portion of the artwork for Didi Wood's comments

Didi Wood’s Comments

These photos do not depict a single storyline or actual characters from Law & Order, but rather suggest various facets of the overall theme of this issue, using dolls.

I’ve been collecting and photographing dolls for several years. I enjoy the challenge of capturing a glimpse of character or mood or story in a single photograph. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the next step from microfiction—from few words to no words. I was never very good at visual arts—more than one elementary-school art teacher wrung his/her hands over me—and my learning experiences within the large and friendly Flickr doll community have been rewarding and fruitful.

Photographing dolls is a lot like writing. The tools are different, but the process is similar and my goal is the same: to leave the viewer with an emotional impression, whether it’s a chuckle or a gasp. Getting the dolls and their clothes and props set up just right can take a long time, especially if it’s windy or rainy outside. Most of my dolls have oversized heads, so balance is tricky. Lighting is another issue—I don’t have a studio setup with fancy lights and shades, and I rely mostly on the sun, which in winter where I live is notoriously shy. Then there’s the question of perspective—what angle and distance will add emotional impact and—most important and elusive—transcend the plastic to bring each character to life? Finally, I use the free editing tools at Picnik.com to enhance each photo.

Most of the dolls pictured here are contemporary Asian art/fashion dolls: Blythe, Taeyang, Dal, and a tiny bald Puki Puki ball-joint doll. You’ll also see a vintage rattle doll by Knickerbocker, and a soup pot full of vintage Strawberry Shortcake dolls. The clothing, accessories, and props are from Barbie, Bratz, Re-ment, and other doll and miniature lines, along with some handmade items from Etsy and some people-sized items.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 27 | Law & Order Issue | Winter 2010