Welcome to all doll lovers! And also welcome to anybody who is not so much into dolls as I am.
Lets answer the first question, why dolls?
I can give the most simple answer to that question: just because they were there.
A few years ago, actually it was 2018, I bought some toys at a flea market. I bought them for my granddaughter who was coming to visit me with her parents. Thely lived in Bangkok at the time and were coming to the Netherlands for a couple of weeks.
I bought some kind of mystery box with had dolls and dolls clothes and some dinosaures. Well it turned out my granddaughter was not interested in any of the dolls or dinosaures. And after they went back to Bangkok I was looking at the dolls and put a fashion doll and a dino together as an unlikely couple. I posted this picture on my Instagram account A kitchen in Holland.
My tiny blond doll
I also found a very tiny doll in the mystery box. She had a cute face and blond hair. Soon after that first doll photo of the doll and the dinosaur, she made her first appearance on my Instagram account. Along with some of the plastic cats that were also in the mystery box.
And that was the start of the story of Margootje, as I decided to call her. After that first photo it turned out I was hooked to posting a picture from her life, almost daily, for a couple of years.
Long story short: Margootje met her boyfriend Oscar, on a blind date. It was love at first sight. They started living together, she got pregnant, they got married and had a baby.
Polly pocket doll
After some research I discovered my doll Margootje, was a Polly Pocket doll. And so I was able to find her some friends, furniture and other smaal things. But most of the furniture for the scenes I photographed her, I made myself because I didn t like the look of the plastic toys.
I learned so much photographing her in those days. About light, natural and artificial. About posing and about storytelling. And about set design, about crafting small furniture from cardboard. And about making tiny clothes.
And I loved interacting with my followers. They were very active in the comments and really cared for Margootje, her friend/husband Oscar and baby Belle.
The end of the daily posts
But at some point the daily posting became a chore. A task that had to be done and it became almost like a job I had to work on. The inspiration for the daily post was eluding me and so I had to take the very very hard descision to stop. And on March 15 2022 I posted the last post about this lovely couple.
Fashion doll photogarphy
While I was posting daily about my little blond Margootje I also started photographing the other dolls from the mystery box. Ther were larger dolls. Fashion dolls. Some Barbie dolls and other brands.
Some of those photos I posted on another Instagram account Dolls in my kitchen. Not daily posts, not a continuous story and not in Dutch.
The followers on that account are doll lovers who also post pictures of their dolls. And I learned that I was not the only, nor the oldest person to have a love for dolls.
Sewing clothes for these larger dolls was much easier than for my little Polly Pocket doll. But set building was harder because for instance a tiny wardrobe is quicker to build than on in 1:12 scale.
Selling doll photos
While learning a lot about photography I started to upload photos for sale. I used and use stock photography sites like Adobe stock. And most photos were accepted, but almost anytime I uploaded a photo of a doll it was rejected.
So I learned that it was not allowed to use Barbie dolls for commericial photos. And because of that, I guess, they reject photos of all dolls.
Then I made a few dolls myself. But entyering photos of those dolls also gave me trouble at stock photography sites. I needed to add a whitnessed signed declaration to prove that I made the dolls myself and so I had the right to sell photos of these dolls. And soon I decided that it was too much trouble.
My next idea was to sell photos of my dolls as wall art photos on Etsy. Digital downloads which makes it easy for me and the customer who buys my photos. They can downlod the photos immediateley and print them themselves or send them to a professional printshop.
And that is where I am now. Making and uploading doll photos, and other photos to my Etsy shop, also called Vannaweb.