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Impacts of Photography on Advertising Essay

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Updated: Dec 5th, 2019

Over the years, photos have been used in advertisements. Photography is believed to have many impacts on advertising efforts. So as to discuss this topic, this paper shall: trace the development of photography on advertising; discuss the positive impacts of photography on advertising; and discuss the negative impacts of photography on advertising. A conclusion that summarizes the key points discussed shall be made in the last section of the paper. Some recommendations shall also be included in the conclusion.

Development of Photography Advertising

At first, consumers did not seem to have interpretative qualities of photographs, since commercial men used photography as a way of educating the consumers on the benefits of their product. However, in the early 20th century some advertising psychologists discovered that consumers were open to propositions (Stroebel and Richard 25).

Consequently, these psychologists provided support for an innovative and suggestive advertising strategy. At the same time, trained photographers of the time added specialists who included: art managers, copywriters, psychologists and account managers to serve as agency workers.

The Photography art managers typically drew and decorated pictures with this novel and suggestive advertising tactic. In 1920s, the advertising industry grew rapidly as a result of the vibrant economy and the national distribution of goods rose from 15 to 80 percent in 1930 (Stroebel and Richard 27).

After the First World War, the advertising business professionalized swiftly, with novel art managers founding specialized organizations. Noticeably, the New York Art Directors Club which was established in the first part of the 20th century began supporting shows and magazines, thus setting a model for analogous clubs globally. The incredible bazaar for advertising photography offered chances for photographers of diverse artistic tendencies.

In the late 20th century, contemporary photography advertising, specifically, bloomed as a proper representation for the insecure in terms of contemporary styles and trends. Contributions by Arthur Wesley Dow, who advocated for an autonomous model of art appreciation and urged the relevance of fine-art principles to industrial and commercial design, were magnanimous (Stroebel and Richard 27).

Photographers assumed a contemporary style derived from tilted vantage points, tonal disparity, and extra geometric works of art which sharpened focus that subjugated in advertising photography (Reedy 69). Photography advertisement industry grew with a lot of clients who dealt with beauty products, packaged foods, cars, jewelry, soaps, and so on (Reedy 70).

By the end of the 20th century virtually all visual advertising was photographed (Ingledew 28). Since then, photographers have worked closely with art directors, who aid in suggesting photographic interpretations, so as to deliver the right message to the audience. Currently, in the 21st century, digital photography has brought the kinds of fantastic effects that make advertising more appealing, further enriching the public to buy the products.

Positive Impacts of Using Photography in Advertising

Advertising efforts are usually enhanced through photography since photos give a stereotypical picture of the product in form of images, thus creating a positive perception of the product. Use of photos in advertising has the potential to: easily persuade customers, improve visual perception, create a sense of humor and change a product’s perception.

A study by Reedy reveals that use of photos impacts advertising by giving a clearly understandable image, interpreted in a personally expressive style that is achieved through the soft-focus and fine-art style of photography (Reedy 68).

Many companies have shown tremendous growth in sales by use of photography in advertising, since it aids in persuading consumers to buy the products. Over time the amount of money allocated for advertising through photography has increased significantly due to increase in sales volumes of advertised products.

Consequently, the growth of photography advertising has seen a number of institutional structures come up, with new societies and publications being founded. Photography boasts the sophistication that usually typify advertisements, for instance where women, men and children icons are employed to convey depictions of conformist sex roles (Stroebel and Richard 28). This influences the customer to believe in the products.

Photography advertisements bring in new concepts of making products appealing to consumers, especially with the use of digital cameras. Considerably, modern capitalist societies have invented the digital camera, which has proven to be a vital device for the producers of consumer merchandise (Reedy 64).

Camera images have been able to make consumers conceive realities that are captivated in the advertisements and to believe in the advertised products. Continuous demand for advertisements through photography has continued to grow, with new faces and styles constantly emerging.

Photography as a method of advertising offers a set of ideal visual appearances of the commodity via supple focus spectacular lighting and print mishmash (Ingledew 30). Photography advertisements have seen recommendable growth of demand, especially by designers who find print to captivate the readers and visually impress the viewer’s perception on the advertised product.

Photography advertising gives more information which enables consumers to know more regarding a product, particularly through ad campaigns that are very common in daily advertisements.

Photography advertising has the latent to transmit joy and humor which is favorable to consumerism as it increases the volume of sales.The majority of advertising agencies, clients and magazine editors eagerly seek for work that is designed by professional photographers, for quality reasons.

Photography gives consumers a sense of appeal through humor, creativity and innovativeness that is portrayed in classic advertisements. Photography remains the dominant advertising medium. A recent exploration on advertising photography has aided in building a more explicit perception of the diversity within contemporary photography (Reedy 70).

Photography designers make advertisement clips as attractive as possible so as to ensure that the consumers get a more appealing picture of the products. Advertisement of some products that are used in day to day life helps in creating awareness of existence of the commodities and services.

Negative impacts of using Photography in Advertising

One demerit of photography advertising is that it turns models into objects, as they are usually coached to portray certain alien behaviors. According to a study by Ingledew in 2005, photography advertisement turn people into objects with the intention of being representatively infatuated (30).

Since advertising patterns are usually created by advertising agencies, photographic illustrations feature themes that interest most human beings. As a result, photography advertisements have brought fears related to the disconcerting overt images that are broadly available to kids. Photography advertising tends to give access to obscene images which may spoil the moral values of the younger generation and impact the society negatively.

Thus there is need for parents and other stakeholders to counsel their children regarding some advertisements that are shown in the media. A study by Reedy in 1973 indicates that photography advertisements that particularly show photos of war and pornography create a bad impression of the product or service, especially to women and children (67).

In conclusion use of photography in advertising has both positive and negative implications. However, the positive implications outweigh the negative implications. Photography advertisements are more beneficial in marketing of existing and new products. Use of photos in advertising has the potential to: easily persuade customers, improve visual perception, create a sense of humor and change a product’s perception.

Photography gives consumers a sense of appeal through humor, creativity and innovativeness that is portrayed in classic advertisements. Advertisement of some products that are used in day to day life using photos helps in creating awareness of existence of the commodities and services.

Photography as a way of advertising gives a set of perfect visual expression of the product through soft focus, dramatic lighting, heavy retouching and print combination Many companies have shown tremendous growth in sales by use of photography in advertising, since it aids in persuading consumers to buy the products.

Conversely, use of photography in advertising brings fears regarding the disconcerting overt images that are broadly made available to kids. Models are also treated as objects, as they are usually coached to portray certain alien behaviors.

Lastly, it is important for designers to ensure that quality advertisements that suit each product are properly designed, so as to serve the intended purpose while creating positive impressions to all consumers, across ages and genders. This can be achieved by taking considerable caution while designing advertisements so as to ensure negative features like pornography and violent actions are not in the advertisement. This will also protect the rights of children to obscene materials.

Works Cited

Ingledew, John. Photography. London: Laurence King Publishing, 2005.

Reedy, William. Impact- Photography for Advertising. New York: University of California, 1973

Stroebel, Leslie and Richard Zakia. The Focal encyclopedia of photography. London: Focal Press, 1993

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IvyPanda. "Impacts of Photography on Advertising." December 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/impacts-of-photography-on-advertising/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Impacts of Photography on Advertising." December 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/impacts-of-photography-on-advertising/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Impacts of Photography on Advertising'. 5 December.

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