The Right EquipmentFriday, November 07, 2014
In one of my trips to Buenos Aires in the late 90s I mentioned to my rugby-playing nephews that I could not understand the huge toothpaste billboards that featured a beautiful woman in a most skimpy bikini. I told my nephew, “What does that woman have to do with brushing your teeth and why is she wearing a bikini?” My ordinarily gentle nephew, with a grin on his face, raised his voice and said, “Are you a homosexual?”
I attempted to tell him that after years of being in Vancouver I had changed my macho ways and now accepted the idea that one should not use a near naked woman to advertize any product except, perhaps, bathing suits.
If you happen to look at billboards or newspaper ads in Europe (England, France, Italy, Spain, etc) you will be amazed how politically incorrect they are and how the female figure is used to sell everything.
You will not see anything “subtle” like a recent NY Times T-Magazine page advertizing wrist watches by showing a man’s hand, in many frames, lurking close to a woman’s miniskirted legs in a car.
It seems that Europeans and Latin Americans don’t get this thing we have in Canada and they celebrate the beauty of the female figure. Since Buenos Aires is one of the world’s capitals for same-sex tourism they just might soon switch to advertising toothpaste with a man wearing thong.
As a man from that other century, the 20th I remember one of the worst shooting days of my life. It happened in 1988. I had a beautiful studio in a not-yet-expensive Yale Town on Hamilton Street. I shared it with fashion photographer Dennis Montalbetti. I had been hired by designer Chris Dahl to shoot a calendar for 1989 for his client Continental Explosives. The company sold dynamite that was principally used in logging plus drill bits and something called grader blade edges.
There was to be a truck logger’s convention in January 1989 in which the conventioneers would go to a special room to be photographed (for a price is my guess) with a “nurse” who would check their hearts.
The nurse was a famous model (in the logging community circle) with extra large breasts. She was my subject for the calendar in which most of the poses were designed to have her bend down to show more cleavage. She was a natural and was most pleasant to work with.
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