1)Could you briefly summarize your group's mission, so to speak?
The goal of our group is to bring the art of BJD photography closer to people who might have never heard of BJDs before and show them that there is more to BJD photography than showing off a pretty doll.
"While the BJD hobby includes various different 'side-hobbies' such as painting, customizing, sculpting, etc. this group focuses on the artistic photography aspect. We do not judge photos by the looks of the doll, but by the artistic value of the photo itself. Just like when photographing a human model, different aspects such as lighting, posing, composition, creativity, originality, etc. should be kept in mind and proven in the photographs."
2) What exactly is BJD photography?
BJD photography is about treating the dolls like humans and bringing life into these still lives. It is very much like working with an actual human model, contrary to what people think about it as being simple/easy with no real effort involved.
Besides involving basic photography elements such as setting, composition, lighting etc. in the shots, the photographer also has to choose the dolls style, props, clothing, as well as the posing. The idea of posing BJDs is to make it as natural looking as possible; to treat the BJD like a human model. Just like any other photography genre, BJD photography is about telling a story or sending a message through his or her photographs using the BJD as the medium. It can vary from showing off a piece of BJD clothing that he or she has made much like commercial/fashion photography or it can be telling a story or emotion through a BJD much like fine art photography.
3) What do you accept to your group gallery and what's your most common reason for rejecting a submission?
We basically accept photos featuring BJDs as the main subject. Our first basic criteria for a photo is that it must of course feature a BJD as the main subject. We do not accept photos with dolls that don't belong into this category. The detailed requirements is available in our group rules.
We believe in not rejecting photos based on our personal opinions of what we think of the photo, as such artistic visions/ideas are based on each individuals art sense. No doubt we are trying to promote BJD photography having more to it than just a pretty doll, we understand that not everyone is able to achieve that and through tutorial journals and photo features, we are trying to send messages to the members to put greater thought into their photography for their BJDs.
Our most common reason for rejecting a submission is poor photo quality. We strongly believe dA to be a place for art and not for showing off random snapshots, therefore the photos should not be too grainy, too blurry, too dark, overly contrasted etc. and not contain distracting backgrounds like random human legs, head, arms, messy rooms, clutter etc.
Other reasons also include lack of effort and multiple photos from the same shoot, which are similar in terms of composition, shot size and angles (i.e quality over quantity). We understand that not many people own dSLRs but we believe that quality can still be achieved, even if you used a compact camera. We emphasis in our tutorial journals that its not about the camera gears you have but the skill, creativity, ideas and effort you put into a photo.
4) Does your group make use of collections too, or just the gallery proper?
The group just uses the gallery in proper. We simply sort out photos based on the standard BJD sizes YoSD and Tiny (30cm and below), MSD (40cm to 45cm), SD & Hound (60cm to 80cm) and Mixed Sizes.
5) What advantages have you found for photographers using the group platform?
The group platform is a good place for budding and aspiring photographers to get noticed. As groups is a huge congregation of people with similar interests and passion, the photographers work reaches out better through this network. It gives the photographer an additional leverage to get his or her work out there and to the right audience.
6) Any advice for people who are considering starting a photography group or getting into BJD photography on dA?
Its not just about pretty dolls. Often, we see photos garner more favourites and comments just because a doll is pretty or the doll is a famous mould. We have to go beyond that school of surface thinking and materialistic thoughts. Just as how photography is never about your camera gears but the skills and artistic sense you have. In other words; if you're starting a BJD Photography group, focus on the actual photography.
This feature is done for the Still Life Focus portion of #projecteducate