Over the last couple of weeks, the subject of Beastie photography has raised its head a few times in the comments! And that got me looking back at all the crazy things I’ve done over the years in the name of capturing a blog-worthy Beastie snapshot. Better still, it made me think of the sneaky fixes that other Beastie-wranglers around the world have shared with me!
So, I thought it might be fun to combine some of this knowledge into one handy post. Because, let’s be honest, sometimes those little woolly monsters just aren’t feeling the photoshoot, and getting them to cooperate can be hard work!
The first challenge in Beastie photography is keeping these little guys on their feet. Their sometimes overwhelming desire to just pitch over and have a quick lie-down is probably something they get from me.
Fortunately, help is at hand! A simple wire stand like this one takes the weight off their little short legs, and helps to keep them standing while you adjust your camera settings.
As you can probably tell, this is super-easy to make… All you’ll need is a length of florist’s wire, which you bend like this:
Of course, sometimes you leave home without a stand in your bag, and that calls for a little improvisation! On my recent trip to Germany, I discovered that my snazzy business card holder makes an excellent substitute…
… And Explorer Beastie is a dab hand at seeking out twigs to hold onto when his energy levels start to dip, too.
Other discoveries include using sticky tape…
Thanks, Tammie and Mr Husband!
Velcro is also an option – Tierney came up with this one for keeping her Beastie’s boots on, and I borrowed the idea for my latest commission!Then once they’re standing, the world is their oyster!
I especially like pictures of Explorer Beastie where he’s toddling away from the camera – yes, he may be small, but he’s not going to let that get in the way of a good adventure!
Also, don’t forget about those paws! Show that your Beastie is interacting with the world around them by getting them to touch things within arm’s reach. Check out these two pictures…
See the difference? Although the fish was moving a bit too quickly to be photographed properly in the photo on the right, doesn’t Explorer Beastie look so much more interested in him than he was in the mongoose in the image on the left? And notice how his paw is on the glass in that picture, rather than just hanging by his side. It really works!
But the prize for the most intrepid Beastie photoshoot to date has to go to Tammie. She found a way to snap her Beastie, Finn McSpool, underwater.
You can read the story behind that monster adventure here! And if you have any tips of your own, please share them in the comments!
36 thoughts on “Secrets of Beastie Photography”
Oh the many impromptu Beastie props I’ve scavenged when needing to get Beasties into position…rocks, plants, railings, cats, clothespins, and (my favorite) beer mugs!! Finn’s death grip on his book and has given him a little boost by helping him “hook” onto things. And just so you know…his “scuba gear” in that underwater shot also doubles as his travel bag. Multipurpose!!
Handy! Yes, a Beastie travel bag is another essential bit of kit… I’m not sure Explorer Beastie would feel safe hitching a ride in my bag otherwise! Thanks for the extra tips, Tammie… You’re right, I SHOULD use a beer mug as a prop more often! 😀
I will be sharing some Beastie photos with you soon, I think 😀
Brilliant, Melissa! I can’t wait to see what your little Cookie Beastie gets up to 😀 Cheers for popping by!
Thanks for sharing! I love the way you have them interact with the world around them.
Thanks, Catherine! They do love getting out and about… And I find that taking the photos (especially somewhere nice and quiet, where we can spend a bit of time setting up) means I see the place from a whole new angle! Cheers for stopping in! 😀
LOL, I LOVE this post! I may have to borrow some of your tips cause dolls can be surprisingly uncooperative on some of my photoshoots. I think the supermodels from back in the day would be easier to work with!!
Heehee! Cheers, Ann… I’m sure Barbie DOES put you through your paces as you do your beautiful fashion shoots! I reckon the wire stand would still work for you, although you might need a longer piece to counteract her long legs. I’ll have to swing by and see what you’ve been up to this summer, thanks for stopping in! 😀
I think the wire stand sounds like a great idea- I’ll let you know how I get on!
Please do! They also work much better when they’re tucked up inside clothes, rather than just having the model lean against them, so it should be perfect for Barbie!
