Propaganda Photography

Propaganda is often considered in a negative light. Wikipedia describes it as:

“Propaganda is communication that is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda”

Millions Stand Behind Me, John Heartfield, 1932

Millions Stand Behind Me, John Heartfield, 1932

Propaganda is frequently associated with political regimes, suggesting images of World War II or the Cold War. At uni I studied propaganda art and media and became fascinated by its creators. Artists like John Hearfield and Charlie Chaplin used propaganda themes to satirise those who used it for nefarious reasons.

The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin, 1940

With an ever more polarised world today the term propaganda is thrown about in a derogatory manner. Content creators and those who use propaganda make conscious, ethical decisions on how it’s produced and used.

Decades ago I seriously considered renaming my company to Propaganda. After all, my work is used to trigger an emotional response to persuade my clients’ customers to buy, invest or have a certain point of view. I create images for advertising, corporate, media, government and my own personal photography.

street photography

Discussing the rebranding of my photography company over lunch with a close client in the comms business we joked about its interpretation. He suggested a logo that included a goose with a neck tie, a “proper” gander. I abandoned the idea! Given today’s environment I’m glad I did.

Please share your thoughts over on LinkedIn.