A Peek Inside Doll Photo Shoot!


Look Inside Doll Photo Shoot {with Bri and Zoey!}When Lulu wrote up the sweetest birthday post for me last month, she mentioned that I received American Girl’s Doll Photo Shoot as a gift! I’ve always loved these AG kits {Doll School still holds the spot of being my favorite}, so getting it was a wonderful surprise. With the help of our friends Bri and Zoey, I’ve written up my thoughts on the set, in case you are thinking of purchasing it yourself! Have you taken a look at Doll Photo Shoot or any of the other “Doll…” kits?

Doll Photo ShootTo begin, here is the front of the book! It is available on the American Girl website for $22 here, but you can also get it on Amazon for a little over fifteen dollars here. After taking an in-depth look at the contents of the kit, I think $22 is a bit much; you’re better off sticking with Amazon.

Doll Photo ShootPerhaps my favorite part of this set is the instructional book! You can never know too much on how to take a good picture, and even after taking a few classes on photography, I still learned new tips to use in our Doll Mag photoshoots. I appreciate that they simplified more technical terms so that anyone in AG’s intended age range could understand. A lot goes into photography, so the more it’s broken down, the better! Each page spread is formatted as shown above. On the left, the author{s?} explain one topic, such as taking portraits; also included are “pro tips,” which are fun to read through. On the right is a handful of practice projects for one to try. I think it’s a good set-up, as it makes for the perfect balance of instruction and exercise.

Doll Photo ShootHere’s another practice project in the book. I had to include it because Isabella is featured :)

Doll Photo ShootThe two other books in the set are Lights, Camera, Action!, which is a guide to taking movies with your dolls, and a Doll Photo Album. While Lights, Camera, Action! is a good booklet for budding moviemakers {I show a more detailed shot below}, the photo album leaves much to be desired. This set doesn’t come with a whole lot, so I wish the album was more than a book of blank white pages!

Doll Photo ShootHere, you can see how Lights, Camera, Action! was set up. I know close to nothing about moviemaking, so it was an interesting, albeit quick, read. I’m sure AG fans with an interest in stop motion would definitely benefit from this, although others may pass it up.

Doll Photo ShootNext, Zoey poses with the frame prop! I think that the idea is terrific, although the execution is not. The frame is flimsy and it’s difficult for the doll to hold it, prompting frustration minutes after toying with it. It also does not allow for much else beyond the doll holding it for a portrait. On the more positive side, I love the illustrations that decorate the frame. They are so bright and whimsical!

Doll Photo ShootOther props in the kit include two mini posters. Zoey shows one of the designs above; the other poster says something along the lines of “Owl Always Be Your Friend.” These lack creativity and are rather disappointing – it almost seems as if AG gave up when it came to the photo props! Nevertheless, they could be a cute addition to a doll bedroom, although you could easily make one on your own.

Doll Photo ShootThe kite is the prop shown on the cover. It’s okay – there’s nothing wrong with it – although it does seem a bit odd of a choice for AG to include. Of all of the things they could have decided on, they went with a kite?! I haven’t popped it out yet and attached string, but you can be sure that come next spring, the DM models will be flying kites :)

Doll Photo ShootThese punch out shapes and flowers are underwhelming, no doubt. I am sure we will find a good use for them, but it’s going to take some creativity on our part! Again, if anything, they seem to show that there was little enthusiasm put into this set.

Doll Photo ShootI wish I had something even slightly positive to say about these cards, but it’s truly a case of “what in the world was AG thinking?!” Do we actually need cards made out of card stock saying to attach the photo to the front? I’m thinking no.

Doll Photo ShootFinally, one of the better parts are the three large poster backgrounds. They are a great size for the dolls to stand in front of, and I like the places {Paris, Australia, and the beach} they included! While there are visible creases from being folded into the set, I don’t mind; picky photographers may find fault in that.

Doll Photo ShootDoll Photo ShootDoll Photo ShootAnd, of course, Bri must finish this post off with a pose in Paris!

Overall, Doll Photo Shoot may be a hit or a miss depending on your expectations. The props are nothing special as they all could easily be made at home, but it’s with the book and backgrounds where this set really shines. Whether or not it’s the set for you I think depends on your photography experience and creativity level. I can’t give it my full recommendation, but I do suggest checking it out if you’re ever in the AG store to see what you think.

Have a wonderful night!



6 thoughts on “A Peek Inside Doll Photo Shoot!

  1. Thank you so much for doing this post! I am not sure if I want it for myself, but maybe I’ll buy it for my sister. Who knows…
    It kind of seems like the all the kits; they have great ideas, but the execution could be a lot better. It seems like they could have included a camera in the kit to make for dolls, so they could take pictures too! But I really like those backdrops/posters. They are really cool. :)
    I was wondering about one thing, though. On Amazon, they have the option for Doll Photoshoot, “paperback”. it almost sounds like you get the little booklet and not the kit.
    And another doll kit on Amazon, Doll at Work, has the option “hardcover”. Can you explain this? That’s why I am kind of wary about buying AG doll kits off Amazon, because of this. The AG mini dolls are the same way, because they talk about them like they are books! It is kind of weird…

    • A doll-sized camera would be so cute! A lot of these kits are similar, as you said. One would hope that AG would get it right someday. I am not sure about the paperback/hardcover dilemma, as I have never even noticed! We’ve always bought them off of Amazon and got the entire kit, if that offers any reassurance :) It is weird though!

  2. Pingback: Monthly Recap / August 2014 | Doll Mag

  3. Hello! this seems ok i guess! i have a instagram account based on AG photography and photo shoot for my dolls. im so glad you did this sneak peek! im sure to get this soon!

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