Beastie on the path — so lovely!
Thanks, Lu! We do love to go wandering on those lovely empty country roads. Oh, and while you’re here… I haven’t been able to view your blog for a while! Did you change something? I miss your photos!
Yes, I made it private …
Just knock at the door and I will open it for you! 🌻
Oh, perfect! Thanks, I’ll do that 😀
I should really take portraits of my Beastie getting up to adventures. I am feeling inspired.
I’d love to see them if you do, Laura! You and your family always end up in such cool places. Cheers for popping in 😀
Awwww great post!!!! I have always wondered what kind of stand you use!!!!! Yep, those ones of EB toddling away from the camera with the great expanse ahead of him are so good. And good point about the paw–I can’t wait to try it out! (On a side note…. I loooooooooooooooove your gorgeous Victorian-esque MOP business card holder!!!!!) (On another note, I apologise for all my enthusiastic exclamation points!!!!!!)
That’s ok!!!!! Sometimes I wonder if I use too many myself!!!!! Thanks for the enthusiastic response, anyway… Hopefully this will help get Sinéad’s modelling career off the ground, so she can get her message out there more easily! Boyfriend will also be chuffed to hear praise for his good eye for gifts 😀 Cheers for popping in, Ms Weekes… And happy snapping!
Oooohhh he does have a good eye! You’ve reminded me of a rather stylish one my friend Sonia gave me many years back… too bad I don’t have any cards! Or business!
Well, that’s not true… You probably just don’t get much opportunity to hand out business cards as an actor! My little case comes in handy for other things too… For this photo, I had to tip out a bunch of fabric swatches I was trying to colour-match to thread on a recent shopping trip. Reeeeeeal professional! 😂
Haha actually, they might come in handy for acting… I had some postcard sized ones of my headshot in NYC and ended up handing them out a few times (never know who you’re gonna meet working in a midtown pasta joint!). Haha sounds like a perfect swatch holder… multipurpose gift for the win!
Well, you did just get some very lovely headshots done… 🤔 Then you can treat yourself to a fancy-pants card/fabric scrap holder too! You might have a hard time explaining the fabric scraps though…
Alright, it didn’t take much, you have propelled me into action! (Also, when I looked into it, they are a lot cheaper than I feared they might be!) PLUS I already have a really cool card/swatch holder my friend Sonia gave me ages ago sitting empty… it’s only right that I finally fill it up?
Woohoo! 🙌🙌 Yes, it’s only right and proper that you put that gift to use. And now you can be a card-carrying member of the card-carrying club. Plus you’ll have somewhere to stick your random fabric samples, AND Sinéad will never suffer from balance issues again! 😁
Yas! Things are on the up and up for me and Sinéad!
Your posts are always a treat. Thank you
You’re welcome, Mariss! Thanks for stopping in! 😀
Ah ha, so that is how the Beasties do it. Ingenious! And I like the Beastie scuba suit above (it improves upon the regular suits, too…. this one lets you read underwater!). 🙂
It is! Hopefully I haven’t spoiled the magic! 😆 And I never thought about the reading thing… Reading underwater is exactly what’s been missing from my life! 😀 Thanks for dropping in, Shirley!
Beastie magic is unspoilable! 😀
Heehee! Good to know! 🧙✨
Thank you for sharing these secrets! I was struggling with posing my tierneycreates Beastie and now I know some tips. No plans however to follow after Tammie and do an underwater shoot – ha! I am going to go pick up some florist wire for a future Beastie photo shoot 🙂
Happy to help! Although I kinda benefit from this too… Easier Beastie photography means more fun pictures of other people’s monsters for me to enjoy! Hope the stand has helped tierneycreates Beastie to find her feet – even if she’s not quite ready for a scuba diving lesson yet 😀
I love this post! The underwater shot was great! 💗😊
Thanks, Lisa! And I was super-impressed by that underwater shot too… Totally worth all the effort Tammie put into setting it up! You can see more of her Beastie’s adventures on her blog, she usually posts every Saturday. Cheers for popping in! 😁