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Doll Company Photos, What Makes You Nervous?

Dec 8, 2010

    1. So, I've been looking at a lot of websites recently, and I realised there are some things they do which definitely make me nervous!
      Retouching their photos, so you can't see the little issues with the doll's sculpts.
      Taking multiple pictures of the doll in the "same position".
      Only leaving one picture to use as reference, only one pose.
      Putting extremely frilly clothes, or clothes which cover up things you want to see like how the neck attaches to the head.
      Having a face up artist, who they don't employ, face up their dolls, and then having a bunch of people doing face ups however they wish.

      I really wish doll companies would be a bit more straight forward I guess? I know there are obviously going to be differences between the doll I see on the screen, and the one I hope to have in my lap, but sometimes the difference is scary!

      I, personally, wish the doll companies would have one of their artists do a basic face up, take pictures from front, profile, back, from below, from above, you know so I could get a basic idea of how the head attaches to the body, how the body looks, how the head itself looks. Then perhaps a few shots showing how flexible the body is? Not thirty pictures of the doll in a overly obscuring outfit, in the same position at varying distances.

      I appreciate all the pretty pictures on the websites, but when does that really go too far? When does it start being you admire the doll on the website, but would never purchase?
      Is this an issue for anyone else or am I just paranoid?
    2. Well, I get nervous when there isn't closeup shots of the default faceup? And sometimes even closeup shots can be misleading /stares at Iplehouse's way of doing liplines :|

      I'd also think twice if the photos only show the doll in normal stand-up poses or nothing particularly posey. I've had trouble with horrible-posing bodies before and I definitely do not want to make the same mistake again.
    3. Its true that a lot of companies use the best possible means to sell their product - and not just BJD companies, either. Cars, electronics, clothes... the list goes on and on. BJD companies aren't really doing that much different. While they do sell the dolls, and their dolls are beautiful and we love them for their artistic aspect, the companies are as much a slave to marketing as any other profit-based company.

      That being said, I do have to agree. There are companies out there that do this, which is why I love those companies to death, but there are also "those" companies that, while their sale pictures are gorgeous, don't really show much of the doll or it's body. I'm not going to name names. When I'm shopping for a doll, I really want to see what I'm getting myself in to. I look at all the sale pictures on the site, including the individual parts if they have a listing for those (body, head, etc.).

      If I can't find what I'm looking for on the site, I look up user's pics on places like DoA and DA. Chance's are, unless we're talking about a limited that just came out, or a new body/mold/sculpt, you can find what you're looking for - and on DoA you might even find some user reviews. If it's a doll that just came out, wait a few weeks/months if you can, and then check again for user pics. If it's a limited... well, then go with your gut feeling and hope for the best.
    4. I don't get nervous about it. If I feel like the angle or wig or whatever is obscuring a part of the sculpt I need to see, I'll look to see if they have pics of blank heads in the parts section (they don't always have this, but it is very common) and I've yet to find a company that didn't have pics of the nude body somewhere on the site. If I'm seriously considering buying a doll I also look up owner pics -- especially if I can't find decent enough pics of the headsculpt on the company site. One of the jobs of company pics is to show the doll in the best light possible -- and of course it is merely one way a doll can look, and that's just the nature of things. Often the information one needs to make an informed buying decision is out there, but it sometimes takes looking at more than just the promo page.
    5. I don't like it when the only photos of the doll are with eyes/wigs/clothing that is not available with the doll/for sale. I want to see exactly what they are selling and what I would be getting if I purchased that doll. It's fine to show the doll with various props/eyes/wigs/clothes but at least some of the pics should show the doll "as is".
    6. The over-photoshopping that some companies do bothers me SO much. They don't necessarily hide the things I'm looking for, but lens flares splashed all over a photo drives me CRAZY. At least most companies who do this are willing to post un-processed photos, too.

      Also, Bobobie/ResinSoul pictures always make me cringe. They are not very flattering pictures, to be sure. I would've never had a Jun if I hadn't seen it in person first, because augh those company photos are BAD.

