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The art of company photoshoots

Jul 8, 2010

    1. This was a thought I had today while admiring the new Limited Ringdoll Armand. Even though I have no interest in owning him, I was still amazed at the effort and thought put into the photography Ringdoll is using to show him off. The photographer both manages to write an eerie story all while showing important details of the limited doll and his full set.

      Personally, I loved it, which brought up the subject of discussion.

      We all complain about the fact that some doll companies over photo-shop and misrepresent their dolls for sale with creative photography, but it does smack of a double standard. If any random DoA member had done some of these shoots, wouldn't we call it "art?" Wouldn't we praise it for the effort and thought? The details and love shown in the doll from the owner?

      It lead up to me thinking about that more and wondering if any other DoA'ers had really admired a company shoot.

      So, my questions are;

      Have you ever admired the presentation of a doll by a company?

      If so, what doll and company doll was it?

      There is already an established debate on the ethics of companies going the extra mile on doll photography on their sites, so that's not what this is about at all. This might even belong in BJD games by it's nature.
    2. One of the nice things about the Ringdoll photos you linked to is that they were creative, yet included some good body shots. That's the issue with company photos -- they should be a balance of being attractive and creative and also allowing customers to see what it is they're buying. Some companies do this better than others.

      For myself, I'm most interested in getting a good look at the doll, especially since for the most part I style mine very differently than company pics (most of my dolls look like average girls and guys off the street rather than being fantastical, very made up, etc). So the styling in company photos often doesn't have as much appeal to me. Honestly, I can't think of a company photoshoot right off the top of my head to include here -- not because there aren't beautiful ones, but because they just don't stick in my memory.
    3. Edit: Sorry, for some moronic reason I thought I had clicked a thread in the debate section.

      So as to contribute, I will say that the SOOM Amber pictures when they came out had me totally captivated. The presentation was just amazing.
      Sadly I haven't seen too many owner pics I like as much. :<
    4. I quite like what Ringdoll has done because, as Taco mentioned, they actually have all of the necessary "product shots" in there in addition to the artistic photoshoot- you can see the head pretty clearly, they have full-length shots of the outfit, they show the mask and sword on their own, etc. I think creative photoshoots do help sell the doll as long as there are also enough clear photos that show you what the doll you will actually receive is going to look like.
    5. I would, but I wouldn't purchase the doll based on those photos.

      There have been many company photoshoots that I have admired. A well done group of photos shows the full potential of a doll, and it's artistic features. However these photoshoots are still a selling point, and a really good photoshoot IMO should be a harmonic blend of artistry and practicality. There have been other photoshoots by companies that, while very artisitic and clearly having a great deal of thought behind them, do not actually show the doll to it's best advantage. There was a doll I was looking at ... I don't remember which one now ... that was shown in it's fullset complete with bandages wrapped around the face. The photos, taken just as photos, were very artisitc with many props, close-ups, odd angles and interesting lighting, but as a product photo was very poor because you couldn't see the face, hands, or even the entire body in a single shot so you had to guess at what the outfit consisted of.

      The photos in the Ringdoll link above are quite interesting, but they do show the face at different angles and the posability of the body which is important to company photos. The primary goal of a doll company is to sell the doll, not simple show it off.
    6. I think that companies should showcase their doll as best they can, but also that they should provide naked, unshopped pictures as well, even if it ruins the magic or whatever. Rarely do people buy the presented character of a doll. They create their own. So without genuinely representitive pictures, the customer is being a bit decieved.

      But I respect and enjoy a lot of company art. I adored Soom's Onyx pictures, they were especially well done.
    7. SWITCH (formerly SoNyeonGi) photography I think is absolutely amazing! So beautiful!

      Crobidoll has some very pretty photos too.
    8. Talk about synching minds, I read the first post and knew I was going to mention Amber.
      I agree, the Soom Amber photo 'story' had a great effect on me and actually felt like a photostory and not a bunch of doll images. Also Soom Topaz had a lovely shoot in my opinion..
    9. Hmmm... usually artistic photoshoots with the intention to sell dolls irritate me. Take that Ringdoll shoot, for example. What I want to know is what the doll looks like and if I like it, but before I can really see him I have to wade through 5 or 6 pictures of him inside a glass. I couldn't be bothered to continue looking.

