How to Look at a Photograph

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Advertisement for Kirkman's Borax Soap. Card photo by Falk, N.Y., copyrighted by Kirkman & Son, 1891. Library of Congress #LC-USZ62-52088

Advertisement for Sweetheart soap from Motion Picture magazine, 1952. From the Ad Access project, not to be used for other than educational purposes without permission of the copyright owner.


Advertising Photo

Advertising photographs are different from most other kinds of photographs. They are posed, usually with actors, to sell you a product. The advertisers want you to believe that their product will make you as happy, pretty, sexy, or strong as the people in the photograph. Sometimes, the photograph features a celebrity. The suggestion is that the person in the photograph is famous because he or she uses the product. Who says photos never lie?

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