      And I really wish more companies provided a picture of the blank sculpt with the sales page.
    7. This thread made me think of the commercials that advertise McDonald's or Burgerking with their luscious looking burgers and overall presentation (bright green lettuce, rich red tomatoes, golden bun..) and then when you get it it looks like pig slop, lol.

      But more on topic, I do wonder a lot about how dolls look in person versus how the doll company advertises. I'm a loyal customer to Luts because I think that their dolls look just as good in person as they do on their site, if not better. This is why I wasn't toooo nervous about ordering their new ALMOND kid delf without available owner pics first. However, I ordered Aren Punky Nyugi (mini gem) from Soom and was a bit disappointed. Their company photo's WAYYY overphotoshopped her and gave her the appearance of having a lot whiter skin and a lot darker makeup than she actually had. She was also just overall less detailed than the photos. =[ I still love the sculpt though and hope to add my own details...

      As for Bobobie, like Micchi mentioned, It does really bother me that they have barely any photos of their dolls, and they are not great quality either. This particularly hurts the company because I know that they are a lot more affordable than most companies out there. So while tempting, it's also very daring and risky. ( I sometimes want to just say that I'll take photos for them at no fee! just because it bugs me so much, haha).
    8. Many websites already do the things you mention-- pictures of the actual faceup you'll get, bald pictures, naked pictures, body action-shots, clothed pictures, unpainted pictures, etc. Places like Dollstown or Dollshe or Iplehouse will show you everybody from almost any angle you can think of. And on many sites you can write & request a photo of something you can't see. Maybe it's just a function of the sites I shop from... but no, I've never felt nervous buying. Even from the much-maligned Soom; they give you a perfect idea of what you're getting. Tons of angles, all resin colors shown, all faceup detail, all fullset items. I've bought two of those big glittery fullsets, my friends have bought several more of them, and they've been exactly as promised.

      You also have to prepare your brain for that disconnect between the internet & real life: All digital photos look different on individual computers, and nobody at a doll company can anticipate the lighting-conditions you have in your own home. If there is more than one faceup artist, you will get some variation on the sales photo. Buying anything sight-unseen requires some faith.

      Dollwise, the rule that's always worked for me is: read all of the small print. And then if you're still foggy on something, go on DOA and get a second opinion. There are always plenty of second opinions up in here! Bounce the idea off somebody, maybe somebody else has the info you seek.
    9. When I bought my Sef (spiritdoll Firson) his company photo was really pretty but around his eyes the faceup was really red. I wasn't worried about his sculpt, because I checked out the 'clean' head photo, but the make-up was just bothering me. I thought I could just wipe it clean if it was too much (the red not the whole face >.<) When he arrived the red was nothing more then a soft pink. So now I just assume that the colors are brightened and the shadows are lessen in company photographs, been right so far.
    10. I don't like when they don't show the face staring staight ahead. It's always on an angle, or just looking away. It's hard to see if I like the face shape when they're always turned away from me.

      I don't care if the face is blank or not. It doesn't bother me, since I'm in no situation to do my own face-ups. Maybe in a while, I might - but not now.

      I also remember how Dollmore had that one pose with DM Kids, where they held their leg behind their backs. What they don't say is how bad it looks when you try to have them sit on their heels. I find their pose demonstration kind of silly - I've never had an instance where I've wanted my doll to hold her leg back that way.

