BEHIND THE SCENES: The Smallones

salutations

My current photostory series, The Smallones, started out as a rather thrown-together idea. I didn’t plan anything ahead of time, so for most of Season 1, I just came up with the plot as I went along.

When I decided to make a Season 2, I resolved that I would be much more prepared and organized. Though I’m not a very organized person (at all), I’ve managed to keep things pretty organized during Season 2 so far. This season is going to be much longer than Season 1 – most likely 20 parts or more!

Today, I’ll be showing you what goes on behind the scenes when I create an episode of The Smallones. 😀

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Here goes!

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Before I began posting Season 2 of The Smallones, I came up with the whole plot and wrote it out in Google Docs as a rough draft. This has helped me a lot because now I don’t have to worry about forgetting where the story is going.

As I create each individual episode, I take a section of the draft and write it out into an actual story. I use that story as my script, which narrates what each character is going to say and do. Once I’m finished writing, I print out the script so I can take it with me when I go out to take the pictures.

Me, writing up the script.

Before I start taking pictures, I read through the printed script, note any changes I’d like to make, and mark the places where I’m going to need to put a photo. I also write a short description of what the photo should look like.

Editing the script.

Now it’s time to get my characters ready! I gather all of the dolls (and dragons) I’ll need, then I dress them and do their hair.

Getting the characters dressed.

Once the characters are ready, I pack them in a bag along with my camera, reflector, script, and any props I might need. Then I head outside to take the pictures!

When I’ve arrived at the spot I’ll be taking photos, I begin setting up my dolls. I pose a doll, take a photo, and so on, consulting the script as I go.

Wanna guess how hard it is to get a doll to stand on her own on a grassy, uneven surface? REALLY HARD. XD

I take a spray bottle and brush with me so I can fix the dolls’ hair if it gets messed up while I’m working.

It can take a while to get every photo just right. If I want a picture to display a certain emotion, I have to use lighting and angles to express that, because the dolls can’t change their facial expressions. It’s hard, but a lot of fun too!

Once I’m finished taking pictures, I pack everything back up and head inside. Then, I upload the photos onto my computer.

After they’re uploaded, I convert the pictures from RAW format to JPEG using a program called RawTherapee. Once they’re converted to JPEG, I go through the images and delete any that I don’t need.

Going through the photos.

Now it’s time for editing! I use a combination of picmonkey.com and pixlr.com to edit my photos. I usually enhance the color, brighten them up a bit, and add a watermark. If the photo is supposed to convey a flashback or a memory, then I’ll lower the photo’s saturation to give it a bit of a faded look. If it’s supposed to be night, then I lower the shadows and highlights and raise the contrast. Editing is probably one of my favorite parts of the whole process. 😀

Editing a photo on PicMonkey.

At this point, I’m finally ready to put the post together! First I copy my script from Google Docs and paste it into the post draft, then I add the finished photos.

Once I check the post for typos and grammar mistakes, I add some tags and make sure everything is formatted correctly. Then it’s ready to publish!

Writing up a post.

That’s about it! Making a photostory is a lot of work, but it definitely pays off. I love reading all of your comments about The Smallones. It makes me very happy that you guys enjoy my series! 🙂

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I wanted to give a huge thank you to my sister AddyLover, who took these pictures for me. 😉

Have you ever made a photostory? What are your tips for staying organized while you work? Would you like to see more Behind the Scenes posts?

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24 thoughts on “BEHIND THE SCENES: The Smallones

  1. cool! i usually know what the story is going to be before hand, and I take the pictures for the story first, and then add the words on the blog post. 😛
    Most crazily, ~Olive

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That was fun to read!
    I have made a few photostories. Hehe, I’m just remembering my very first one (The Thomas Family Pets). I liked part one, but then the end got super boring (Caroline goes to the store and buys a bird…). I’ve made two other series besides that, and I think they were better. I should try another one sometime! 🙂
    Yeah, grass can be sooo hard! D;
    ~Gracie

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, I don’t think I would do that much thought and planning if I did a photostory, even though I actually am more of a planner. XD That’s impressive! And it also made for a great post! 😀 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was a very interesting post, Clara! I don’t really do photostories, because I’m not one for writing stories, but I know they take a lot of work! By the way, a great way to help doll stand up on grass is to push a small stick into the grass, and put your doll up against it. It works pretty well, unless of course you get the stick your pictures. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hehe, yeah! Thanks, Megan! 😀
    Oh dear. :/ This is not good! Maybe we could set up a tlk.io chat temporarily so we could talk about the thing?

    -Clara ❤

    Like

  6. That’s great! The best is the marked script. Just one more step and you’d be like a professional director…the story board where you draw everything out first. 🙂 Great to see how you work.

    Liked by 1 person

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