harnessing the power of photography for good

Absurdity of Advertising…

I saw this ad in Time magazine on Tuesday, while sitting in the waiting room…It was an issue from October of last year.  For those of y’all who don’t recognize the gal in the photo, good for you.  As you can see it’s an ad for Louis Vuitton, and the gal looking all serious with her Louis Vuitton tote is Angelina Jolie.  According to the text with the ad, the photo was taken in Cambodia in May 2011, by Annie Leibovitz.

I’m not second guessing the validity of the ad.  The ad is just funny.  Even absurd.  That’s probably why Angelina looks so tepid or even embarrassed, as if she’s saying “take the photo already.”

I Google’d the tote she is schlepping in the ad…it sells anywhere from $1500-$2000 dollars.   From what I’ve read, she did insist on shooting the campaign with her own clothes and wearing her own makeup.  The 6 year old LV alto tote is also hers and is out of production.  To which Louis Vuitton considered editing the image with a current bag still in production, I don’t know if they did or not.

It’s just silly.  It would be like doing a fashion shoot of evening gowns in an orphanage.  Bad taste.  Cambodia still struggles economically  in comparison to neighboring countries, with corruption still rampant throughout the country.

With these ads Louis Vuitton is trying to hype up their  history of being the go-to luggage and bag company when it comes to luxury travel.  I think there are better ways of reminding folks of their travel heritage than this ad.

As photographers, we all have to make judgement calls.  Is this the best way of using your talents?  Am I using photography to promote good? There is more to these questions and many ways to view the issues…I think it’s good to talk about these things and I’m just starting…

I posted some different thoughts concerning this ad, in regards to short term missions on my personal blog…feel free to take a look HERE or by visiting one1shot.wordpress.com

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