THERE is a very interesting and important branch of photographic work that is just reaching the stage of development where it is attracting the attention of the business, the advertising and the commercial art world. For the want of a better term we will call it photographic illustrating.

It is not an altogether new thing because photographs have been used as a means of selling merchandise for a number of years. It is only in the last few years, however, that photographs have been used so extensively to replace drawings and paintings in magazine advertising.

Obviously the next thing to the actual display of the merchandise itself is a good photograph of it. By a good photograph we mean a photograph that does not require any doctoring to show the good qualities of the merchandise.

A photographic map of a tiling that must be worked up by an artist to make it presentable is not real. If it must be retouched, painted over, air brushed, outlined and in other ways made to look cold, dead and untruthful, it is coming to be frowned upon. The advertiser wants something that is real.

So it might be said that the photograph as an illustration has begun to come into its own. Instead of being merely a means to an end, the photograph has been made to tell the whole story, and it has been a most interesting one.

This development has necessarily been a gradual one. A photographer secured a commisison to make a picture. He found it was necessary to study his problem - to have a complete grasp of the selling idea - a scenario for his picture story. Possibly he failed a few times - that was to be expected. But with the experience so gained he was better able to choose his models, arrange his accessories, distribute his light where it would be most effective and so build up a picture that carried the exact effect of atmosphere necessary to create a favorable impression of the goods advertised.

The most encouraging thing about the work was the fact that the advertiser appreciated the photographer's efforts and was willing to pay for results. So the photographer had an incentive to develop any latent ability he possessed.

Effects have been produced by photographic illustrators that could in no way be equaled by the commercial artist, and the truthfulness of these pictures - the fact that they were genuine photographs that did not lie, has made them the most convincing copy that the advertiser could use.

It is true that there are not yet as many of these photographers as there might be because every photographer is not fitted for such work. The man must really be more than a photographer to be successful. He must have imagination, great patience, a wealth of ideas and ample time to devote to the work.

Portrait Film Negative, Artura Print By M. A. Grady Seattle, Wash.

Portrait Film Negative, Artura Print By M. A. Grady Seattle, Wash.

He may try out his ability in the time he can spare from his portrait work or his commercial work, but if he is seriously to take up the work of a photographic illustrator he must give it his entire time.

One of the essentials is a large list of models from which subjects of every description can be chosen. The photographer must make typical portrait records of these models so that he can choose from such a list the exact type of model that he feels will fit the picture story.

There are, however, many forms of illustration in which models are not used. These still life illustrations are often just as difficult as those in which there is life, for to be effective they must give the idea of life.

You will find examples of this type of picture in almost any of the popular magazines. Such pictures are used to sell hats, gloves, furniture, food products, automobiles, tires, silverware, linens, lamps and dozens of other articles.

Such pictures are made interesting by the care with which every little detail is made to do its part towards telling a story. If a hat is pictured lying on a table or chair you will find something to indicate that the hat really has an owner who wears it and that it has just been laid there.

If a food product is pictured you must feel that it is really going to be eaten and the surroundings must indicate that it is in good company. There must be nothing, however, to detract, no other food to offer a counter attraction. The emphasis must always be on the thing advertised.

The photographer must be a master of properties, with a keen eye for detail. He must see the little things that make the difference between pictures that live and pictures that are dead.

One of Belasco's most interesting stage settings depended for its realism upon a cat by a fireplace. No sooner had the curtain been raised than the cat stretched herself, walked over to a saucer of milk, and lapped it up. It was a little detail but it made the stage picture.

If you have the ability to make advertising and selling pictures it is none too soon for you to begin making use of it, for there is no limit to the demand for really good pictures.

Portrait Film Negative, Artura Print By M.A.Grady Seattle, Wash.

Portrait Film Negative, Artura Print By M.A.Grady Seattle, Wash.

At graduation time your friends expect your photograph.

Pictures That Have A Story To Tell And Tell It StudioLightMagazine1922 89Sidney Riley, Photographer of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Sidney Riley, Photographer of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.