Wednesday 23 November 2022

Reshoot: Pregnant Barbie and Perfect Age Barbie

 I reshot both pregnant Barbie and perfect age barbie as the pregnant barbie originally was shot on a Canon 700D and I did not think the images were consistent with the rest of the shoot.  Perfect age Barbie I just thought she looked a little awkward in the images and I wanted to repose and reshoot to get what I had in mind for the book.

These are the contacts from the reshoot.  Again taken on the Olympus E10-II, the settings I started with were ISO 100, F4, 1/100, 19mm focal length and shot in photo light box.

Generally, I was much happier with these images and here are the ones I quite liked from this shoot

The first image I like as she looks proud, almost regal, she is the ultimate mother, the second image is softer and we look down upon her in a gentle way whereas in the third I think the light falls just right and this one looks most natural (if that is possible here)

The reshoot of the perfect barbie I liked these images

I liked these as she looks confident, perfect at the height of her powers and this is what I wanted with these images.  This was supposed to be the perfect age Barbie (around 30) all is good!

Photo Shoot: Teenage Barbie

 The one I was waiting for to complete the images was teenage Barbie.  I have now shot these on my Olympus E-M10-II using settings F3.5, Shutter speed 1/80, ISO 100 focal length 14mm.  Exposure compensation -1.  

These are the contacts from the session using the photo lightbox

The images I thought might work from these were the following:

The top image I think is perhaps the most engaging and will have the right impact in the book as the doll is close up, the unicorn t-shirt and mobile phone do make her look like a teenager.  The second image could work where the phone is prominent and I quite like that she is staring into the distance on this, not at the camera.  The third image makes barbie look young, and bouncy as she looks up (I think) in hope for the future! 

Sunday 20 November 2022

Book Process: Stages of Woman

 I downloaded Bookwright from Blurb and chose the Tradebook option in 8 x 10.  I set up the pages and uploaded images that I would start with and see what they looked like.  I then looked at the layouts and added a text layout on the left-hand side of each double page and a single photo layout for the right-hand page.

I went to my blog to copy the text I had written and pasted this into each box.  I changed the font to Alegreya 26 pts and black.

I added pages at the beginning for the title and inside page with copyright using another text and image layout.

Choosing the right photographs was difficult and I reshot pregnant Barbie and Woman as pregnant barbie I originally shot with a different camera and so she did not look the same as the other images and I needed consistency.

In the end times images barbie is disabled and mad and, she does look that here.  The wheelchair and strange face I do think work well.

I reshot pregnant barbie and I do think the new image is improved - this is the old image above.  The teenage image is missing as I am waiting for teenage barbie to arrive!

Lastly, I went to do the cover pages, I filled the background with black, and then I added the woman image that I felt most reprensented the book and I added a title (same font at 48pts) and blurb on the back 

I will now just check and adjust the text and add the last image this week so I can then export as a PDF to create a flipbook and upload real book to Blurb for printing so I can get a hard copy

Saturday 19 November 2022

Photo Shoot: Stages of Woman

 Completed the photoshoot for all the stages of woman, I may reshoot or complete an additional shoot depending on how the images work in the book.  I took around 450 images, I shot these in Black and white using my Olympus OMD E-10 II, I was using a lightbox and I had added additional black backdrops on all sides to ensure that it was a completely black background.  The dolls were different sizes and, at times, quite awkward depending on the way they moved, some were more flexible than others.  The child doll and the aged wheelchair Barbie were hardest to shoot.  As I had 15 contact sheets I will just share a few here.

I shot these on F3.5, ISO 100. 1/125 with adjustments in exposure compensation and focal length.  
I realised I had forgotten teenage barbie so ordered her ready to add next week.

The ones I thought worked best for this shoot were the child and menopausal woman - she has pink hair and I am not averse to pink hair myself!

I may use one of these images for the book cover.

Friday 18 November 2022

Stages of Woman: First Draft Text for Book

 Please see here the intended text to go with each image - this is the first draft and so it is just an idea of the story I would like to tell

Stages of Woman


Pure child, full of dreams

Pretty dolls and decent things

Watching Mother cook and clean

Mother talking about how we should be seen


Awkward times, full of discontent

The girl hides away as her mind and body disconnect

Life beckons and so she steps away

Broken dreams, harsh times, and disarray


At last, the girl becomes a woman 

Strong, vibrant, sensual, and uncommon

Gives everything she has, marches forward 

Determined, clever, ambitious, and ordered


Met a man, everything changed

Domestic bliss, she feels shortchanged

The time has come for her to bear

Fruit of her womb, bright and fair


Years of work, child-rearing and domestic chores

Nothing gained, and no reward

Body strained, time marches on 

The change is here and a woman’s life foregone


At last, the woman is free

Her body returned to thee

Strong and hopeful, no man needed

She now steps out and feels completed


Finally, the last hours, show their face

She has lived, wishes she could have been in the fast race

But the woman has to take the slow path

Now she withers on the vine

Contemplating the wonder of divine design

Thursday 17 November 2022

Wix Website: About Page/Social Links/Homepage & Mobile View

 Today I began by updating my About Page, in my case I just changed the text on the website to the one I wrote in class so I clicked on the text and then clicked on 'Edit' and the dialog box came up and then I change the font to Caudex 20pts.  

