Every Database Item should ideally have two standard photos — a Main Photo and a Show on Search Photo, plus a Subvariant Photo for if the item is a Subvariant — but there is no limit to how many other photos a Database Item can have. The more details that can be shown, the better!


How to Add a Photo

  1. Go to the Edit Photos page for the Database item:

    If you are creating a new Database Item you can click the blue Save & Add Photos button at the bottom of the page to go directly to Edit Photos after your new item is saved:

    If you want to add photos to an existing item, navigate to the Database Item page and click the Edit button, then click Photos to go to the Edit Photos page:

  2. To upload a photo, click the Browse Files link and select a photo from your computer/device. You can also drag and drop one or more image files onto the page.

    Note that only PNG, JPEG, and GIF images can be uploaded, and filenames can't contain these special characters: # \ + % ?

    The Edit Photos page also has links to Experte Background Remover and remove.bg, two services that can automatically remove the background from images. Removing the background can make good photos great.

  3. Your photos will appear on the page above the Drag & Drop box as they are uploaded.

    Click the gear icon at the top right corner of each photo to see several options:
  4. Set a Main Photo and Show on Search Photo (see below to learn what type of image to use for each), and if the item is a Subvariant, please also set a Subvariant Photo. You can also set Fake Photos and Artistry Photosif you have them.
    • If your photo isn't oriented correctly you can use Rotate Left or Rotate Right to correct it.
    • You can add a description or other info to the Caption field below the image. 
      • Note: Captions should be specific to the photo. General descriptions of the item should not be entered in the Caption field.
    • If you're adding someone else's photo (with permission, of course), credit them in the Courtesy of field.
      • Note: If you created the image yourself there is no need to enter your own name. Every photo shows the member name of the uploader, so your own photos will be automatically credited to you.
    • After saving, you will not be able to remove photos unless you have the Coordinator Squad role. If a photo needs to be removed, please flag the item and note which image needs to be removed and why.

  5. When all your photos have been added and the photo types have been set, click the Save button at the top or bottom of the page (both work the same). It may take a few minutes for your photos to show on the Database Item.

Photo Types

Photos on Database Items can be marked as one or more different Photo Types:

  • The Main Photo: The photo shown on the Database Item page.

  • The Show on Search Photo: The photo shown as a thumbnail in search results and on Subject pages.

  • The Subvariant Photo: The photo shown on the Subvariant page to call attention to the details that make the item different from its other Subvariants.

  • Artistry Photos: Creative photography such as photos that show the item in a diorama or action scene.

  • Fake Photos: Comparison shots showing how to tell the difference between the genuine item and counterfeit versions.

Read on to learn more about each Photo Type.

The Main Photo

The image set as the Main Photo will be the photo shown on the Database Item page. Members can click on the Main Photo to enlarge it and browse through other photos in the item's gallery. The Main Photo will ideally show the item new in its packaging. These photos of a model car and an action figure on sealed blister cards are perfect for the items' Main Photos:

If the item can't be clearly seen without removing it from its packaging, the Main Photo can show the item out of the package. In these cases the Main Photo will ideally show both the item and its packaging. Here are some examples:

The Show on Search Photo

The Show on Search Photo is the image that will represent the item in search results and on Subject pages. It will ideally show the item on its own, out of the packaging, on a clean white or transparent background (or a dark/contrasting background for white and very light items). The idea is to show the item as distinctly as possible and make it easy to identify in search results. Show on Search Photos are displayed on search results at 240 x 190 pixels. That's already a pretty small size, so it's best to crop out any margins to make best use of that space. Show on Search Photos are shown at a higher resolution in the item's photo gallery, so there is no need to resize the image before uploading (the system takes care of that automatically).

These are excellent Show on Search Photos for the items shown in the first Main Photo example above:

There are also two other places where Show on Search photos are displayed:

  • If the item has a relationship with another item, the Show on Search Photo will be displayed under the related item's Relationships section.

  • If the item is a master Subvariant, its Show on Search Photo will be displayed at the top of its Subvariant group page as a representative example of all the Subvariants.