      Other than that one pose, Dollmore doesn't really do anything else I'd find questionable. It's true that sometimes, they do do that "multiple distance, one pose" thing, but I still have found they do do a lot of varying poses. They also show two possible versions of the doll to, what I believe, have the viewer get a better sense of how the doll will look, overall.
    11. I second that RS & BBB site pics. They are horrendous - looks like some random person took them in a basement, or a house. The dolls, for the most part, are nice, but the pics are outright sloppy.
    12. I definitely made a mistake about purchasing a doll from looking at a company's photo. AoD Juli has a long, pointy nose which looks very different in the pictures, probably because of the way AoD angles her head in the photos. I was very disappointed when I received her. The best thing to do is search around here for pictures of the doll you want, not everyone on DoA retouches and pose-ability will be easier to judge because of what people here do with their kids.
    13. I don't get nervous, per se.. However I've only ordered from Luts and I trust their company very much. What irks me is when they only show a doll in one colour wig or eyes, or if they don't include a picture of them wigless. I like to imagine what I can do with the sculpt - not oogle over the character the company has created.
    14. This is a big complaint of mine with Souldoll-they do multiple pictures of a doll's face from the exact same angle and sometimes it's a weird angle, like totally sideways. This makes me wonder what they're trying to hide, given that they've released sculpts with serious symmetry issues in the past. They're also big on wigs that flop in the face. I always have a friend who is a good sculptor look at the Souldoll pictures, because she can see past things like that to the sculpt and I can't. Although I will say that their pictures of Chiron are very straightforward, this way of doing things seems to apply mostly to their newer dolls.
    15. I think what makes me most nervous is if I can't find nude pictures of the body. Especially if I can't find nude pictures of the body doing some simple poses. If I can't find them on the site I go hunting for owner pics. If I can't find those chances are I won't order the doll. I won't say that posing is the most important thing to me but I have sold dolls because the posing was just too bad and I wound up frustrated too often. I'm getting to where I really stick with companies I know and trust which is sort of sad because I used to really enjoy trying out new companies.
    16. you're definitely not paranoid ! i also feel the same way ! there have been numerous dolls where i love their official shots so much, but then after a couple of days i go back to it and realize that it just might not look the same (i used to always feel that way for figures.. they look so different from the prototype shots; but they're nothing compared to dolls so it gets even worse)

      on an interesting note however ~ there have been cases where the doll was even prettier than the ones in the official photoshoots !
    17. Glad to know I'm not alone. It makes me extremely nervous when all I have to rely on is the companies' photos, usually I check the database here to ease my worries first. :sweat It kind of bothers me when the photos show the doll always facing one direction at one angle. I tend to only buy from companies that have good feedback, and those that I've come to trust, because I've heard stories where the company did just what was mentioned--show a doll that had their faceup done by an artist that was no longer working there, thus the doll looked entirely different from the photos. I mean... I think there's an extent to which one can say "The actual item may appear different from the photos".
    18. i agree i've seen a lot of doll company photos that almost screamed like they were trying to hide something. but like others said any company does it's best to try and make something look nice so it sells. I've accepted that things you buy online will often look different in certain ways in person. That's why i always look at as many owner pictures as possible.
    19. I had a specific instance of the above. I saw a beautiful BJD with a killer wig (that made the doll - and made me want to have her) and I ask the company (not naming) which of their wigs is the same so I might purchase it with the doll. I get an email back telling me.. it is not their wig they dont sell it at all in their store. (Though I found the wig later on a competitors site).

      I honestly think it is very misleading for companies to post a sales picture of things that enhance their dolls that arent actually for sale or even theirs to sell. EX: It would be like Souldoll using Volks clothing on one of their SDs to help sell their doll. I think it would just be good practice to show what you have for sale and not use competitors stuff (Not to mention its poor sales practice as your competitors are getting the added sales from that picture).

      Limited poses of dolls (front shots or standing only) also makes me leery but to refer to an earlier post, I have become a careful shopper and check out DoA's galleries first for pictures of dolls if I have any questions about how a doll poses or its resin quality.
    20. Company photos are the worst! I've made the mistake multiple times buying based on company photos (limited dolls, you only have one chance). I also bought one doll where I really should have gotten the default faceup for him because I couldn't bond with the blank sculpt (and he was so beautiful too!) I also made the WORSE mistakes of NOT buying based on company photos (like Sard, I had the money for him back in the day, but hated his default faceup. Worst dolly decision I've ever made!)

      Really, owner photos are a MUST. Though, sometimes you just can't find an owner photo and must make the plunge. In the end, even losing out money, I find it's worth it to at least be able to judge in person if you are going to bond with it or not.