Part One:
Doll Photography Equipment


The Camera:

I guess it goes without saying that in the catagory of doll photography equipment, the most basic is your camera. Not all cameras are alike and you don't need to go overboard in expenses to take nice pictures. The following photos were taken with 3 totally different cameras. It is important to get a good camera, but it’s just as important to get to know your camera once you have it. This takes a little reading and some experimentation, which is worth the effort it takes to understand the basics of how your photography equipment operates.

Doll photo samples Nikon, Sony, HP

The number of megapixels your camera is capable of taking photos with is a feature you want to be aware of. Most digital cameras nowadays are 5 to 12 megs or above. It’s one of the first things you look for when looking at the new cameras on the market. I usually use the highest jpg setting on my camera. You can always make the photograph smaller, but you can’t make it bigger once it’s taken without compromising the photo. Some cameras like the SLR (single-lens reflex) have a RAW setting, which typically is for the people that really know what they are doing and plan on making changes to the photos they take in Photoshop. The larger the size setting you use the less the number of photos your card can hold. The setting I typically keep my camera on is JPG Fine.

When I first got my camera, I used the auto setting probably 80 per cent of the time. Today, I rarely use it. I've gotten comfortable enough now with my equipment that I experiment with different settings all the time. If your auto setting is too bright, look for an exposure setting that will adjust how the auto setting can be darkened to suit your tastes.

Focus is one of the characteristics that you have to learn with your camera. I try to keep my camera set to focus in the middle of the frame and then I can offset the picture once I get the focus where I want it. Most digital cameras automaticly focus to some point and they can be set to act differently. Know where your camera is focusing before taking the picture. This will help you establish how you line up you photo in the eyepiece.

The Tripod:

“Camera shake” is any movement of the photography equipment while the aperture of the camera is open. This causes the photograph to be blurred. This is alleviated by the use of a tripod. I set my camera to take a 3-5 second “timed photo” in order to refrain from touching the camera while the aperature is open. This totally avoids any blurring while taking shots in low light situations or when using a zoom setting.

Doll photography sample of zoom and tri-pod

The other basic piece of doll photography equipment would be your photo editing software. I'll cover that in a separate chapter.

Photo Tutorial Part Two: Lighting

American Doll Outfitters Home Page