*Please note: The following text is a translation from its original Chinese version. While we have made every effort to accurately convey the meaning and essence of the interview, nuances in language, cultural references, and expressions may not always directly translate. As a result, some aspects of the content may differ or may not be as clear as in the original language. We apologize for any inconvenience and encourage readers to consider this while engaging with the translated material.
Leonard: Hi everyone. At the end of the five-day villa shooting, we take a brief interview with our four photographers. These four photographers have close contact with our dolls. First, each of our photographers will make a brief self-introduction.
Mr.Lin: I’m from Beijing. I’m a photographer specializing in doll photography with about 6-7 years of experience. Before this, I had some experience in other types of photography, but currently, taking pictures of dolls interests me the most. I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with some excellent manufacturers and have had some good cooperative experiences. Up until now, I’m still in the process of learning from a few photographers. Alright!
Mr. Yang: Hello, I am Yang. I’m from Guangxi, and I’ve been shooting dolls for over 3 years. When I first started in the industry, I began taking photos of dolls. As for others, I’ve never done any portraits of real people, so there’s still a lot of love for this product. I’m also very passionate about photography. And now, I’m lucky to work with several experienced photographers. It feels great.
Mr. Mi: Hi, I’m Mi, the photographer. I’ve been photographing dolls for six or seven years. Before that, I was a wedding photographer, and now I photographed dolls. I feel like I like it, anyway. It’s funny. It’s fun to shoot dolls, it’s interesting.
Mr. Feng: Hello, I’m Feng. I’m a photographer for Irontech Doll, and I’m the factory photographer. Earlier this year, I was just getting into photographing dolls and shooting for this industry. I’m usually responsible for taking product images for our customers and some shots of product options. Today, it’s a pleasure for me to learn from three experienced photographers over these five days.
Leonard: Irontech Doll has worked with the four photographers for varying lengths of time but has a certain depth of communication with each of them. During the communication process, I felt that everyone came together to explore the dolls together. It makes sense that we could discuss together how to bring out some of the beauty of the doll. I had a lot of fun in the process. It was an honor to meet all four photographers. Next, I will have a short conversation with four of our photographers. Through our presentations, we aim to discover more about the art and learn about our products.
What's the biggest takeaway?
Leonard: So, It’s the end of a five-day photography trip. What do you think of the last five days? What’s the biggest takeaway?
Mr. Yang: I think it’s awesome. The setting looks great. I’ve never tried this before, never experienced this before.
Mr.Lin: I believe most photographers are used to taking photos of dolls alone. Or shoot with their team, but it’s rare to do a photoshoot with a fellow photographer, especially when there are around 20 dolls involved. This type of work is challenging for photographers and requires a team effort.
During the filming process, there were constant surprises; everyone showed off their skills, and the work was intense. Despite limited time to learn from each other, the collaboration showcased each photographer’s unique skills and understanding. We all learned a lot in the process.
In addition to the photographer, other talented team members provided a valuable learning experience. The organizational process was executed well, and despite initial tension, the team became more relaxed over time.
The last two days of shooting felt slightly different than our usual work on dolls. It’s more enjoyable, like a vacation. Even though the work continues, I don’t feel tired. Overall, the experience was very pleasant.
Mr. Yang: Indeed. We’re still working well together.
Mr. Mi: It’s a perfect match.
Mr. Feng: Maybe for this shooting, the biggest difference from the past is that there are greater challenges. It takes more creativity and patience. I’m working with 3 photographers this time and learning a lot.
Mr. Mi: Because we usually see the work of our peers online, pictures of the others’ shooting style, and then after seeing it with my eyes. “Wow, that’s amazing.” Yeah. And then, as Mr. Lin said, we shot the whole collection in the next couple of days. It’s our first time trying it, too, and we are very happy. And then, we are very much in sync with each other. Someone says, “Try moving here,” and then the other person looks at it and gets it right. It’s just a perfect match, and it was very pleasant. The last two days have been fun, all good.
What do you think of these love dolls?
Leonard: We’ve had a little try at it before, but not on this big villa. This time, we brought more than 20 dolls and called in these photographers. One of my first thoughts was to have an occasion for people in this industry to have more in-depth communication and enhancement to share a mutual exchange of ideas. And the second thought was we’re going to explore it together, explore what it means to be a doll innovator.
After the doll scene was set up, we learned from each other and discussed the dolls about a lot of things. It’s more than I expected. I think these dolls, with the help of a photographer under various setups and arrangements, become more animated. They’ve got a soul like you’re communicating with the dolls. That’s it. I think it’s a very pleasant thing. I also wish to take this pleasure and be able to pass on more of that energy.
The length of each photographer’s career varies, and the number of dolls photographed can be countless. Since being exposed to so many dolls, what do you think of these love dolls? What’s the biggest advantage? Secondly, what do you think are their shortcomings, including deficiencies in the industry? Regarding the development of the doll industry, what’s the best advice based on all this?
Mr.Lin: I’ll briefly explain my personal feelings. I can’t say I’ve done anything for the industry. Photographers are just one link in the whole chain of the doll industry, one of those small parts. Visually, the photo of dolls looks the most eye-catching, but it’s not that important of a position in the doll industry.
