I am an amateur at doll photography, but I love it. It’s fun, and it gives me something creative to do that doesn’t “matter” in terms of my career. No, actually, it does matter, because I sell photography and all photography improves my skills. Photography is my side career. Writing is my life.
I finally got shoes for my Tonners. These ladies are an ongoing project. I was only able to afford them because they were both sold nude (the sellers removed their original outfits to sell separately to try to make more money) and they both have rooted hair (no wigs to buy.) Their official names are Lizette and Miette. I renamed the Justine and Vivian. Justine is the younger-looking doll in the blue dress. When I saw this Miette, I had to have her because she has cinnamon-colored hair like the character Vivian in my Empire State Vamps series, and she has brown eyes. After I got Justine and saw her lifelike amber eyes and long eyelashes, I didn’t think I’d like a doll with painted eyes and eyelashes. But I LOVE Vivian/Miette. She looks like my character as a young woman, before she became a vampire.
In my books, Vivian’s 17-year-old daughter was murdered, so she feels a strong motherly instinct towards girls Justine’s age. (But this is all just immature adults playing dolls, right?) I’ve had Justine since January. Since she arrived with no clothes, I had to dress her, and I got SUPER lucky and found an Ebay seller in my state who collects Tonners and makes gorgeous outfits for them for $10-$13. She even made a nightgown to my specifications. Over the last three months, I’ve bought several dresses from her, and we got to chatting. She’s 60. She collects the dolls for her granddaughter, and she makes the clothes to supplement her income. (Again, totally immature adults playing with dolls.)
It was sort of a destiny thing. I had already bought Justine’s long blue frock, and then the seller posted the same dress in a different color and pattern. I wasn’t going to buy it . . . until I found the Miette. And I thought how vampire Vivian loves clothes and would have loved to do the matchy-matchy thing with her daughter. So I bought the matching dress. And I bought underwear and stockings from TheDaughterWhoSews on Etsy, and just last week I bought shoes from Facets by Marcia.
I’ve always collected dolls. I’ve never had the kind of dolls you buy wardrobes for, and accessories, and create “bedrooms” for on your nightstand. I’ve never had dolls that had real personalities. They’re like children–but vampire Vivian would drain me dry if she knew I said that about her.
I’ve been so busy with work lately that I have had almost no time to work on my books. My only relaxation has been Justine and Vivian. I took Instagram pics, of course, but tonight I took some shots with my “real” camera, my Canon Powershot SX20IS. I liked the color shot so much that I took another in sepia, then used the camera’s photo editing software to up the saturation.
So this is what many grown-up doll collectors do. I hope that you like the pics and that you understand doll collectors a little bit better.