The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Photographic Planning: A Picture Tells A Thousand Presentations …

One of the best things about moving to America was that we were able to bring most of the stuff we had in storage around the World back to one place for the first time in over 15 years.

While opening boxes upon boxes of DVD documentaries was a bit heartbreaking given they are now all available online for free, there was some delight and one of those was getting my hands back on this …

Sign of the Times is a brilliant book by photographer Martin Parr.

Martin Parr is one of Britain’s most significant photographers, best known for his sharp eye and cheeky sense of humour.

Over his 30+ career, he has focused on capturing ordinary people doing ordinary things and because of this, he has become known as a social commentator and recorder of Britain’s finely nuanced class system.

In the 90’s, the BBC aired a documentary called Signs of the Times.

In some respects it was an early version of reality television … a fly-on-the-wall documentary that aimed to document the personal tastes of people in their British homes.

50 people were chosen from 2000 applicants with a real focus on capturing a diverse range of ages, races, genders and social backgrounds.

Anyway, from that show came the book and anyone who grew up in the 90’s in the UK who sees it will resonate with so much of it.

Not just in terms of the aesthetic, but the energy, values and priorities of the times.

I’ve long been fascinated with this approach – we even did a similar type of project at Wieden in Shanghai – because for me, it not only helps communicate who we’re talking to in ways others can truly connect to but – because of the contextual lens – it provides additional insight into how the audience lives and what they value.

It’s why it was so important for me to make a coffee table book of photographs from our recent America In The Raw study, because while some probably saw it as an indulgence – especially given you needed to see the accompanying presentation to truly understand what we found and what we think brands can/should do – my view is that without it, you can’t truly connect to the stories that shaped our thinking and then all we’ll end up with is a deck rather than the influence for change.

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33 Comments so far
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finally a bit of class on this shithole blog. of course the reason you like that particular book of parrs work is because it features people who are fashion fucking role models for you.

Comment by andy@cynic

Isn’t that book too new for Rob’s fashion tastes? I always thought his book of choice was a Kay’s catalogue from 1982.

Comment by DH

Kay’s catalogue. I haven’t heard that name in years. I used to love looking at the neighbours copy that and check out all the tech … which tended to be new calculators than anything actually tech, ha.

Comment by Rob

also heard from florence you are trying to connect him to metallica. what the fuck are you thinking. what the fuck are they thinking. if this happens i may kill myself.

Comment by andy@cynic

If he meets Martin Parr I will hate Rob forever. How does one person get so lucky? Or in Parr’s case, unlucky.

Comment by DH

I told you Robert wanted to explore the possibility of working with Mr Parr, not that he is. You can all put your suicide weapons down.

Comment by George

Yes, it’s hope, not a plan.

Comment by Rob

You get paid for this. You should be paying everyone else. Not because it isn’t a worthy approach, it’s just wrong you get so much fun.

Comment by DH

when will you fucking get it. he sold his soul to satan.

Comment by andy@cynic

Only answer that makes any sense.

Comment by DH

I received a copy of your America In The Raw book and loved it. I am sure I would have enjoyed it as a pdf but in physical form, it elevates the power of the photographs and the overall story.

Comment by George

“One of the best things about moving to America was that we were able to bring most of the stuff we had in storage around the World back to one place for the first time in over 15 years.”

I genuinely thought this was a reference to marketing ideas.

Comment by John

or his fashion and music tastes.

Comment by andy@cynic

Well over 15 years in those cases.

Comment by John

Hahahahaha … though you do have a point. The amount of things that are happening here that have a connection to stuff I saw in the past is amazing. Especially in terms of online behaviour in relation to China.

It’s not recycling, it’s sustainability. Ahem.

Comment by Rob

Martin Parr is one of my favourite photographers. I recently saw his Great British Seaside exhibition in London and it was as enchanting as all his other work. I think it is still on if you are planning on being in town at any point soon.

Comment by Lee Hill

Thanks for the tip Lee.

Comment by John

You’ll regret telling me that Lee as I’m in London a week on Monday. Sadly just for a day but if I can make it, I’d love to go. Will check out where it is/times. Thank you.

Comment by Rob

Will we have time to catch up?

Comment by Lee Hill

I would love to. Will check out what the schedule is.

Comment by Rob

as if london doesnt have enough shit to deal with.

https://tinyurl.com/y9h83k37

Comment by andy@cynic

I understand why you removed comments from your female leaders post, but I wish you hadn’t. An excellent read with a new and important argument for pushing it. I am proud of you Robert.

Comment by Lee Hill

+1

Comment by George

not bad campbell. but i know youre only doing this so you can have an excuse why you will never be hired in the future. though you will be. somehow. fucker.

Comment by andy@cynic

Excellent work Rob, bloody brilliant

Comment by Northern

However, the holiday situation is just ridiculous

Comment by Northern

You mentioned a few times in various blogs, interviews, posts that you love documentaries – what are your top 5 (or 10) and can you please give a sentence on each as to why?

Comment by Matt

Literally the worst question you could ask him. You’ll be here for years.

Comment by DH

Nope, worst question would be do you like Queen?

Comment by Northern

I can beat that. Why do you like queen.

Comment by DH

Fair play

Comment by Northern

fuck me campbell, how long can one freebie holiday last?

Comment by andy@cynic

Impressive even by Rob’s standards

Comment by Northern




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