This thesis focuses on the world of popular imagery, specifically photographic images in advertising. It is divided into two major sections and is accompanied by a series of photographic artworks I created. The first section is a comprehensive investigation of the history, conventions, and mechanisms of photographic advertising images, as well as an analysis of how the digital, photograph-like image is affecting the conceptions and functions of the medium of photography. The second section of the thesis is devoted to a detailed analysis of the series of four large photographic prints I created while doing research, which will relate back to the concepts explored in the first section of the thesis.
Ultimately, this entire project — thesis and artworks — seeks and provides answers to the questions of why advertising images look the way they do, how they work as persuasive tools, and how societies ought to go about living with these sophisticated and illusionary images.