My Photography…..so far, Pt. 2

My photography improved as I began to create more illusion with intentionally created walls and floors.  I consider them props just like the rugs, furniture and plants.  It’s important to create them so they lay flat when not in use and can be mixed and matched.  I would recommend creating a “base wall”.  This is like the “bones” of your set.  It keeps the wall standing up straight and not falling over on the dolls, and allows you to shift the whole set as needed to get optimal light.

I frequently use my bookcases as a base wall because they’re so sturdy, but you can easily make one with common tools.  For the purposes of this demo, it took about less than ten minutes to make this since I had the materials on hand.  It’s simply a piece of foam board to which I attached small feet, also created from foam board.  The feet are removable (so it will lie flat), since they’re only attached with straight pins, which easily slide into the foam (below).  You can see one pin at the top and one at the bottom.  If you’re not worried about space, you could also hot glue them permanently into place.  This base wall measures 29 inches wide and 25 inches tall.  My cutting table is 57 inches wide and by turning it at an angle to my window, or letting the bookshelves hang off a little on each side, I can get up to 60 inch wide shots.  My bookcase is 29.5 inches tall, but can extend it upward with little wall extensions if I want to.

Now, you can start to place any one of the several beautiful floors you’ve created up next to it. Then lay one of your wall textures against it vertically (temporarily held in place with pins or tape, see second photo close up, below).  Voila!  You have the basic set ready to adorn with accessories.  A small piece of moulding (not shown) spray painted gives the appearance of a base board, adding realism.  Setting the stage is much like getting dressed in the morning.  You want lots of options that you can mix and match and accessories to make it pop.

My architectural prints wall was first covered in fabric and the prints permanently applied.  Fixing them permanently is a good idea if you have a collection……I love collections.  But, if you’ve worked hard creating a beautiful wall, or it’s a beautiful color of poster board and you don’t want to make a permanent hole in it or risk pulling the color off with tape, here’s what I do.  Rather than metal wire or twine, use clear wire commonly used for beading and jewelry making, or fishing line.   For the purposes of this demonstration, I’ve used a black twine.  Otherwise you couldn’t see it and would think I was bonkers!

The twine was looped through the little metal attachment on the back (I purchased this frame at a hobby craft store on sale). Several knots can be tied in it to allow you to hang it at various levels and it’s simply secured with a pin stuck down into the foam board  at the top of your base wall.  The clear jewelry thread doesn’t show at all in the photos.  I’m using 1/8 inch foam board which seemed sturdy enough.  If your picture frame is not too heavy, a pair of magnets works wonders without marring the wall surface.  Super glue one magnet to the top back of the frame and then position the other directly across from it on the back side of the base wall.  It stays up like magic and is easy to move up and down.

So here’s the base wall with the floor and the picture.  A really realistic scene coming together and haven’t even thrown in accessories!  Let’s add a rug and plant next. The rug is a nice piece of upholstery fabric…..very nice.

Now put in all the other little items that make you and your doll happy and we have the un-cropped finished look, followed by the cropped version.

In hindsight, probably should have lowered the painting to a lower knot on the chain, but……..I’d already broken down the set (takes about 30 seconds) and couldn’t reshoot it…….but this is how I’m currently creating realistic scenes for my stuff.   I like the way the small size of this set cuts off the floor, the pot, the chair & the painting.  It looks like we’re looking in on a private moment.  Shooting from an even lower level might have been interesting….and this is the problem….you can never get it quite right….so you never get it done….and you never stop having fun and being creative!  What luck!

Developing my vision of the scene in my mind and doing a little sketch on paper is a time saving practice.  Drawing it helps more idea flow to you.  You don’t have to be a great artist…..just a sketch is helpful.  I hope this has sparked your imagination or convinced you that great idea you had two months ago just might work.  Thank you so much for reading.

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