Posted in Aimeraidoll, BJD, Buu, doll adventure, doll photography, graphic novel, Jinjur, miniature adventure, miniature photography, miniatures, Mudoll, photo novel, Photography, Photoshop, toy adventure, toy photography, toys, Underfoot

Underfoot Episode 4: Mathilde and Cosette make a friend

Posted in Aimeraidoll, BJD, Buu, doll adventure, doll photography, graphic novel, Jinjur, miniature adventure, miniature photography, Mudoll, photo novel, Photography, Photoshop, toy adventure, toy photography, Underfoot

Underfoot: A night in the shop

After being turned away from the hotel in their last episode, Jinjur and Buu take to the streets to find some place to stay the night.

Jinjur and Buu trudge through the snow, looking for a place to spend the night.

But the big world is not a safe place for little things

Jinjur and Buu come face to face with a cat.
Jinjur and Buu drop everything and run.

Looking for a place to stay, they spot a shop.

Jinjur and Buu spot a shop across the street.
Jinjur and Buu peer into the shop window.
A bulldog peers out of the shop window.
Jinjur and the bulldog lock eyes.

And use the mailslot to scramble in

Jinjur lifts Buu into the mailslot.
Jinjur scrambles into the mailslot.
Jinjur, Buu, and the bulldog meet in the shop.

Suddenly, they hear a sound and run for a place to hide

They hear a noise and dive into a nearby drawer.
And manage to hide just in time before the shop owner enters the room.

Once the shop owner leaves for the night, they exit the sewing drawer with their new-found goods

Rummaging around the drawer, Jinjur finds an object she fashions as a spear.
while Buu suggests a use for a bow they found.

As it starts to turn light, they gather their belongings and their new friend and make their way back to the streets.

Realizing it’s turning light and the shop will soon be opening, they gather their belongings and jump back out through the mailslot.
And take a quick nap on the sidewalk before continuing on their journey


This may be more pictures than I’ve ever taken for an episode – I really wanted to give them some space to explore, and I wanted to drag out some scenes – like the first encounter with the dog.

And, I managed to finally get my husband into one of the shots 🙂

Posted in Aimeraidoll, BJD, Buu, doll photography, Jinjur, miniature photography, Mudoll, Photography, Photoshop, toy photography, Underfoot

Taking action shots of inanimate objects

I’ve spent more hours than I’d care to guess trying to prop up my figures for motion shots. For my fashion dolls – all four of the My Doll Adventure figures – I rely on some kind of stand. For my ball-joint dolls – all of the characters in the Underfoot and Up Above stories, I’d try to keep them balanced while carefully getting them into the position I need.

I still do this if I’m going to use my own background – either a dollhouse room, a diorama, or the great outdoors. But, I no longer try to pose my dolls upright for the majority of my photoshopped action shots.

Instead, I realize that I get far more realistic shots by laying the dolls down and photographing them from above.

Here are a few examples from the episode of Underfoot that I’m working on.

Here’s the finished shot of the “The chase”

and here’s the setup I photographed:

and then I Photoshopped it onto a copyright free image from Pexel. It’s so much easier to pose them this way. Not only can i get the details of their posture right, I can also arrange their hair so that it seems to be streaming out behind them.

In another scene, I have the girls climbing into a mail slot.

Here’s the original scene:

and here they are, again photoshopped onto a Pexel image:


Some shots require that I photograph them with the dolls standing up, like this shot of them trudging through the city:

Once I have objects in different planes, like Jinjur’s suitcase or Buu’s bag, it’s just too much work to photograph them all separately and then put them together. So, I set up both dolls on the carpet, each on a sheet of plexiglass, to give them an even surface, and then spent forever getting everything in right position without toppling them all over like dominoes.

Jinjur and Buu are about to get into lots of adventures, navigating the big city, which will give me a lot of time to perfect my non-action action shots.

Posted in Aimeraidoll, BJD, Buu, doll adventure, general discussion, graphic novel, Jinjur, miniature adventure, Mudoll, photo novel, toy adventure, Writing

(Doll) character development

I entered doll adventure land through a side door – somewhere between play and play therapy – so many of the building blocks of photography, miniatures, and writing are unfamiliar to me.

Because I could see their effects in every shot, I focused my learning on photography and miniatures. But, as I start to branch out into new adventures, I’m really seeing the gaps in my story-telling abilities. So, this week, in my mini-adventure land of Underfoot, I’m working on character development.

My Doll Adventure has mostly believably static characters. Most of Rosie’s development lies in front of her, and most of Lily’s lies behind. In the few months in which we capture them, they’re understandably unchanging. Camellia’s most drastic change happens right before the story begins – before she puts her foot on that boat. We’ll catch up with her at the moment in which she has to make a decision and a drastic change, but won’t know her well enough at that point to understand who she was before that night when we first meet.