If an item doesn't have a Show on Search Photo, its Main Photo will be shown in place of the Show on Search Photo.

The Subvariant Photo

The Subvariant Photo (formerly "Detail Photo") is shown on the item's Subvariant group page and focuses on the detail(s) that differentiate the item from its other Subvariants. Subvariants are very similar to each other but differ in one or more small details such as the type of packaging or the interior color of a model car. 

The Subvariant Photo should be cropped tightly and only show the differences that set the item apart from its other Subvariants. Here, for example, the use of different languages on the packaging:

If there is more than one difference and those differences are difficult to show in a single image, a composite image can be used. A composite image, or collage, is a single image made up of more than one image or photo and can be created with most basic image editing apps. Here are good composite Subvariant Photos for two model cars that have different color packaging artwork and different countries of manufacture but are otherwise identical:

For very small and easy-to-miss details an image with an explanation can help:

If you don't have access to image editing software or need help creating a composite Detail Photo, feel free to post in the Volunteer Squad Facebook group and ask for help from another Squad member.

Articles of clothing available in different sizes will be always be Subvariants. We've made several clothing tag images showing different sizes that members can use for Subvariant Photos when adding clothing size Subvariants. See all the size labels here. You can right click and save the images, then upload them to Database Items.

Subvariant Photos are displayed on the Subvariant Group page at 240 x 190 pixels, so please make sure the details are discernible at that size.

Artistry Photos

In addition to the Main Photo, Show on Search Photo and Subvariant Photo types which all make the database useful and are meant to be “clean,” we also want to showcase the incredible artistic talent of the collector community. We welcome creative photography such as photos that show collectibles in a diorama or action scene. These types of photos can now be tagged as an Artistry Photo and we have plans to show them as a separate feed in the future. There is no limit to how many Artistry Photos can be uploaded and tagged.

Fake Photos

If an item is frequently faked or counterfeited it can be helpful to add photos that show how fakes can be identified. The best Fake Photos will show both a genuine and a fake example of the item side by side with the differences highlighted. Here's are some good examples comparing different parts of the frequently bootlegged #678 Blacklight Carnage Pop:

There is no limit to how many Fake Photos can be uploaded and tagged.

Main Tails Photo (Coins, Tokens and Casino Chips Only)

Main Tails is a special photo type that is only available for two Database Item Types  -   Coins as well as Token and Casino Chips. Both of those should have both a Main Photo for the obverse (front, or "heads") side and a Main Tails photo for the reverse (back, or "tails") side:

They will show like this on search, making it easy to identify the item from the search results without going to the database item and clicking through the photo gallery:

Since the Main Photo and Main Tails Photo are shown together in search results, there is no need to add a Show on Search Photo.

General Guidelines

  • Be sure you have permission from the copyright holder to upload the photo (stock/glam/marketing images from brands are generally okay to use).

  • A bad photo is better than no photo. If a better photo is uploaded later, it can be set as Main Photo instead. We don't typically remove low quality photos even if higher quality photos have been added. Even low quality photos can be useful, especially if they show a different angle of the item or details that might not be visible in other photos.

  • Similarly, more photos are better than fewer photos. There is no limit to the number of photos that can be added!

  • Images with no watermarks are MUCH preferred (but again, a watermarked photo is still better than none!).

  • We generally do not delete images unless they are duplicates, wrong for the item, or violate somebody's copyright. If a photo needs to be deleted or moved to another database item, please flag it.

  • If you believe that any photos on hobbyDB infringe upon your trademark or copyright, please complete our DMCA Notice Form and we will review it.

  • When adding images to a number of similar items use the same angle for each Show on Search image, if possible (for example a 3/4 view for model cars with the front of the car on the left).

  • Ideal photos have a white or transparent background (we highly recommend remove.bg, a free website that does an excellent job in removing backgrounds), unless the item itself is white or almost white — in those cases a black background works best.

  • Photos in a diorama or of the item in a historical context (for example as a prop in a movie) are great as additional photos (see Artistry Photos above).

  • We have big plans to add more options for photos in the future. See our blog article about those plans, and please comment there if you have suggestions!