To ADAD, or not to ADAD?

For a few weeks now I've been doing A Doll A Day 2011. I am not really sure whether to continue it beyond January...

The benefit I see to doing ADAD is basically just to spend time with my dolls. There have been days in my past year of Blythe-collecting that have seen me not pick up any of my girls because I'm working or sick or tired. (But I've always felt like that's okay! As much as I pour into this hobby, I don't feel guilty if I spend a day doing something that doesn't involve it.) Sometimes I need an "excuse" to take pictures, and ADAD forces me to do it even if I can't take the kind of pictures I want because it's 4 AM and there's no sunlight. It makes me change a girl's clothes so she won't be in the same thing for weeks, whatever.

But on the downside, I feel like even though I am taking pictures every day if possible, the pictures probably aren't better or more "outside the box" than they normally would be, and instead of really enjoying the shooting process itself I'm just shivering outside until I can get a non-blurry shot. My camera is simple, I have really limited locations where I can shoot. During the winter, especially, often the shade of a tree is the only place where the sunlight itself doesn't ruin the picture -- that's why you see so many pics of my girls with tree bark behind them, I'm almost always shooting in the shadow of a tree! Inside it's too dark and I need to resort to the lightbox, but I'm never really happy with the lightbox's look and can't seem to light it well enough.

In the end I think I'm just not as much of a photographer as some people are. Lack of light, lack of location, lack of a nicer camera or even the convenience of a camera on my phone to more effortlessly capture pics on the go. I need to work on fixing some of these issues, but who has the time!! Right now, not me!

Anyway, maybe I'll try to keep doing ADAD for at least another month to see if I can make some good changes to my photo habits.


  1. Jane, in the first instance I want to say how much I admire your commitment thus far in even attempting this challenge.

    The 52WB project was just perfect for me as it gave me all the bonuses you mentioned, and allowed me the time (most of the time) to think about how I wanted to execute each week's shot. As such I felt that my abilities as a photographer improved immensely over the duration.

    Personally, if it were me I would complete January's quota (a kind of 30-day project) and maybe move onto another photo project if that's what you are looking for, or shoot as the mood and elements allow. After all, as you say, you already do heaps relating to the hobby but it is good to find a balance between it and the rest of your life's interests/commitments.

    Just my thoughts... :)

  2. oh, i know that problems and already quarreled with myself about that issue.
    in the end, i couldn´t catch up. i just don´t have the time for it (and i feel it´s a time issue, finding the right light, the right place etc....)i am playing with my dollys everyday, even if i just hold one of them in my hands for a second. but when i take pictures with them, i want them to be special and to take them on a special occasion. I want them to join my adventures. but most days of my week are just boring work, study, university days *sight*
    but if you decide to quit ADAD, there ADAWeek and other groups out there too! :D

  3. In my humble opinion, I think you should first of all ask yourself if doing ADAD makes you *happy* or not. If it does, then who cares if the photos are more "outside the box" or not? (I always love seeing your girls, so I really don't care and you shouldn't either! :)). If ADAD has become just another task on your to-do list that you have to get done, then obviously you probably should stop. :)
    And besides, I personally feel like your photos have become a lot more interesting since you started it! Look at these:
    They are all so beautiful and unique!!
    Also, you don't have to do ADAD each and every day... I know it's supposed to be A Doll a *Day*, but if you would enjoy it more if you did it only three days a week (for example), then why not?
    And one more thing - hobbies should be our just-for-fun thing to do. I hate it when something that I'm supposed to do just because I love it and want to becomes a task. (Like, right now I'm working on a mini-scrapbook that someone asked me to do, and I don't like its style and the deadline is just crazy! It's so annoying!!) You bought Aury a year ago for *fun* and it should always remain ***fun***. :)

  4. Oh Sweetie!I know exactly how you feel.
    I had my blythe dolls for almost 2 years now. but only for the last 2 months or so that my hobby started to become more serious and a by serious I mean "time stealer" :)
    I have 3 little kids and a house to take care of and I find myself spending too much time with my dolls, shotting them or preparing for the next day photo shot.
    This is why I choose this particular ADAD group, where we are allowed to upload photos from recent photo shotting and not mind if we skipped a day or two! We always must remember that these dolls came to bring happiness to our lives and not stress!
    One more thing about the quality of you photos, I must disagree with you! You have wonderful sweet girls with adorable photos. One can't have the most outstanding shoot every day and most of yours are so sweet and lovely!
    It makes me happy to see you dolls and your locations (have I mentioned that I LOVE your recent "wall photos" and your inside the house compositions?)
    Bottom line, you should do what is best for you! I will be happy to see you and your sweeties around

  5. Whoa, thank you all for the thoughtful comments.

    Beka: Yes, I don't feel like my abilities as a photographer can improve no matter how often I am or am not taking pics of my dollies due to all the limitations I mentioned, so it's really more of a simple, low-pressure, participatory, "yayyy my Blythes!" type thing I am looking for in doing ADAD, not a photography-specific project. I love to take pictures of them though. I may continue through February (since it's blessedly short) and maybe I can make it a goal to take steps to improve my setup and supplies this year, and try again in the future!!

    Tea: Totally, time is an issue... I'm not even awake during daylight hours sometimes. It's an issue when I am trying to take pics for Etsy, let alone ADAD. Nothing wrong with only having so much time and with having other stuff to do :D

    Efrat: You speak the truth! I don't really know if doing ADAD makes me happy or not. It gives me the feeling like I am participating in something with people, which I like. I'm so shy that I need these kinds of things to help me socialize and participate sometimes. So I want to do it, but I don't necessarily enjoy those days where I'm really lagging and don't have the energy or time for it. It's a complicated desire! But you're absolutely right. It's awful when you start to feel like your hobby is your job and you're not enjoying it, when it's supposed to be your happy place! I'm going to take your words to heart because you're absolutely right... there's just no need for a fun hobby to become a stressful task. Thank you for your kindness! Good luck with your scrapbook!

    Ilil: Yes, life is so busy, and you have lots of other stuff you do! Do you find that it eats into time where you would be doing something else, like making jewelry? I really like how casual the ADAD group is, which is one of the reasons I decided just to go for it. I am thinking right now I will continue to do it through February to see if my opinion changes and it becomes easier for me. Thank you, I'm so glad you like the "wall" photos, it's just the grungy outside of my house!