In an earlier blog I created a bit of a fuss with some photographs taken for advertising purposes at the end of the 1970s and in the early 1980s. Whilst not wishing to offend the viewer, I was attempting to show the changes in society’s mores and outlooks as regards political correctness. The above shot was clearly aimed at the marketing demographic – ie female gym users; but with the addition of an additional gendered model into the shot, a case of reverse gender exploitation takes place.
Allowing that the job was commissioned with an art directing to a layout, and was subsequently published as a brochure promoting the garments illustrated; it can be assumed after all these years that the public was comfortable with such images.
Similarly this innocent, naive but exploitative photograph of models and motor vehicle was considered the norm.
Commissioned by the Brisbane branch office of a major advertising agency working for a major player in the automotive world, the credentials behind the shot were typical of the era. From a struggling advertising photographer’s point of view it was manna from heaven. The lead model was the current model of the year and I was left with a positive image to put into my portfolio.
Sexist yes – but valuable creative work.
Less defensible was this piece of “paradise”. It was commissioned by a former Port Moresby expatriate relocated to Brisbane, who was working directly for the hotel chain. With no art direction background he was following a much more sexist concept to produce a poster for use in travel agencies and at travel trade shows.
In what appears to be a common thread, there was a minimal budget for photography and talent – with the photographer doing almost all of the pre-production, propping and provision of talent.
The base photograph was certainly reliant of the photographer’s skill in studio lighting control – and for that I take some credit. Finding a compliant model was again an exercise in having a good collection of friends who had friends who knew people who were supportive of what I was doing. As this test shot shows, the concept was gradually constructed and with the addition of a tropical sunset the shot was finalised to the client’s satisfaction.
The concept of supplying free photographs in return for publicity has been around for a long, long time……
The Brisbane affiliate of a large multinational advertising agency was following a time honoured path of “inviting” photographers to submit a media based image for use in their promotional calendar handed out to clients. Sort of like Pirelli, without the money and huge prestige! I suspect that the printer was rolled over the same barrel as me. I think my representation of “sound and audio” was used for the month of May. Many thanks to Denise for the soft filmy top and to Jenny for posing in said top.
Gasket Girl follows the Page Three Girl photography model. Certainly not original, but aimed straight to the target demographic – male, trade orientated, and sexist. The client’s brand was guaranteed to be nailed to work shop and garage walls everywhere.
My (unremembered) art director client knew his market well.
The shoot, in a hire studio capable of parking a car, was as cliche ridden and stereotypical as can be possibly imaged. Grist for the mill for the working photographer, simple posing for the model and satisfying for a fairly non-demanding client.
Greenmount Girl was the result of strong opinions by the client, a good art director who was trying to give his client a result that probably was greater than his ability to comprehend. The art director spent considerable time in pre-production discussions with me and we workshopped the possibilities and locations long before the shooting session.
The client brief called for an emphasis on the concept of a “no cash holiday”. All transactions at the resort were to be handled via a credit card – a revolutionary idea at the time! Again the idea was to feature the charge card in an “attractive environment”. Hence the need for a pretty model.
Allowing that it was envisaged that the final shot would involve topless images, a deserted beach (no where near the Gold Coast) was chosen for the day’s shoot.
The resultant photographs are not amongst my finest – but my client the art director was happy, his agency’s client was happy and all parties got paid!
Such were the 1970/80s.