Photography’s Influence on Modern Advertising: Beyond Just an Image

Photography’s influence on modern advertising goes beyond a moment in time. Beyond just an image, a photograph has the power to tell a story, create a brand, capture a feeling, create desire, and influence the viewer. The photographer is the Influencer of the digital advertising age.

Photography’s Influence in Modern Advertising- Porsche Master Mechanic Charley Folkes

Porsche Master Mechanic Charley Folkes photographed by Michael Grecco.

Photography’s Influence in Modern Advertising- New American Gothic

New American Gothic photographed by Michael Grecco.

The “Golden Age” of advertising is defined as the decades from the 1950s through the 1980s, however its power, and influence, did not end when the year turned 1990. Advertising continued to evolve. Those that are familiar with the American Television series “Mad Men” where treated to a “behind the scenes look at the boom time of the ad men.

In New York City, the glamour of the ad agencies and the people behind the ideas became a culture onto itself that was mimicked in every city and town across the USA and throughout the world. It began as the era of the grey flannel suit, the two-martini lunch and advertising men pushing businesspeople out of the spotlight in financial news. This gave way to the decadence of a counterculture that revolutionized society and all forms of art including photography. The process continues.

Photography Advertisers the Advertising

The lead character in Mad Men, Don Draper was a composite of the people who glamorized the sales pitch. The army of ad execs who inhabited Madison Ave and similar districts around the world took the ordinary and turned them into the extraordinary that people did not need but were made to want by advertising.

Photography’s Influence in Modern Advertising- Andre Da Silva

Actor Andre Da Silva photographed by Michael Grecco.

Photography’s Influence in Modern Advertising- Young Hippy Hula Hoop Dancer

Young Hippy Hula Hoop Dancer photographed by Michael Grecco.

Beyond the ad script and pitch, the ad men of the 1950s through the 1980s relied on the images that were the prime focus of the ad. For this they relied on photographers who were also evolving in their storytelling power.

The Story as a Picture

“Every picture tells a story”, and “A story is worth a thousand words.,” are cliches that drip truth. Photography’s influence on modern advertising goes beyond image to the photographer’s gift to create and tell a story in moments captured in time. Michael Grecco has developed and refined the gift of storytelling through photography by embracing its evolution.

Photography’s Influence in Modern Advertising Arcona Skin Care CEO Jenae Chanel

Arcona Skin Care CEO Jenae Chanel photographed by Michael Grecco.

Photography’s Influence in Modern Advertising- The “Soap” Twins

The “Soap” Twins, Cape Town, South Africa photographed by Michael Grecco.

Photography’s Influence in Modern Advertising- Happy Acura Car Owner Campaign

Happy Acura Car Owner Campaign photographed by Michael Grecco.

Michael Grecco learned the craft of photography by rising through the ranks as a photojournalist telling a story with each click of the shutter. Newspapers and magazines were the beginning of turning the craft of photography into a lifetime pursuit of the art of photography for Mr. Grecco.

Photo to Art, Art to Photo

From his early days of selling photos of news events to the Associated Press (AP) Michael Grecco became captivated with the nuances of lighting, framing and storytelling. Every photo he shot was a captured moment and an experiment in photographic excellence.

Photography’s Influence in Modern Advertising- Mindfulness

Mindfulness photographed by Michael Grecco.

In the late 1960s Andy Warhol grabbed the golden ring of fame for turning the art of still photographs into art. Today, Michael Grecco, a Photographic Influencer in the heart and soul of the digital age is melding his photographs to tell stories, create desire, influence, and push the boundaries of commercial advertising as art. Michael Grecco is redefining the focus of photo to art and art to photo.

The Challenges of Automotive Photography

In magazines, on billboards, as Instagram ads; automotive photography is everywhere. In fact, it’s one of the largest subsets of commercial photography. Ironically, it’s also one of the most difficult to master. Automotive photography presents a bevy of unique challenges for even the most seasoned advertising photographers. 

The Concept

As with all commercial photography, the first step in an automotive shoot is defining the concept. It’s important to understand the audience you’re trying to reach, and the message you’re trying to convey. Are you shooting a sleek new sports car that needs exude cool? An economical hybrid with an emphasis on the green factor? Or maybe it’s a family car that promises comfort and safety. An automotive photographer must be able to highlight the vehicle’s most essential features in a way that comes across clearly to consumers.

The Lighting

Using the right lighting for an automotive photoshoot is crucial. Most cars are highly reflective, which means the margin for error is miniscule. If you use the wrong lighting techniques, you could end up with a disastrous level of glare and a clear view of your light source reflecting off of the car’s surface. Using bigger light sources, like large softboxes, will help soften these reflections by dispersing them across the surface. On top of that, certain paint jobs will only pop if the lighting conditions are absolutely perfect. Silver cars are usually the easiest to light, and turn out looking the best. An automotive photographer needs both the technical skill and the artistic eye required to bring out a car’s color and luster, highlighting its aesthetic allure. 

The Focus

While a lot of advertising photography involves working with models, the focal point of an automotive shoot is always the vehicle itself. This provides a unique challenge: imbuing an inanimate object with character and personality. An automotive photographer must know how to use elements ranging from environment and background to shot composition to give their subject a life of its own, all while ensuring brand logos remain prominently displayed. 

The Motion

Cars are made to move. It’s their defining feature. Showing the vehicle doing exactly what it’s meant to do—driving—can be an extremely effective way to capture consumers’ attention. This is especially true for ad campaigns that revolve around themes like speed and freedom. A good automotive photographer knows how to use action shots, camera technology, and all manner of editing techniques to create images filled with motion.

Looking for an experienced automotive photographer to assist with your next project? Contact celebrated commercial photographer Michael Grecco at (310) 452-4461 or today.