How foolish I was to think that once my online shop was set up it would not be a time-consuming venture to maintain! The photography alone takes a ridiculous amount of time and patience. Two of us might spend half an hour transporting Sam (the mannequin) to her photo shoot location, twenty minutes getting her dressed in her latest outfit with accessories, ten minutes explaining to passersby that we actually aren't weird, five more minutes lining Sam up in the correct light with no random people in the background, and then watching her arm fall off right at the crucial moment!
Often the photos require a complete entourage. Below are some sucker friends of mine freezing their butts off for a good photo. Then there's the friend who got dizzy because it took about 112 spins to get a good photo of the fringed dress ... Photos on cliffs (there's actually a really safe ledge that you can't see) ... Railway tracks (with puzzled looks from passersby) ... Me forcing one of my sons to wear women's accessories (I have no girls in my house!)
But we have put in some effort to make things a little easier. For example, Louise has set up a studio that enables her to take good, clean photos with no background for the website, at the press of a (small series of) buttons. And I saved up for a sturdy camera that I can lug around everywhere and take photos in interesting places. The Olympus Tough TG-6 Digital that I bought has an awesome feature in which it takes a series of macro shots with a slightly changing focus each time, then combines them into one to give a shot a better depth of field. It's good for things like rings that are small but round and so are hard to get entirely in focus when up very close.
An example of this 'focus stacking' feature is below. With one press of the button, I was provided with a choice of just the ring in focus or the ring plus Mr Dragon in focus! It's also good for picking up detail on flowy fabrics and for taking photos of plants and animals (which I need to do in my 'real' job!).
So why do we put in this effort? Is it because we enjoy balancing on the edge of clifftops? Not really. Is it because it helps to sell things? Well, we're not sure yet if it does, but we know that many of you 'like' our photos. We do it because it's fun, because we like to do things well, because we like to entertain. And because we love art and design (and lizards).
We hope others enjoy looking at our photos as much as we enjoy looking at theirs.