For me personally, the best part about dolls is that I’ve done some portraits and stuff before, but dolls, for me, are within complete control. We don’t care if we’re filming real people or a model; we all work as a team in all those pictures. All photos are the outcome of compromise, but we’ll have slightly more initiative for dolls. Though we are also limited by the size of our bodies and dealing with their appearance, the environment, and time constraints, it’s the same as filming other things that give me another sense of freedom.
Everyone has their fun. As I get older, I’m still enjoying this fun experience with dolls. But the one thing that concerns me the most is how I feel when I interact with the doll. I’m more concerned about the possibilities of posing. But of all the dolls I’ve ever photographed, allow me to express it: they’re excellent, and I’m very impressed. However, I’ve only seen two or three perfect dolls in those six or seven years.
So, my biggest regret, I think, is why I rarely encounter a “perfect” doll. Not all dolls are perfect, especially those made of TPE, or maybe the body paint isn’t very good, and then there’s the body proportions and easy-to-swing joints for photos. I might not particularly like it. Anyway, there are all kinds of regrets, right?
It would be nice if manufacturers of these would try something better, like a doll with good skeleton movement and good body shape and body painting. I’m sure it’s a personal preference; as a photographer, in a relatively quick time, we’re making fast moves with the dolls, frequent operation, and positioning them into poses. For doll consumers, a simple pose is enough to look at comfortably. So their requirements are not like mine. I’m doing some extreme maneuvers on the doll for the photography. This is just my advice.
Leonard: In regards to the skeleton, we’re always improving and upgrading. Our priority is to ensure the durability of the skeleton, build on it, and make it more flexible. So, we’ve been working on this part. We also have our separate workshop for making skeletons. Apart from that, are there any other ideas you’d like to share or some feelings? Feel free to express yourself.
Mr. Mi: Because I’m on the job, some of the actions we might do for the doll, we pose the dolls to the best of our ability. My feelings for the past 5 days are when shooting dolls, the joints are very flexible and durable, and the micro-expressions are very good, especially the look in their eyes. Because the eyes are flexible and easy to adjust, and then her proportions, the body proportions are on the side of perfection. So, to summarize three points, firstly, I think I’m photographing with an extremely flexible skeleton and joints to achieve some extreme moves, so for customers, there’s no problem with ordinary play. The second is the best quality, and thirdly, the costumes and the micro-expressions are very impressive.
Mr. Mi: Anyway, I’ve been here for five days, and the most profound feeling is we are used to shooting. The industry is constantly evolving; they used only to be TPE’s. I feel that if it continues to develop, like Mr. Lin said, we’re just a small part of it. We put this product presented as a picture for everyone who wants to see it.
Why are we organizing this interview?
Leonard: We organize interviews like this because we want our photographers to be the first real users of the product. Even if the purpose is different, they still bring the first feeling to the product. As they interact with the doll, they pose as the doll, and their feedback is, in part, the voice of the actual user. That’s why we also pay great attention to the photographer’s opinion. At the same time, in organizing this interview, we also listened to some suggestions from some users. They want to see our interactions and real-time posted pictures. They want to know what goes on behind the scenes and what we film. People are interested in these things. That’s why I organized this interview.
Mr.Lin: As the first user of the doll, apart from this identity, I think we are more like testers of the doll after it leaves the factory. We both have very busy schedules and the use of our dolls is intense and frequent. I’d rather say I’m a doll tester.
Leonard: Yes, you’re right. I can’t agree more. So here’s what I’m asking our photographers: Go for the bold shot. Boldly go for the swinging motions of the joints. If there’s a problem with the doll, be the first to give feedback. We are constantly trying to optimize and improve. In this way, better products can be achieved. Mr. Yang, please tell me what you think.
Mr. Yang: I think the best thing about this product is that she can present itself very well, capturing the beauty of what my heart wants to express. And now with excellent work on all aspects of the product. But here’s a little suggestion—it’s the weight. Because the client doesn’t have much experience. So it might be possible to go for some optimization in terms of weight.
Leonard: Okay, we’ve been optimizing weight issue now too. Because we’re dealing with a different demographic, especially for export. That Western men tend to be very strong. Of course, we will also target the domestic market with a launch of Super Weight Loss.
Leonard: We’ve considered inviting some people from outside the realm of the community to join our party. Since this was our first attempt, we didn’t do this, but we will consider such a thing in the future—to invite people outside our doll industry. I’d like to ask all photographers, if there was an opportunity open to the public, would you call friends to join us for a doll party?
Mr.Lin: I think it’s not really necessary to invite your friends because all my friends are around me. They’re all interested in this. They’re very curious about this field of doll photography. Many of them have made this request, that’s if they can come over and observe during the photoshoot. So I think there are many people outside of this field that have a similar kind of curiosity. As soon as we post an event like this, there should be a lot of people coming to see.
Leonard: By communicating to get some positive answers, we hope that through our field—our field being relatively small—we hope to meet with people outside of this field, contact them, and observe their reactions. And then we work together to make our field bigger, to make our industry more visible, a different industry. It’s a sunshine industry. It’s helping people. It’s helping you. If an industry like ours can let more people know there is something of great value to them and the rest of society. So, we look forward to doing more like this in the future, more experiences like this one. See you next time. Bye Bye!