The world of Instagram is filled with cool artists pushing the limits of fashion and photography. But throw Barbies into the mix — you read that right — and you’ve got something truly original. On the heels of the release of Welcome to Marwen , where Steve Carell plays an artist who creates a miniature scenes as he recovers from a brain injury, doll-vignette photography is claiming the spotlight. These five artists will show you why.
Wayne Frendo of @Plasticfashionista
Photo by @Plasticfashionista
“This is my interpretation of the fashion world in a 1:6 scale,” says Frendo of his photographs. “My photos are almost always all about the clothes.” His dolls walk the Instagram catwalk dressed to the nines in chic rompers paired with dangling earrings, sky-high stilettos and ball gowns, trendy tracksuits and everything in between. “I’m inspired by what I see in fashion blogs, websites and magazines … and of course what I see in real life,” he adds.
Izabela Kwella of @Bella_BarbieDoll
Photo by @Bella_BarbieDoll
Kwella started taking these photos as a “silly hobby” three years ago, and was surprised when it took off. “Fashion is definitely one of the things that inspires me,” she says. “Sometimes I think my dolls dress better than I do!” She often takes photos outside, searching for spots where she can play with scale so the dolls look like they’re in their natural habitat. For indoor work, Kwella uses dioramas where she makes her own furniture and decor.
Adele Quel of @Lara_art_dolls
Photo by @lara_art_dolls
Quel’s style is decidedly boho chic, with dolls generally posing outdoors and often donning flower crowns. “This hobby is a combination of my love for dolls and taking pictures,” she explains. “Also, Barbies are the best models! They always look good, and don’t freeze outside in the winter in a dress.”
Staci Mastrianni of @Thedolljunkie
Photo by @Thedolljunkie
Mastrianni has a pretty simple reason for doing the work she does: She just LOVES dolls. “This all started out as a way to share my collection,” she says, “and over the years I've honed my skills and found out that I love photography, too.” Her feed focuses on beauty shots, often set against colorful printed backgrounds. But lately she’s been trying something new: Barbie boudoir! Ooh la la.
Beth Largent of @Barbieandbuddy
Photo by @Barbieandbuddy
“I began taking pictures of my Elf on the Shelf, and was given a Barbie as a joke gift so he wouldn’t be lonely,” says Largent of how her foray into doll photography began. She now styles her Barbie dolls — and sometimes Buddy the elf, too — into a few different diorama scenes, purchasing their clothes from small Etsy makers. But what really sets this feed apart is her captions: “This is almost like a virtual diary as my dolls talk about what’s happening in my life or trends I see around me,” Largent adds. The only rule: No talking politics!