"Two women smoking in the garden, c 1948."
© Photographic Advertising/NMeM / Science & Society
"The most common group of images in the Photographic Advertising archive feature women. They are usualy posed in a traditional way often looking straight at the camera. Such images were often retouched to enhance the beauty and glamour of the model. Photographic Advertising Limited, founded in 1926, 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. Their 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."