The World’s Best Advertising Photography – Dave Saunders.

The World’s Best Advertising Photography by Dean Saunders provided me with a good amount of advertising photographers and advert examples which may be useful to use for case studies in my paper. I was also able to collate a couple of quotes which may be useful.

“Ads should slap you in the face, then kiss you” – Jeff Weiss. (Weiss 1994 cited in Saunders 1994: 15).

“A good ad leaves you wondering how the advertiser knew so much about you.” (Saunders, 1994: 16).

“Photographs help; they are powerful tools which can both attract attention and give information. They can stop you, and talk to you. Photographs give a tone, a feeling, an attitude.” (Saunders, 1994: 16).

Irving Penn – Clinique ad?

“Because of time constraints, we have to expedite things and cheat, but this is not misleading the public; it’s only an illusion, and people understand the language.” – (Waldie 1994 cited in Saunders 1994: 92).

  • Use this as a statement to argue against.

Despite only being able to draw out a couple of useful quotes from this book, I think they are all quite powerful points which I should consider using in my paper. Firstly, Jeff Weiss states “Ads should slap you in the face, then kiss you” – Jeff Weiss. (Weiss 1994 cited in Saunders 1994: 15). I think this is a brilliant statement to open up my paper and instantly introduce how important it is for an advert to immediately capture the consumer’s attention. The ‘slap’ represents grabbing the attention and the ‘kiss’ implies making the product so desirable that the consumer finds it attractive enough to purchase it.

Secondly, Saunders comments how “A good ad leaves you wondering how the advertiser knew so much about you.” (Saunders, 1994: 16). This is again touching upon how an advertisement targets us on an emotional level and individually. By creating an advert with an image of something that feels so specifically tailored to us, we as consumers feel as if the advertiser knows exactly what we want and presents us with a way to get it – buying the product! The quote seems so surreal as of course the advertiser does not and will not ever know us, yet it shows how powerful advertisements can become.

Saunders also gives a short, descriptive insight into how photographs work so well within adverts through “photographs help; they are powerful tools which can both attract attention and give information. They can stop you, and talk to you. Photographs give a tone, a feeling, an attitude.” (Saunders, 1994: 16). I would like to use this in my paper somehow as it gives a short, sharp, understandable summary of how photographs work. I like the term of referring to photographs as ‘powerful tools’, an item which aids the purpose of creating something.

Finally, another quote I found interesting was from Alan Waldie where he explains “because of time constraints, we have to expedite things and cheat, but this is not misleading the public; it’s only an illusion, and people understand the language.” – (Waldie 1994 cited in Saunders 1994: 92). This contradicts the points I have been making through my current research however that is why I find it so interesting. Personally, I do find it acceptable that there will be an element of ‘cheating’ due to time constraints but I do not agree with how it misleads the public as it is not always obvious that an ‘illusion’ has been created. Look at digitally retouched models on the covers of magazines for example, they are sculpted and edited so precisely and skilfully that they can easily go unnoticed as being manipulated. Waldie also says ‘how people understand the language’ whereas this contradicts what Judith Williamson believed of how adverts speak to us in a voice we recognise but are not able to identify, suggesting that consumer’s do not actually understand the language and cannot see the effect manipulations have on a true representation of a product. I think it’s really insightful to see this alternative opinion and it may be worth integrating this into my paper somehow to create a counter argument.

Finally, one (slightly irrelevant) point which absolutely blew my mind was the discussion of manipulation of images through film and the use of floppy disks! It’s incredible to think how many photographs we can now store onto external hard drives of up to 1 terabyte, whereas then it was all managed on floppy disks. It really is incredible to see how the technology has changed.

This book was helpful for my research in terms of drawing out some key points which I will use to develop my argument in my paper.

Saunders, D. (1994) The World’s Best Advertising Photography. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd.

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~ by victoriasimkissphotography on January 22, 2015.

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