Mannequin (aka Cheating at Variations)

In a previous post, I showed the photographs that came out of my photo assignment on Variations (inspired by the photo assignments series on the Art of Photography youtube channel). The assignment was to take as many different photographs as possible of the same subject – I chose a mannequin. Well, I must admit that after taking those photographs with my digital camera, I cheated. Actually, I cheated in three different ways.

The first way was by also taking photos with Zoe, my film camera. It’s quite obvious that I was going to get different photographs by using different cameras, specifically by changing between digital and film cameras. Still, I managed to find different positions in which to place the mannequin in relation to its background, so I think these may not be considered cheating – or at least they wouldn’t be if I’d taken them with the same camera as the other photos (Sophie).




Though, I must admit, I’m biased to the film look that my Zoe gives me, so I’m quite pleased that I took these with her.

The second way that I cheated was by using my beautiful friend as a model next to the mannequin. I think this should be considered extra cheating because using a model makes the subject much less clear: is it the mannequin? Is it the model? It is the combination of both?

taken with Sophie
Taken with Zoe

The third and final way that I cheated might not be considered actual cheating by some people: I edited the photo. I mean “heavily” edited, not just cropped or adjusted the brightness or little changes like that. I absolutely adore the photo of my friend hugging the mannequin from behind, but I wanted to try and make it look like my friend’s arms were actually the mannequin’s. After a long couple of hours in (I don’t have the money nor knowledge to use other editing softwares yet), I managed to make it kind of look like I wanted. Of course, I encourage you not to zoom in, as the patches of yellow copy-paste will become very obvious.


Overall, I’m quite happy with how the photo turned out.

I might try to learn how to use another photo editing software, though I need to find one that is either free or relatively cheap. Photography is, after all, just a hobby for me, and though I’m falling more and more in love with it, I can’t let it get too expensive. Especially considering that I mostly take photos with Zoe, my film camera, and rarely edit those – and I need to pay for film rolls and their development!



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