      The sales pictures I prefer are those that just show me what the doll looks like (preferably with a photo of the blank doll-head added), not over-photoshopped, over-artistic ones. Dollstown's and Lumedoll's pictures are my favorite. What you see is what you get.
    10. I like the way Blue Fairy take their photos. It's simple and consistent and I think they tread a nice middle ground between advertising shots / product shots.

      It's shot well enough to sell/present the dolls in an attractive manner, but also simple/clear enough for buyers to get a good idea of what they will receive.

      And ditto Silk: big NO to the over-photoshopped, over-decorated ones.
    11. Wow, that's the first time I've seen anything that creative in company pictures! Very cool! I get the feeling they take pride in their work when they go to such lengths to present it.

      I can't say I've seen anything else quite like that in promo pics, but the doll photo books come to mind--I have Dollmore's and I know Volks does them too. That's where they get really creative, and some of the pictures are just hilarious, especially the ones that are meant to be "creepy," like a doll done up like Frankenstein with other dolls' legs visible hanging from the ceiling in the background, or vampires surrounded by blank doll heads, or a doll drinking "eyeball juice" with a straw, which is actually a glass of glass eyes. XD Things that would totally creep you out if you were a doll. XD
    12. I haven't actually purchased my first doll yet, but as I look through so many different dolls to try to find "the" doll, I first look at the thumbnail/link picture for the doll. If I don't like the little picture, I keep going. Once I get to looking at the full set of company photos, I really am looking for two things: the doll dressed at its "best" and the nude doll. The company selling it should be able to market the doll to it's full potential, so I look for those shots because it kind of gives me an idea of what I could do with the doll. I look for nude pics too because I want to see what the doll looks like under all that fancy stuff, because if that doesn't match what I want, all the great outfits in the world probably won't make me love the doll.
      I have found the doll that I want to save for now, and I just loved her from the first picture I saw of her. She had lots of shots on the website, both nude and dressed in her full set (and is coincidently a Ringdoll).

      All that being said, I really, really love that photoshot of Armand, and it makes me kind of want him.... but I haven't even saved enough for my first doll... so yeah, 99% chance of not getting him.
    13. tbh, a lot of the time I just want to see the doll without faceup. A lot of the time I find that the faceup is very pretty, but I want to see the doll's features without the paint on. Faceup can be very decieving at times.

      I did like the Armand shoot (and part of me was giggling the whole time at the Anne Rice reference. I mean a Vampire. Called Armand. Really.) I love the fullset that he's shown with, and the shoot really sold me on the idea of buying his clothes if they ever are released seperately. (Especially the mask.) But I have a -thing- against vampire dolls so I wouldn't buy Armand.
    14. I've often admired company photoshoots for their artistic quality but at the same time feel frustrated if there aren't some simple close-ups & good body shots included. And yes, many of those shots are similar to ones an owner may do of their doll, interesting poses, lighting & costume. Yes, in their own way they're art & can be appreciated as such but I wouldn't buy a doll based on an art pic. I do enjoy browsing the various sites' photos especially if I'm not looking to buy.
    15. I really enjoyed Soom's Amber photoshoot. I actually saw it first in Haute Doll magazine and looked it up on Soom's site after. I then saw some of the other ones like Heliot, and was immediately turned off by the incredibly over-photoshopped images. I could barely make out any details of the doll and was frustrated and disappointed that they would cover up their work so much!

      These Ringdoll shoots are quite amazing--I think it's in a bit of a different category though since the shoot is artistic, but the details of the doll aren't lost in filters of gaussian blur and soft light. I am fine with companies doing creative things with their dolls to help show their size and possibilities (like Dolkot's Peya for example, sitting in a water glass on a table to show off how tiny she is!) but I am quite frustrated by intense photoshopping to the point where you can't even tell what you're looking at.
    16. I'm always appreciative of art and beauty wherever I can find it...whether it's here in the Gallery, or Gallery +, or a company shoot. The Ringdoll Armand is a lovely example of the creative magic a company can display in their sales pages, and for that I love it and find it quite inspiring. I've also loved some of the Soom company shoots...their very recent Cochina comes to mind with that mysterious watery backdrop. I also love how Souldoll photographs their dolls...artistically, both the dolls and the costumes always look absolutely amazing. Now, of course a buyer should be careful and look for non-artsy photos as well, but that's not what the OP here has asked for (there's another DoA thread for that and the OP has kindly given a link to that discussion thread in their initial post.) This discussion is about whether or not you have admired a company shoot for it's artistry, the same way you have admired creative owner shoots.