Eileen Lam is a photographic author of The Little Mischiefs books from the UK. Once you have seen just a few photos of Eileen's dolls, you are guaranteed to recognise her style from hundreds of other doll photographers. There is something very special about the Little Mischiefs dolls. They almost look like real children. What is more, those mischievous dolls speak very cute rhymes..
I could not have thought of a better Easter treat to my subscribers as Dolls Talks interview with Eileen!
Hello Eileen, would you please introduce yourself:-)?
Hello, my name is Eileen Lam and I am the creator of the Dolly Treasures and The Little Mischiefs.
Can you describe how you feel about your doll hobby in 5 words? Creativity, happiness, freedom, nostalgia, expression.
Tell me how you manage to be a mum of over thirty dolls? Are they quite demanding?
Having so many dolls is quite a responsibility! They all have different personalities so all require different attention. Some are shy and don’t like too much attention and others are very demanding!
Your dolls are always up for a mischief. You even called your books “The little Mischielfs”. Were you mischievous causing lots of trouble as a child?
As a child my mother and grandmother filled my head with fanciful stories that fed my imagination and I was always up to some sort of mischief with my brothers. All innocent good old fashioned child’s play really, out and about climbing trees and running around causing havoc!
If you could go back in time to when you were small what doll would you take with you and why?
Hmmmm…..I think it would have to be Clairel as she represents everything that Dolly Treasures and the Little Mischiefs are.
Your books are breathtaking, the pictures are perfect, and I can only imagine how long it takes to set up the scene. What is the process from the idea in your mind to the final picture you are happy with?
The inspiration for my photos comes from life’s experience’s, memories of my own childhood, things I see around me, and props and treasures that I find. My mind is always working away subconsciously gathering ideas.
How did it all start? What/who inspired you to publish your doll books?
I’ve always collected dolls, but Dolly Treasures began when my daughter Bernadette went off to university and opens an Instagram account for me as a way of contact.
Do you have other dolls apart from Blythe in your collection?
I have many other dolls in my collection, although I have passed on quite a few as my Blythe family and all the pets and teddies has grown. You will sometimes catch glimpses of them in my photos and reels.
How do you store your dolls? Are they on display? What are your recommendations on keeping dolls intact?
All my Blythe dolls are out on display…. actually I’ve now put some in drawer’s as there are too many, but they are all close at hand ready for when I need them. I’m not very precious with them as I need to feel totally tactile with them in order to be creative.
When it comes to doll photography do you prefer indoor or outdoor?
I don’t really have a preference between inside or location shoots. It all depends on the mood and story, both have different dynamics and it’s refreshing to mix it up. Inside I can take my time with creating a scene and out and about I have to work much faster and have very little control!
What advice would you give to someone who’s just started to collect dolls and wants to try doll photography?
Collecting dolls is a very personal thing and first and foremost should give you a lot of joy and pleasure. Photographing them is great fun as it gives you another form if enjoying them and sharing with others. Never worry that your photos are not good enough…..the more you take the better you will get. It’s what you like that counts. Don’t judge yourself by the number of likes you get or followers you have, it’s not a competition.
Among the dolls that you own, is there something that you wish you hadn’t bought?
Yes, I’m guilty of buying dolls that I later regret…. but I’ve done the same with a pair of shoes!
Who is the designer of your doll fashions and how would you describe their style?
I use many designers to dress my dolls. My girls are always a little dishevelled as they are mischievous children so I like the look of old and vintage best.
What’s next on your dolls wishlist?
I am expecting a beautiful new doll from JacooSun which I am very excited about.
If you could get absolutely any doll you want, what would that be?
I consider myself very fortunate and no longer hanker after any particular doll. Oh actually yes…..I remember now! There was a darling little doll by Catmo doll that I missed out on that I really loved! It would have been nice to have her!
What doll from your collection would you rate as a perfect 10?
It seems unfair to rate a doll as a perfect 10 because that would reduce the others….I just don’t have the heart to do that!
Do you think dolls are a good investment? Or is it rather an excuse?
Oh my!!!! Dolls are definitely not a good investment! Buy them because you love them and just have to have them….there is no other reason!
How do you think the doll community world will change in 10 years from now?
I really don’t know how the doll world will change in the next ten years, but I’m sure dolls and doll lovers will always be around. With each generation there is a change in fashion, often adults wanting to recapture the dolls of their childhood so who knows?
What advice would you give to someone who has just re-discovered their childhood hobby, started to collect dolls as an adult and have odd looks from their family and friends?
As I say so many times, never worry about being judged by others for your doll hobby. People always have something to say about everything and if we feared of others’ opinions we would never get out of bed in the morning!
Unbox or not unbox? (& Why?)
I can only speak for myself but I always unbox my dolls as I collect them to play with!
Great chatting to you, Eileen! Thank you!
Any links, social media profiles you would like to share with readers, so they can find out more about you?
DollyTreasures Facebook and Instagram is the best place to find me.
All photographs are property of Eileen Lam and have been published with her kind permission.