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Providing a window into Western Australian consumerism and public relations from the 1960s to the early 2000s, the Stevenson, Kinder & Scott Corporate Photography collection is an expansive collection of over 25,000 images. Shots range from retail trade, mining, industrial development, sport, public relations events, to real estate. This series of online mini-exhibitions delves into the advertising photographs taken for various companies throughout the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and early '90s. You will see advertising for fast food chains; domestic groceries; household goods; fashion; Bakewell Pies; Swan Lager; and Laurie Potter's Health Clubs.

The Company

The collection includes photographs taken by a number of professional photographic companies, starting out with Shepherd Baker Sullivan Associates (SBS), which operated from 1965 to 1978. From 1979 to 1986, the company operated as Shepherd Baker Studios, later merging with Taimac Video Corporation to form Taimac SBS (1987-1994). Finally, the company was sold to Kinder & Scott Corporate Photography, who in the same year joined with Brian Stevenson & Co. Photographers to become Stevenson, Kinder & Scott Corporate Photography. From 2001 onward, the company worked under the name SKS Corporate Photography.

Staff of Shepherd Baker Sullivan & Associates, photographers, 1973, Stevenson, Kinder & Scott Corporate Photography, State Library of Western Australia, 360197PD

The Collection

The Stevenson, Kinder & Scott Corporate Photography collection was gifted to the State Library of Western Australia through multiple donations between 1995 and 2010. The collection does not include every photograph taken by the professional photographic companies; many factors have contributed to it being a snapshot of their work.

Prior to the donations, clients of SKS Corporate Photography and their predecessor companies were given the opportunity to claim any photos they wanted to keep. Any photos they selected were not included in the donation to the Library.

The Stevenson, Kinder & Scott Corporate Photography collection features photographs from numerous different clients. Many of the clients will be recognisable to Western Australians as iconic WA brands.

Luigi Sava Da Money (advertising character) with merchandise from WA Salvage, 13 July 1977, Stevenson, Kinder & Scott Corporate Photography, State Library of Western Australia, 362285PD

Anytime a donation is accepted by the Library, decisions are made by Library staff about what is kept and preserved, and what is not. It is not possible to safely keep and look after everything that is created in Western Australia. For this reason, when the Stevenson, Kinder & Scott Corporate Photography donations were made, Library staff made choices about which negatives and prints would be kept for the Library collection. A selection was made that provided a snapshot of Western Australia's visual, economic, corporate, and lifestyle history.

Clients & Commissioning Agents

The company's photographic books (ACC 9856A) list clients and brief descriptions of photographic jobs and client numbers from 1969 - 2003. Many photographs in this collection were commissioned by agencies including Fortune, John Gill, Peter Way, Robert Woods, and Adcraft. At other times, the photographers worked directly for brands and businesses. Descriptions of photographs from the registers are very brief such as "groceries in line", "presentation", or "portrait in studio". Each photographic shoot was given a unique identification number which was recorded in the photographic books. Numbers are sometimes visible on the edge of the negatives and can be seen in the digitised photographs.

Shepherd Baker crew filming advertisements for Peters ice cream, about 1980s, Stevenson, Kinder & Scott Corporate Photography, State Library of Western Australia, 128316PD

Behind the Scenes

Taimac SBS filming an advertisement for Jeans West in the studio, 28 May 1987, Stevenson, Kinder & Scott Corporate Photography, State Library of Western Australia, 324557PD

Many of the photographs in the Stevenson, Kinder & Scott Corporate Photography collection show the staging of the promotional shots.

This could be the edges of the backdrop, props holding up consumer goods, lighting rigs or camera operators.

In this photograph advertising a toast and snack maker for Joe Sarich, Electrical Discounter Pty Ltd, a glass can be seen elevating the product for the shot.

Toast and snack maker sold by Joe Sarich, 1978, Stevenson, Kinder & Scott Corporate Photography, State Library of Western Australia, 362661PD

In some cases, this is likely part of their corporate photography work, but in others it indicates that the images held by the Library aren't necessarily the final product shots used in advertising campaigns. This is seen in the advertising campaign for Ron Bennett, shown below, where the image in the Library collection (top) is not the one used in the poster (bottom), but was clearly from the same shoot.

The jet lifestyle, Ron Bennett fashion shoots, 1973, Stevenson, Kinder & Scott Corporate Photography, State Library of Western Australia, 360478PD
I used to catch the 8:15 from Maida Vale... until I met Ron Bennett
"I used to catch the 8:15 from Maida Vale" Ron Bennett advertising poster, 1974, Stevenson, Kinder & Scott Corporate Photography, State Library of Western Australia, 343213PD

The Stevenson, Kinder & Scott Corporate Photography collection reveals much of Western Australian consumer culture and the evolution of advertising from the 1960s to the 2000s. The stories told in these online exhibitions show how iconic Western Australian brands were selling their products and themselves to consumers, and how advertising trends have changed over time, shifting from the 'product as hero' to emphasis on the brand itself.

Lounge room and bedroom furniture sold by Allwood Furniture, 1973, Stevenson, Kinder & Scott Corporate Photography, State Library of Western Australia, 348231PD

This digital story is part of a series created for the online exhibition Staged To Sell: Iconic Advertising Images from the Stevenson, Kinder & Scott Photographic Collection.

Created By
State Library of Western Australia
Appreciate

Credits:

Photographs - State Library of Western Australia pictorial collection.