~previously American Girl Imagination

~previously American Girl Imagination~

Monday, September 8, 2014

Doll Photography Tips #2: Reflecting light.

So, over a year ago, I tried to start a photography tips series. Didn't work out to well, because I haven't done one since.
But, I feel as if I've given you enough photoshoots recently, so here are some photography tips!

My last tip was bad lighting vs. good lighting.

My next tip?

 Look at these images. What do you notice about it? The background is nice, her hair, fine, nice dress. "What's wrong with them, just put them on Instagram already!" You may be saying.
 But wait, she's got some funky shadows on her face, especially  in the photo to the right.

Now, what can you do to fix that? Sure, if you had mad photoshop skills, you may be able to doctor it up a bit.
 Shooting at a different times of day may eliminate some of those shadows, but it may create more. Moving yourself to a different spot, or into the sunshine may change those shadows, but for this tutorial purpose, lets say that  the background is perfect, composition is perfect, (I'll talk about those things hopefully in a later tip) and you're surrounded by an army of snakes in ugly sweaters. This is the only place you can take the picture. You can't move!

What do you do?
Run into the kitchen and grab some tin foil!

 See? Much better. The tin foil acts like a trampoline, or a mirror to the incoming background light. It reflects that light  onto her face.  Tin foil is a great way to blast away those nasty shadows, and bring out the details in the dolls face, and can help your camera focus better on the doll's features. (or humans, for that matter.)
Now, not all shots need a reflector. Sometimes, shadows are your friend, like in this shot. I think it looks much cooler with the shadows on her face. It adds to the seriousness of the shot.
But then there's photos like these, where everything is jussttt righttt.... but the dolls face is shadowed, gray, and unfocused due to the amount of light in the back. Had I used a reflector, this shot might have looked much better.

There's my tip for the day!
Hope this helps. Comment below if you use tin foil as a reflector, or if you're less cheap than me and actually own a real one. ;o)


  1. Replies
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  2. WOW! I never knew that. very cool. thanks!

  3. Wow cool! BTW- do you wanna follow my blogs? addy'sartworld.blogspot.com and arebel4everafter.blogspot.com!

    1. I've seen your art blog before, I forget how I found it, but you're an incredible artist, and I love all the stories you come up with, they're all really cool!!

  4. Nice tips. Thank you. Never thought of using the tin foil.

    1. It's really great in a pinch... especially if you haven't bought real reflectors.

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