Why photograph yourself?
For all the different toys, we do our own photos.
This has a simple reaon. We aggregate lots of very different manufacturers. All of them do their photos differently. Some even don’t do their own photos. Some have a black background. Some a gradient. Some don’t show the specific colour variation we stock in their photos. Some leave a lot of white space around the toy, some crop very tightly. Some include some random object for a size comparison.
So to have all of them integrate nicely with the shop and have them look similar (especially when watching a shop category that is selected not by manufacturer but by species or size), we do our own photographing.
How we choose to do size comparisons.
Comparing sizes online is surprisingly difficult.
But… soda cans?
Some manufacturers and dealers include a sode can as a reference. While it may sound reasonable, it actually doesn’t work. While in your particular area only 2 or 3 sizes seem to be around and you are tempted to think that this is how big a soda can is, it isn’t. In every part of this world they are sized differently. Not just metric vs. imperial. In Europe you can see this when crossing a border to France, Poland or the Netherlands. 0.2L, 0.25L, 0.33L or 0.5L? Same volume but wide or slim? Slighly undersized at the airport to look bigger then it actually is?
This applies to any household item. We we choose not do go this way.
How about a ruler then?
We already take our own meassurements and post all length, diameter and circumfence values in standard metric and converted to imperial as product attributes. They can be searched, filtered and sorted.
It just makes no sense to do mug shots in front of some kind of metric+imperial ruler or striped background here. (Also any lens distortion would make this misleadingif the background is not right behind the shaft. A thing that is often prevented by the base of the toy.)
So what then?
What we do is to compare toys to other, common toys.
We think this is the most meaningful comparison for people. They already own one toy and can relate to how that length, knot or shape feels. If you see another toy depicted right next to the one you already know, perfect.
However… we can’t photograph every toy with every other toys we have access to.
So what do we do?
A long time ago, we selected a number of very common and distinctive toys and set one of each aside for just this reason. One of the most prominent ones being the Akita, Foxcoon and the Tiny. We have since retired the Tiny as it’s no longer as popular as it was many years ago as a first toy for many people.
We have added new toys to our collection whenever we could. Usually when we got hold of a slightly defective one. As overseas manufacturers will make very, very sure never to send anything with small defecs all across the globe, this means that we have more toys from FurryStyle then anyone else for this. We never favour any manfacturer over another and try to be perfectly fair, so I hope you accept this explanation.
From these we try to select toys of a similar shape and size that make for a meaningful comparison. If you want to compare 2 toys, chances are good both have been photographed next to the same compasiron toy and you can use both these photos along with the stated meassurements to make your decision.
When new deliveries come in, it’s a busy time. When these include new toys that shall be for sale as soon as possible, even more so.
Doing a dozen photographs for each one of >300 toys over many years and even a generations of photography equipment is work. Post processing every single one of them is even harder.
So while we do want to have absolutely stunning and perfectly photos, this is not practical. The reality is that we are a dealer, not an art galery and photos are but one part. Without size meassurements, weight, description, price calculation, technical details for reordering, customs and keeping up with currency fluctuations, finding and organizing the storage space for the new toy all have to be done at the same busy time. The toys need to be unpacked, cleaned, dried, new packaging printed (product safety regulations) and a lot of heavy lifting done.
So we had to come up with a style that looks good, shows off the shape, size, texture and colour of each toy very well yet can be repeated 2000 times even when in a hurry.
In the end we came up with a fixed light setup and fixed light and camera settings that can accomoate deep black, white and slightly reflective toys as well as anything from a tiny to an enourmous toy, size compasisons of two toys and group photos.
We would like to come back and reshoot some of the older photos.
But running a business is hard work and this work never stops.
And the toy needs to be available, prepared hours in advances (to dry after cleaning) and be packaged and returned to the inventory later.
So the reality is that we don’t get around to actually do this very often. Sorry.