I also checked the mobile view to check this was working correctly all my links to social media and my 'back to top' button worked correctly so I was happy with how this looked

My mobile view on my homepage needed to be adjusted so I clicked on 'Editor' and then on the text itself to edit the text, in the dialog box I used the slider to reduce the size of my text.  I then saved and republished to ensure that this was live.

I then set my social links, I did this by clicking into 'Social' and then I added the icon using the add icon button and then I added my live social link addresses. 

I then previewed my site and tested all the social links and as they were all working I then checked each pa

page on the mobile and checked they all appeared in the footer.  this was all working correctly and so I can now publish again to make this live. 

I then checked the 'back to top' buttons on my mobile view and I added one on the portfolio page as this was missing so I clicked on the 'add' on the left hand menu and then 'button' I choose the style of button that matched the other buttons on my page and I then added the link to the top of the page by clicking on top of page in dialog box.  I then clicked on design and customise on the button and changed the background fill to match the rest of the page. 

I then previewed and checked this worked live and that all the pages were correct on the mobile view. 

All pages are now working and correct!

Further Research: Hans Bellmer


I am looking at Bellmer, who was a surrealist artist and photographer who is; 'best known for the life-sized pubescent female dolls he produced in the mid-1930s' (Tate 2002).  I am looking at this artist as his use of dolls and the female form will inform how I photograph my own dolls and the stages of woman. Bellmer focused on the pre-pubescent form and was interested in girl turning into woman.  Bellmer was often criticised for the exploitative photographs which may consist of a breast, buttocks or thighs of the doll which was often twisted into a strange form to emphasise the doll's sexuality. 'The inspiration for Bellmer's first doll was allegedly his unfulfilled sexual desire for his underage cousin Ursula Naguschewski who was then living with him and his wife. He created the doll from wood, glue, plaster and straw in his studio - obsessively driven to create what he called a "real object to be possessed."' (Hans Bellmer photographs 2022).  This idea of the handmade doll that was made to fufil Bellmer's desires reminds me of why I chose Barbie to represent the stages of woman.  Barbie is an ideal that has been foisted upon the female population since 1959 (1).  Although Barbie in recent years had tried to update Barbie with 'curvy' Barbie and Wheelchair Barbie, Barbie is still an almost impossible woman.

Bellmer's dolls often did not have eyes or the eyes faced away from the lens; 'Paul Éluard, French poet and another prominent member of the surrealist group, took note of this absence of gaze in the collection of prose poems he created for Bellmer’s second doll, writing: “It’s a girl! – Where are her eyes? – … It’s a girl, it is my desire!” alongside one photograph.' (Wetzel, 2021).  When photographing my own series of 'stages of woman' I am debating whether the dolls should look directly into the lens (challenging the viewer) or look away from the lens (could be submissive/passive).  It is important that the dolls celebrate woman and the idea is not to be just an object of reproduction or desire but a productive and useful member of society, that contributes to the economy, production, industry, education, and government and is as important as a man. 

Looking further at the images and poses of the dolls, the dolls all are damaged, broken, or deformed in some way, this vision of woman, as in the 'Self Portrait with Die Puppe' above shows woman as part human, part mechanical and the idea here of woman as the object is intensified, also the idea that she is unobtainable in the sense of a 'normal' woman and so this dichotomy of woman as a desirable object and available for man's needs and this construction of Bellmer where he makes her unobtainable and somehow inhuman as Eluard states; 'where are her eyes?' is interesting as a conceptual construction.  Bellmer has created in the image a strange, desirable, unobtainable object that reminds me of J G Ballard's 'Crash' (1973).  Ballard created a strange tale of a sexualised relationship with crashed motor vehicles and damaged woman. David Cronenberg's film captures the cold, sexual and sensual relationship of the participants obsessed with the car crash and damaged bodies.  Both are desired equally in this disturbing and sensual film. The British Library states;  ‘Crash is above all a cautionary tale, a warning against the brutal, erotic and overlit future that beckons us, ever more powerfully, from the margins of the technological landscape’. (British Library 2022)

In 1996 this was a warning, now we live in a technological future where people have more connection with their mobile phone screens than other people and it is a worrying sign of what will come next.  

Finally going back to the dolls, the use ofBrbie will work well in my photographs this plastic construction, like Bellmer's dolls will give an objectified air to the images but I will be trying to subvert this in the image creating an image of woman that is strong and through the use of text and image in a book form I think the message will be also be strengthened. 

(1) Barbie, in full Barbara Millicent Roberts, an 11-inch- (29-cm-) tall plastic doll with the figure of an adult woman that was introduced on March 9, 1959, by Mattel, Inc., a southern California toy company. Ruth Handler, who cofounded Mattel with her husband, Elliot, spearheaded the introduction of the doll. Barbie’s physical appearance was modeled on the German Bild Lilli doll, a risqué gag gift for men based upon a cartoon character featured in the West German newspaper Bild Zeitung. (Barbie 2022)


Tate (no date) Hans Bellmer 1902–1975, Tate. Available at: (Accessed: November 16, 2022). 

Hans Bellmer photographs, Bio, ideas (2022) The Art Story. Available at: (Accessed: November 16, 2022). 

Barbie (2022) Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Available at: (Accessed: November 16, 2022).

David Cronenberg, Crash (1996)British Library (2022) . Available at:,called%20the%20New%20Arts%20Laboratory. (Accessed: November 17, 2022).