Couple carrying Christmas presents, 1949.
© NMeM / Photographic Advertising / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of a couple carrying armfuls of Christmas presents, taken by Photographic Advertising Limited in 1949. The false snow suggests the season. Like many supposedly outdoor scenes, this image was taken in a studio setting. Christmas is a popular subject in the Photographic Advertising Limited archive, suggesting joy, goodwill - and overspending. Photographic Advertising Limited was founded in 1926 by a group experienced in photojournalism and film. The company created multi-purpose stock images with the potential for selling a range of products. Whilst enjoying its greatest success during the 1930s, it continued in business until 1977. Photographic Advertising Limited's trademark, the staged studio photograph resembling a film still, was its selling point and, later, its downfall. Sophisticated, adaptable and generic, this kind of image gradually fell out of favour as clients increasingly demanded targeted advertising campaigns with specific photographs.