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Brochure shoot turns into a nightmare

by Colin Doeg

Reproduced from in focus 59 (February 1997)

The 'phone call was quite unexpected. It was from one of the well-known diving holiday operators and a commission to go to the Red Sea to take photographs for the company's 1997 brochure.

Undaunted, Linda Dunk went into action. It was just the type of opportunity she had been seeking. But there was no time to be lost. Existing business appointments had to be rearranged. Equipment had to be serviced and collected. A considerable quantity of film had to be purchased.

Meetings had to be arranged with the client to discuss in detail the underwater and surface shots which were required. In addition, Linda's daughter, Marie Louise, had to rearrange her own plans so she could accompany her mother as her photographic model. The household was in a whirl when there was another phone call. The shoot had been put off for ten daysl

Still undaunted, Linda and her daughter began arranging their lives yet again. Everything was going well. Linda's business clients were understanding and Anne-Marie's friends were tolerant.

But then came a third telephone call only three days before the departure date! The director concerned had refused to sanction the cost of the photography so the assignment was cancelled! Instead, one of his friends would take the necessary pictures for free!!

Said Linda afterwards: 'No wonder some of the travel brochures contain such abysmal illustrations. I cannot believe that so little importance is attached to the need for good quality photographs to persuade customers to go on the holidays which are advertised. This year is the International Year of the Reef. We want to tell the world about the charm and attraction of these fragile ecosystems. Instead, we open some holiday brochures and see indifferent photographs of coral reefs or even shots of snorkellers or divers clinging to coral while they pose for the photographer. It is an appalling example to set as well as uninspired marketing. My experience also shows how some companies fall short of even the basic tenets of good business practice.'

Who is the operator concerned? Ask Linda because their commissions are well worth avoiding in the future.

Reproduced from in focus 59 (February 1997)

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