Thursday, February 5, 2015

Stop the Props

At times, this hobby can be time consuming. For somebody with a full-time job and who is technically the head of the family, it can get overwhelming sometimes. My training has taught me that when things get overwhelming, one should learn how to break things down, to keep them simple.

Some of the most time consuming areas of this hobby are (1) storytelling (2) making dresses (3) styling (4) taking pictures and (5) making props and dioramas. After breaking things down, one should prioritize. Storytelling went out the window a long time ago, although it creeps back in from time to time. I had to figure out in which area I really wanted to improve. I decided it's the dress making. Dolls can be beautiful even with a crappy background, right? Making dresses is more fulfilling with the right styling, in my opinion, so styling stays. And don't expect me to let go of taking pictures when I'm willing to spend more on a camera than a smart phone. Making props and dio finally has to be cut to a minimum.

Still, I wanted my doll photos to have an appropriate background and Photoshopping is not an option since it also takes a lot of time. My  interest in action figures lead me to a photo in Flickr that showed how to have an interesting background with minimal set up and clean up time (as cleaning up is also time consuming).

If you know how to display image files on a big enough TV or LCD screen, then it will be easy.  The screen will serve as a digital background, a sort of video wall. Another toy blogger wrote about it here. The solo pictures of my Life in the Dream House dolls in the previous entries all have digital background. All you need is the floor to be installed. The tricky part is lighting the scene such that the camera does not capture unwanted reflections from the screen.

I usually download suitable backgrounds on my phone during a commute or any waiting time or while in bed trying to make myself fall asleep. Not only did this cut down the time I need to take pictures, it also cuts down the toys I wanted to buy. Having less props also means I need less storage space. It's a win-win-win solution, if you asked me.

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