Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Golf Stock Photo Fails (Hooked on Golf Blog)

If you fancy a laugh, check out a bunch of recent blogs over on the Hooked on Golf Blog. They come under the title of  "Golf Stock Photo Fail" and some of them are beauties.

If you're wondering what a 'photo fail' refers to, it's simple. Take your camera to a golf course, hire a model (or ask the locals) and then take snazzy photographs of them on the course swinging a club, posing, celebrating... then take your majestically brilliant
shots and you sell them to a stock photo library. That way, other people who know absolutely nothing about the game will buy the shots and put them in advertising campaigns, brochures and on websites... so that 'real' golfers can have a laugh at them for being so ludicrous.

Remember, people, money exchanged hands for these. Here's the link.

I'm not going to steal Tony's thunder, but here's one of the examples on his blog.

You might notice that the hole is behind her, while the guy with the flag
has a case of what Ben Elton famously termed 'male modelling disease'.

A Golf Photo Fail in Action

I had to check every one of Tony's posts as I was involved in a major Golf Photo Fail many years ago.

I worked at an ad agency in London, back in the 90s, and one of our clients was the Country Club Hotel Group (CCHG). They focused heavily on golf. After being purchased a couple of times, today they are part of the Marriott group. Their golf courses include Forest of Arden, St. Pierre, Dalmahoy, Hanbury Manor - not insubstantial courses. The Forest of Arden hosted the British Masters a couple of times.

CCHG wanted a new brochure for their Goodwood hotel and golf club, so I headed down from London for a two-day shoot with the client and the creative director... and the photographer. We'd hired four - yes, four - models to pose around the hotel. Dinner shot, at the bar shot, romantic couple shot, pool shot (yes, gratuitous girl-in-wet-swimsuit shot), bedroom shot... and shots on the golf course.

I was only there for one day and the photographer turned out to be a slow worker... for some reason we ended up slaving over the pool shot for a very long time. We didn't, therefore, get to the golf course that first day.

"Do you guys play golf?" I asked the models during one of the breaks. One of them said he played a little.

I had a chat with the client before driving back to London, expressing slight concern that there were no 'real' golfers in the group. She wasn't worried, saying that the photographer she'd hired shot golf courses around the world.

A week later we got the photograph sheets - square pages with about 20 small images on each. They were divided up into the different shot categories... so while most of the agency lads investigated the pool shots in minute detail, I went through the golf shots.

The photographer was very good and his shots of the course were lovely... but he knew nothing about playing golf. Nor did the model who said he played a little. It was a disaster.

  • The course boasts a pretty, short par three, with the green below. In the shot, the model was teeing up with a driver, facing 50 yards right of the hole (presumably so the photographer could catch the morning light) and standing two yards in front of the tee markers.
  • Then there was the bunker shot. This time it was one of the girls, playing out of a greenside bunker... with a driver. 
  • Next was the fairway shot and it was back to the original model. At least he was facing the green, but his stance was more akin to taking a putt than hitting a mid iron.
  • They had a 'golfers walking away from the camera' shot: all four of them, with three carrying a club over their shoulders while the fourth carried the golf bag... the only golf bag.
  • And finally, the green shot. Look at the photo above. That sums it up pretty well. Actually, it's what brought the memories flooding back.

And who got the blame for this fiasco? Yep, you guessed it. At least they didn't try to take the £2,000 it cost to do the reshoot out of my pay packet.

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