I have a series of shots of my husband from our hikes titled “Bob, dwarfed by nature” where he appears very small against enormous mountains, waterfalls, etc.
For my dolls, however, I don’t have to get out of the backyard before they’re made to look as small as, well, they are.
Here, for example, is Daisy dwarfed by grass
and by pebbles
Here are my various tween dolls surrounded by pine needle roughly the size of swords.
All of this makes it very difficult to just take my dolls outside and take a picture of them. As soon as I get them out of the house and away from the tiny things made just for them, they appear . . . doll size. I briefly considered writing a story where they were actually their own size, but they seemed so real that I wanted to place their adventures in the real world.
There appears to be a whole art form of photographing your doll outside – I take these examples from Flickr where there’s an entire group dedicated to just photographing dolls outdoors.
Here’s the rough range of solutions, from that Flickr group.
Blur the background
Photoshop them into an outdoors picture
Photograph them on natural materials that scale well, like moss and rocks
Photograph them so far away from the object that the scale seems OK.
Just make the scale work for them
Or pose them on top of something that’s to scale (I think this is tiny fake grass) and use the real scale objects as a backdrop
The very fine Elgin Park uses this”tiny world in front of the real world” style
The only other method I’ve seen seems so complex that I don’t think I can pull it off – building an entire world to scale and letting the characters move around in it. It’s what stop motion animation does. The only casual photographer I’ve seen using it is the Marwencol photos.
I’ve toyed with an idea that I haven’t seen much in doll photos – some combination of real and drawn objects. This blog post is an example of the opposite – all of the objects are 3d, except for the main character, who is a 2d paper cut out.
So, something like that, but in reverse, and with the “real” real world as a backdrop.
The dolls are heading outdoors, using one or probably a combination of all of these methods, and we’ll see how it turns out.