Saturday, 6 December 2008

Glamour girls

The sea front walk at Sheringham, Norfolk, UK

Every now and again, i fondly think back to when i was just getting interested in photography. In 1986, photography magazines were often the best places to get up to date information about my new hobby. My favourite UK photography magazine was Practical Photography, closely followed by Amateur Photographer. Both were excellent reads and full of news, reviews and advice for getting better photographs. There was, however, one small thing that constantly filled me with dread. Buying the magazine!

You see, the problem involved the cover photographs on the magazines. Both magazines had a tendency to put a glamour photograph on the cover. Sometimes these images were pushing at the boundaries between hobby magazine and the top shelf publications. It was a regular thing too - virtually every issue it seemed. Most of the covers featured some sort of scantily clad 'lovely' to the extent that Amateur Photographer magazine earned the nickname 'Amateur Pornographer' during the late 1980's.

Did the magazine believe that sales were seriously affected by the lack of a girl on the cover? Maybe they were. It seemed rather narrow minded to me, considering the vast variety of photographic subjects that photography offers. Fortunately, some 20 years later, it's a lot better now - the magazines feature a much broader range of visual topics. You certainly don't see as many red faced and embarrassed fourteen year old boys waiting to be served at the newsagent as you used to!

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