5 tricks to find inspiration | Doll Photography

Today I’m not giving you the fish, today I’ll teach you to fish. Many times I show how to take a specific photo or a Photoshop edit, but now I’ll go to the origin.

How do we find inspiration to create a new and original images? Here are my tips to develop your imagination!

1. Read

Forget Pinterest.

Read a good book. Discover new worlds, read fantasy. Write down sentences that you like or those ones you think may be a good idea if they’re represented in a photo.

Failing this, if you don’t like to read or don’t have time, watch many movies, series or anime. And don’t stay in the basics: open yourself to new genres, topics and countries.



In short, find a story that surprises you (not a simple entertainment) and that will make you think.

Ok, don’t forget Pinterest, it’s a good tool lol But you know, reading will activate your mind a lot more💡

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2. Write the story of your doll

I’ve learned and adopted this from the BJD world. All my dolls have a history and personality: some are more basic and others are deeper.

What do they like? What do they hate? What’s their past? What amuses them?
This helps me a lot when taking pictures for two reasons:

1. It gives me ideas to recreate scenes that could happen to my doll. For me, the most important thing in a photo is the story. I’ll explain it in the following graphic:

  • The story is what’s happening in the image.
  • The photo quality refers to the lighting, composition, focus, etc.
  • And with “doll” I don’t mean the mold as such, but all the styling and pose of it.

I also enjoy a good and simple portrait without story, but if those 3 elements are on point, specially the story, it’ll be a perfect doll photography.

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2. Following the “guide” of the history of my dolls creates continuity. Everything makes sense and the characters are more authentic (and thus more memorable).

Anyway, I’m not strictly following it since it would leave no room for experimentation and fun trying new things, but I do always that I can.

doll photography

doll photography

doll photography

3. Participate in Doll Photography contests

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↑ I submitted this photo to the Ldoll Festival Doll Photography contest in 2016 (it won 2nd place) but it was chosen as the main visual of the 2018 Ldoll Festival ♡ Participating in these contests motivates and inspires me to the full!

Photography contests are life 😆. First, because they usually give you the theme and sticking to it makes you squeeze your brain, and second, because healthy competition is great to make an effort and go a step further. In addition, they create community and you can learn from other’s work.

Among the most famous competitions are Figure Photo Studio contest (for figures, Nendoroid and Figmas) and for dolls, photography contest are usually held more locally at events such as the Ldoll Festival, in Lyon, or at your nearest doll event.

4. Play tabletop role-playing games

Do you play or have you ever tried a pen-and-paper role-playing game? Great!

Have you never played? What are you waiting for buying a book and gather some friends!

For me, this point is closely related to #2, because the creation and interpretation of characters is also practiced here. In fact, in the BJD world is common to play the characters of their dolls, or vice versa, to customize a doll a character they’ve played.

It’s also a bit related to point #1, since (and this is on a personal level) I don’t know why, but when I remember an old role campaing, in my mind I imagine it just like when I remember the story of a book I read. It’s funny, isn’t it? Does it happen to you?

That’s why I recommend tabletop role-playing games (Pathfinder, D&D, Vampire, rpg in forums… the one you like the most), as it’s the most creative and fun kind of game I can recommend for you to unleash your imagination.

5. Nothing comes from nothing.
Creativity can be trained.

azone miu

There’s a video I want you to see. They recommended it to me recently and I love how it illustrates the creative process and demystifies it. It’s called “Everything is a remix” and, although it may seem pessimistic at first, it’s the opposite. It explains how human beings create new things in a simple way through imitation, transformation and combination. But hey, it’s better that you see it yourself, 100% recommended!

So, what’s explained there can be applied to everything in life, and also to the Doll Photography.

► If you are stuck and don’t know what to photograph, try to imitate some image that you like, then another, and then another one but now changing the color palette, for example. This way you’ll enter into a dynamic of trying out new lighting, angles, compositions and so on that will take you out of your comfort zone and give your creativity more tools. Of course, if you decide to publish these practices do not forget to give credit to the author of the original work 😉

Little by little and following these 5 tips you’ll have more facility to generate new ideas! There are many more tricks to train creativity and inspiration, but these five are the ones that I apply the most to Doll Photography.

I hope this was useful! 😊 And if you know some other tricks that you want to share, leave them in the comments below, it will be of great help!!

doll skates

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