Friday, July 2, 2010


Inspiration comes in many forms. The artist draws on nature and fantasy -- the real and the imagined. The Sasha photographer has to imagine what a doll's reality might be. It is a challenge but a delightful one.
And inspiration also comes from fellow artists. I have been photographing Sasha dolls since the early 1970s when I first discovered them in a New York toy shop. My first inspiration was the photos on the back of the Trendon outfit packages and in the Trendon catalogs. That was when I first realized how realistic Sasha could look and how many ways there were to photograph her.
In recent years I have been inspired, charmed, and delighted by the work of other Sasha photographers. Each of these women have a distinct style and a very personal approach to photographing Sasha. Two use their skills to sell their Sasha fashions. One uses her skills to present dolls for adoption. And another uses her skills to delight us with images of her wonderful family of dolls.
Andrea of THE DOLL WORKS and Nikki of SASHA DOLL STYLE are both very talented fashion designers. They are also creative photographers who display their fashions in delightful and lifelike poses on their Sasha models. Andrea has even animated them in little online films and Nikki has created a wonderful garden story filled with dolls at play.
Shelly of SASHA DOLL UK has another type of photography genius. She has photographed hundreds of fantastic Sasha dolls that are available for adoption and with just four images she captures the personality and uniqueness of each doll. This is a rare talent and a great challenge which Shelly appears to have mastered. And I can personally attest to the success of her efforts because several of my models came from her.
And then there is Kendal from KENDAL'S SASHA BROOD -- a blog that amazes and delights me on a daily basis. Kendal has a true eye for posing Sasha dolls in the studio and on location. While her photos always bring the dolls to life it is her knack with accessories that always amazes me. Kendal uses props to tell stories and bring reality to each photo.
I learned a long time ago that it is not the camera or the extensive and expensive studio set-up that creates a wonderful photograph. It is the photographer's eye and how that eye sees the subject.
Perhaps the most impressive example of this idea is the world famous photographer, Marie Cosindas who, in 1962, accepted the challenge of creating beautiful images with a basic Polaroid camera. At the time, Polaroid was only used to make quick instant photographs. Cosindas and a dozen other famous photographers proved that it was the photographer, not the camera, that made great photos.
That idea has also been explored by the annual photography competition where only disposable cameras can be used.
Today even cell phones allow us to take high resolution images that can be printed out or manipulated in computer programs like Photoshop.
But no amount of technology, or the lack of it, can ever take a great photograph. That is still the domain of the photographer's eye.