The Little Women by Davorka Andjelic

 
My special box with paper dolls is always in my bag as I enjoy traveling and finding new landscapes to shoot. A trip to Russia last year was the perfect opportunity for a change from London’s scenes. Photograph/Davorka Andjelic

My special box with paper dolls is always in my bag as I enjoy traveling and finding new landscapes to shoot. A trip to Russia last year was the perfect opportunity for a change from London’s scenes.
Photograph/Davorka Andjelic

Davorka Andjelic scouts the nooks and crannies of London, UK in search of the best locations to photograph her unique handcrafted dolls.

My Assignment

  • Description: Combining paper dolls and interesting landscapes to create fun photographs.
  • Duration: Ongoing since 2009
  • Notes: My creations are open to interpretation!
I use Instagram for its filters and the ability to crop images and adjust contrast and brightness when needed. Photograph/Davorka Andjelic

I use Instagram for its filters and the ability to crop images and adjust contrast and brightness when needed. Photograph/Davorka Andjelic

Inspired by a paper angel that my friend gifted me as a Christmas present, I began making paper dolls of my own six years ago. Over the years, the dolls gradually developed, inspired by children’s work at the primary school that I work in. When I started using Instagram about three years ago, that is when I really started experimenting with photography.

I used old photographs as backgrounds and set about finding interesting colours and textures too. Soon, I was making my own settings, taking the dolls on my travels and trying to find the right scene for each doll. All I try to do is create images that will resonate with each person differently.

Over the years, my dolls and the photographs have evolved. I plan a lot more and spend more time in experimenting with colours, textures, flowers, composition and light. Photograph/Davorka Andjelic

Over the years, my dolls and the photographs have evolved. I plan a lot more and spend more time in experimenting with colours, textures, flowers, composition and light.
Photograph/Davorka Andjelic

My Perspective
Combining paper dolls and everyday settings or interesting landscapes is my attempt to link past and present. With each doll, I am creating photographs that deal with a range of emotions like belonging, loneliness, individuality and so on. I take one day at a time. Whatever I feel on that day, influences the images I make. For me, creating a little tableau and finding the right composition is an extremely relaxing experience.

feel very inspired when I receive comments from so many different people from around the world telling me how happy my photographs made them. Last year, I was featured on the Instagram blog, which in itself was an overwhelming and encouraging experience. Photograph/Davorka Andjelic

feel very inspired when I receive comments from so many different people from around the world telling me how happy my photographs made them. Last year, I was featured on the Instagram blog, which in itself was an overwhelming and encouraging experience.
Photograph/Davorka Andjelic

The Process
I find the dresses for the dolls mainly in old Vogue magazines. I chose dresses that appeal to the most to my taste. Also, how can you say no to a red Valentino dress! The posture of the original model plays a large part in selecting the right kind of eyes.

A number of locations in London work well for me and I revisit some of them with different dolls. While the main reactions and feedback I receive are from Instagram, 91 I get some fun and even puzzled reactions when I am out shooting too!

My son is one of my biggest supporters when it comes to the project. He provides me with valuable advice and much needed shadows when required! Photograph/Davorka Andjelic

My son is one of my biggest supporters when it comes to the project. He provides me with valuable advice and much needed shadows when required!
Photograph/Davorka Andjelic

The most common comment I receive from people, however, is that the project reminds them of their childhood. This makes me very happy as I always hope that my images provide people with an escape from everyday realities. I want to awaken the child that we all have in us and remind us of our happy, carefree days. And, someday, I hope to create a children’s book dealing with the simpler moments in life, with my photos as illustrations.

Dungeness in Kent, London is my favourite location. Every visit there is a different and exciting experience. Photograph/Davorka Andjelic

Dungeness in Kent, London is my favourite location. Every visit there is a different and exciting experience.
Photograph/Davorka Andjelic

My Equipment
I used an Apple iPhone 5s for most of my images as it phone allows me to stop and take photos whenever I find an interesting setting. I very rarely use my Fuji Fine Pix S 2950. For a project like this, whatever equipment you have at hand will serve you the best.

— As told to Natasha Desai
To view more images by Davorka Andjelic, you can visit her Instagram.  

Tags: Cellphone. iPhone photography, Davorka Andjelic, Dolls, London, natasha desai, UK)