Last week, Microsoft in Business Canada launched their official Instagram account (@msft_businessca). As a small business that aligns with their key pillars (Productivity, Collaboration, Mobility, and Innovation), our content was used to help kick-start their feed. Our co-founder, Francisco Tejada (@kuyakix) was interviewed by the Microsoft Commercial team, and here's what he had to say.
@msft_businessca: What's the name of your company?
Toy Bacon: A Tasty Take on Toys
@msft_businessca: Tell us your story. How you started, why you started, how technology has driven the journey of your company and creativity.
Growing up as a kid in the early 90s, I used to collect comic books and trading cards, and couldn’t wait for Sunday morning cartoons. My family knew how passionate I was about superheroes and animation, and when I was lucky, I’d get an action figure. I wouldn’t toss them around mindlessly like some kids did. I’d reenact scenes from a comic book or episode using household items like dental floss as Spider-Man’s webbing to swing him into his foes. As I grew older, that novelty wore off as things like video games and personal computers became popular, so I passed on my collection to friends and family. My love for PCs and video games lead me to take courses like Computer Engineering and Computer Science, but the course that really opened up my creative flow was Media Arts. I quickly fell in love with graphic design, photography, and videography and went on to create my school’s very first promotional video.
Meet Francisco. Francisco uses his Lumia phone to capture some of the creative content behind his toy photography business. “My Lumia was the catalyst that turned my childhood passions and hobbies into a small business.” For more of his tasty take on toys, check out @toybacon #LumiaPhotography #smallbusiness #toyphotography #manualfocus #canadiancreatives #technology #toybacon
As the years went on, I graduated in a marketing and business program and started to establish myself in the marketing industry, and as I grew, so did the toy and tech industry. Manufacturers were creating more intricate molds with several points of articulation, accessories, and interchangeable parts. The shift to digital introduced a whole new line of digital cameras, but I had my eyes on a DSLR since I had plenty of experience with interchangeable lenses and manual settings. I started saving on the side and collecting articulate action figures and would pose them at my desk just like I did as a kid. I’d sometimes get a chuckle from a colleague muttering something along the lines of, “boys and their toys.” Eventually, I saved enough to buy a used DSLR, and frequently spent time after hours or on weekends going on shoots around Toronto, trying to capture the grit and glam of the city. Every now and then, I’d take a figure out with me as a subject to hone my composition skills, but it was a pain to lug around a camera bag.
Everything changed when I got my hands on my first Lumia. It was a yellow Lumia 1020, not my first rodeo with a Nokia, but my first Microsoft phone. It was everything I needed for work, but the real gamechanger was the camera. I was absolutely floored when I realized it had a 41MP sensor and state-of-the-art Carl Zeiss optics better than all previous iterations. It worked amazingly well in low light, but the real kicker was the Pro Camera settings. Being able to adjust White Balance, Manual Focus, ISO, and more were unheard of on some point-and-shoot cameras, let alone a smartphone. Believe it or not, I started to leave my DSLR at home in favour for the Lumia 1020 and was more than satisfied.
When Instagram started to become popular, I started adding toy photography to the mix of food and family pictures. This year, I noticed that one of my best friends, Andrew Oliveira, was doing the same, but he had much better engagement on social. We met and he introduced me to an international community of toy photographers, and we decided to shoot together because two heads are better than one. We created our brand, Toy Bacon: A Tasty Take On Toys, and started a joint Instagram account. Less than a month later, our 12th post garnered more than 600 likes in less than 48 hours. In less than 4 months, we’ve had our work showcased in comicons (comic conventions), barbershops, restaurants, video game tournaments, and an art gallery. We’ve done commissioned work, collaborated with local artists, and have no intention of slowing down.
@msft_businessca: How has using Microsoft technology help achieve your business objectives?
From time to time, I shoot with my DSLR and other mobile devices, but the Pro Camera settings and apps on my Lumia were the catalyst that turned my childhood passions and hobbies into a small business. Since then, I’ve upgraded to the Lumia 950XL, but the same holds true. The Windows OS and apps allow me to stay productive for both work and play. Andrew and I communicate via email and IM for business, but my camera is auto-synced to our shared OneDrive to exchange pictures on the fly. The Windows Phone Instagram app allows us to share our work and build awareness of our brand. I never thought that a device would unite my love for toys, tech, and friends, but I’m glad that it did.
We would like to thank the Microsoft team for featuring us and encourage you to follow their new Instagram handle (@msft_businessca).