Behold the Valley of the Dolls!


by David Mansour

On April 12, 2016, I hiked up Cowles Mountain with an armful of Barbie dolls to take photos for a potential Barbie photography book.  At 1,591-feet, Cowles is the highest point in the city of San Diego.  My supportive partner John Bode tagged along and took photos of me taking photos of these seven Barbie and Ken dolls.  My biggest concern throughout this dusty, rugged photo shoot up a semi-desert mountain was a rattlesnake nesting under one of the rocky spots I stopped to snap photos at, and of course, a one of the Barbie dolls tumbling off a cliffside to the point of no return!  I share these photos not only because I believe they capture my off-beat creativity and love for adventure but particularly this Cowles Mountain photo shoot was a pivotal moment for me in creating Behold the Valley of the Dolls.  That day gave me a vision of what I want photographing Barbie and other dolls to become.  

Thank you John Bode!  You're the best!