Daisy, though, *should* have changed and grown during the adventure. It’s really a complete oversight on my part that she hasn’t – that there’s no moment when she really grasps that following the call to adventure means giving up the Daisy she’s known and becoming the Daisy-to-be. Some of that is because she was carrying so much of the weight of the developing plot that it just consumed her own development, but most of it is because I got so distracted with other things that I couldn’t see that I needed to dedicate some time to allowing her to grow into her new character.

I’d thought, right up until this week, that I’d work on the final version of my doll adventure right after I finished posting the draft – in a few months from now. Now I can see that there’s so much that I don’t even know that I don’t know that I should take a year or two to learn before I try a more final form.

Which is all to say that Jinjur, unlike Daisy, is going to change during the Underfoot adventures, starting in this, her second episode. It’s possible that Buu will, as well, down the road. But right now, it’s Jinjur who has to adjust to her new understanding of the world. The world, it turns out, is not a place where two 1/6 scale dolls can walk into a hotel, hand over an eyeball, a bag of playmobile coins, and a dime, and get a room for the night.

And, as she learns in this episode, the world is a dangerous place for little things. And it will take a different Jinjur to navigate this world.

Posted in Aimeraidoll, BJD, Buu, doll adventure, doll photography, graphic novel, Jinjur, Mudoll, photo novel, Photography, toy adventure, toy photography, Underfoot

Underfoot: First night

Jinjur and Buu arrive in the city, and try to find a place to stay for the night.

Jinjur rings the bell for service . . .
. . . digs around in her suitcase . . .
. . . hands over all of her valuables . . .
. . . and finds herself tossed out onto the street with nowhere to go.
Posted in Buu, Ester, Jinjur

How much is that doggy in the (browser) window?

or how many 1/6 scale bulldogs does it take to fill a diorama?

I’m generally pretty thrifty in my doll and diorama purchases. With the exception of the main character dolls, I get almost everything else on the way cheap – Dollar Store, Goodwill, and Aliexpress. But, sometimes, I get some jones for a particular thing, and I just start buying them in crazy, inexplicable multiples.

That’s what happened this week with bulldogs.

I love dogs – both real and 1/6 scale. My rule is: a dog for every doll, and a dog in (almost) every shot. But my tastes in dogs run towards herding dogs (I have a cattle dog, the dog before that was a cattle dog, a collie before that, and two Belgian sheepdog, in sequence, before that.) The bulldog is not a dog I’ve given a great deal of thought. I like them, in principal, in the way that I like every dog, but they’ve never really held my attention.

Then, the other day at Goodwill, I got a little ceramic bulldog in a dog bed.

The dog looked great with Jinjur, who is decidedly dog lacking.

But, this dog can only sleep. For a doll that lives on the street, that seems like a big disadvantage. Surely, at times, the dog will need to stand up.

So, I went looking for 1/6 scale bulldogs. I looked first at ball joint dolls, but they’re just crazy expensive. I’m not gong to spend $400 to get a standing version of a $3 ceramic sleeping dog.

Fortunately, it turns out that bull dogs are very popular in the 1/6 scale action figure world. If an action figure has a dog, and that dog is not a German Shepherd, then it’s a bulldog. I guess it’s a guy thing. So, well, I bought a few bulldogs.

I got two sleeping french bulldogs (yes, I know they’re not a real bulldogs, but they were so dang cute.) These ones are magnets, and they were $2.50 each (and free shipping) on Aliexpress. (How Aliexpress vendors make money, I will never know.)

Since the two French bulldogs were still sleeping (exactly the problem I was trying, and failing, to solve) I had to get a standing French bulldog to go with them (still, not a real bulldog, but still pretty darn cute). This one was $4.20 on Aliexpress, also with free shipping.

So, now I’m only out $9 and, even though I haven’t actually solved my problem, I’ve not solved it very cheaply. Anyway, I saved so much money on the non-solution that I figured I could (kind of splurge) on a bulldog. I had about 4 different choices, so, naturally, I chose the cheapest one. Here’s the bulldog I got for $25.

I love his big glistening, begging eyes.

There are still at least two more bulldogs I have a wistful eye on, but I figure this ought to hold the girls for awhile. I’m going to give the bulldogs (lying and standing version) to Jinjur and give the smaller Buu the two (or really, three, with two different lying positions) french bulldogs.

I’d get a dog for Ester, but, first, she kind of has a friend coming (fingers crossed – her companion is several months overdue, which may mean some problem with the seller). And, for some reason, she just doesn’t strike me as the dog type. However, she has struck up a friendship with one of my Breyer horses.

Watching over all this dog-buying madness is my real doggy, in her window seat.