Saturday, 31 January 2015


My Tudor dollhouse is featured in the Dolls House World magazine.

I have published twenty academic books, two novels, two picturebooks, a cookbook, a computer manual, some short stories, several translated books, a memoir, two hundred academic articles, two hundred other articles and reviews. I have been interviewed by major newspapers in Sweden, the UK and elsewhere, and by scores of less major and very obscure newspapers and magazines all over the world; by radio and TV and websites.

But I am tremendously excited about two pages in Dolls House World.

Someone from one of my dollhouse Facebook groups approached me some time ago saying that she liked the stuff I was making and would I be interested to let her write a feature.

Now again, I am used to people approaching me about Winnie-the-Pooh, or young adult dystopia, or Twilight, or strong female characters, or suitability of death in picturebooks, or translations of Alice in Wonderland into Russian, or the proper way to cook buckwheat. But I am not used to being asked about my humble hobby, least of all for a glossy magazine where famous miniaturists display their magnificent work. But I see the point of writing about ordinary people and their projects, because the majority of the magazine's readers aren't famous or brilliant.

Anyway, to be interviewed is not a problem, but taking good quality pictures is not as easy as you might imagine. Taking good pictures of dollhouse interiors is very difficult. It's ok for Facebook and even a blog, but for a magazine they should preferably be really good. Luckily, my youngest son is a film-maker and knows all about taking good pictures. I have always known that in order to get one decent shot you need to take at least fifty, and these days, with digital cameras, it is less tedious and costly than it used to be. But the biggest challenge with dollhouses is light. You need strong, but soft light, and no shadows. Two years ago I bought a light tent which has been indispensable for taking pictures of single objects. Highly recommended.

But you cannot put a whole dollhouse into a light tent. I had to create a light-tent effect and use some of the tricks professional photographers use, without professional equipment. What I eventually did was place the dollhouse facing a white wall and use several strong lamps from the sides so that the light reflected from the wall into the dollhouse. I didn't have a tripod, I and used my phone, holding it very steadily against a chair. I took about twenty pictures of each room, and I could pick a good shot in each series. Obviously, they were good enough to use in the magazine.

(I have had photos published in newspapers and magazines before. But not photos requiring special lighting).

Like all good stories, this one is not quite accurate. But only a few people will know.

No comments:

Post a Comment