One of the things that those of us professed as geeks know is that we're not model material. Often, while we can spot an attractive member of the opposite sex, we don't necessarily judge others as less than attractive - to avoid the "pot calling the kettle black" claim.
So, when two unarguably geek sites (which I ready at least twice a day) write an article critical of the model wearing a product, it's worth a discussion.
Here, the article on Gizmodo - NES Varsity Jacket Is a Limited Edition for a Reason - below writes: "Jackets don't come much uglier than this, but hey, at least it matches this guy's male pattern baldness."
So, what does this have to do with Photo Business?
Here's another, on Engadget - NES Controller Varsity Jacket would be more awesome with awesome models - which criticizes the model - "At first glance, we actually gagged upon seeing the jacket pictured above. Immediately after regaining our composure, we wondered how on Earth such a magnificent piece of retro kit could have such a negative impact on our lives -- then, it hit us. It's the dude. Seriously. Strap this $200, limited run jacket on anyone even remotely beautiful and we'd bet you too would see things differently. Or maybe it is just obscenely tacky, but it'd be much less so on anyone other than this fellow."
This is an example, likely, of a client saying "we don't need to hire a model, just get my cousin Vinny to wear it", or "we owe our programmer some goodwill, let's use him", or some variation thereof.
Further, the jacket doesn't even fit him. He looks like a size large, and the jacket looks like a size XXL.
When you have a product to sell, paying attention to the details, like a well lit product, a model that is appropriate (or atleast doesn't detract from) the product, and one that fits appropriately, are just a few of the many things that hiring professional - from photographer to talent - is critical to the success of a shoot.
Further, as the professional photographer, it is your responsibility to convey to the client the importance of your judgement when it comes to talent. Often times, when a client insists on "street-casting", or casting from within an office, we ask for snapshots of the subjects, or we take snapshots ourselves, and then take them away to make determinations as to which person is best. Even when the client chooses someone who we know won't work, we make the snapshot, so as to not offend the non-workable subject. Usually, clients that are ad agencies or PR firms understand the nuances of the right subject being chosen, and how that can impact the product. This product is a limited edition of 1,000, and likely could have entirely been sold by the two postings on Gizmodo and Engadget alone by people wanting street cred amongst we geeks for having it. However, now no geek I know would be caught dead wearing this jacket, because our daily read has panned it.
Thus, a $200 jacket, with a limited edition of 1,000, and a possible gross revenue of $200,000 will, instead, likely show up at the discount store, or become a giveaway gift at Nintendo video conferences, all because someone didn't pay attention to who the model was. That's a $200,000 mistake there.
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