! Glad you enjoyed!

      February 14, 2018 at 9:31 pm

  3. Brigitt Rok

    Rebecca, your are incredibly talented! I love seeing your photos. They are inspiring and always beautiful. Your photos bring a smile to my face. With admiration, Brigitt

    February 13, 2018 at 7:43 am

    • Aww!! Thank you so much Brigitt! I am glad you enjoy the blog and my photos!

      February 14, 2018 at 9:32 pm

  4. Rebecca,
    There is a tremendous amount of skill and talent that went into these photos !!
    They definitely do justice to these beautiful Elyses 😉 X

    February 13, 2018 at 8:07 am

    • Coming from you…this is indeed a compliment. Thank you my dear!

      February 14, 2018 at 9:32 pm

  5. This is so awesome!!! I love it. What did you use for the backdrop and how did you set that up? My parents are getting me the Annie Leibovitz Master Class for my birthday in April. I can’t wait to take it. She is an amazing photographer. I tried to recreate her Whoopi Goldberg one with milk and bathtub but using candy instead. It turned out ok.

    February 13, 2018 at 10:19 am

    • Thank you so much Heather! The backdrop was one I made myself…actually a number of them as this was a large group. I used a stand in the back used for desktop photography and I found it on Amazon
      Photography is all about attempting to reach that image that is in your head. I strive to get there with each frame and rarely do…but sometimes I get close ;-). We just keep trying.

      February 14, 2018 at 9:40 pm

  6. Denise Travers

    Love this! Fantastic idea. Amazing photograph!

    February 13, 2018 at 11:50 am

    • Thank you so much Denise!!

      February 14, 2018 at 9:40 pm

  7. Looks really beautiful, and I agree that Annie Leibovitz’s photography is inspirational. It is not easy to photograph tiny plastic models with unexpected points of reflection where you least expect them.

    February 13, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    • Thank you! Yes! There are so many things that you would think would be easy about photographing dolls…but in reality, it isn’t.

      February 14, 2018 at 9:41 pm

  8. Diane Johnson

    Fascinating!! How amazing would a master class be with THE Annie Lebowitz!! The results are spectacular!!

    February 13, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    • Thank you so much Diane! Yes, the class was very inspirational.

      February 14, 2018 at 9:42 pm

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