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.
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.
The above composition was my first attempt. After consult (Thanks Rogier!!) and more thinking, I finally settled on this set up
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.
And the final result after post processing.
Hope you enjoyed the behind the scenes loot at how this image came together.