Holy Shabogy Photography on Election Posters by Dominic Lee, AMPA

Friday, May 4th, 2007 in The IPWS Blog by Dominic Lee | 11 Comments

It’s remarkable that the politicians spend thousands of Euro on their posters but won’t spend 150 Euro for a decent portrait to start with.

Ask any child to choose whom they would vote for from the selection on one lampost and I guarantee they will pick a well-taken portrait.

Enda Kenny got his kid brother to step in for his photo shoot complete with a pitch black rug (in real life his hair is mousy ginger, grey and very thin).

The Sinn Fein posters look indistinguishable from Green Party posters (maybe they are planning something together!)

The PD’s posters are the most consistent and the photos are a big improvement on previous election attempts.

Labour is the outright winner (sorry Dad, I hated writing that and God help the country if they get a foot in the door). But that simple red curved line design means you can spot them at 100 meters.

Bertie’s Team aren’t much of a team when it comes to photography, their only criteria was obviously a green background but they failed to realise that there are 40 shades of green, which becomes 140 when you use a variety of bargain basement printers.

On Dublin’s Southside the Barry Andrews poster (FF) stands out in the crowd, the position and space is perfect, his portrait (taken by Barry Moore) is well lit, well posed and he has a friendly Statesman look. And my own photo of Maria Corrigan (FF) looks well if I may say so myself! And my skill may even have something to do with the fact that teenage boys have been seen stealing her posters in the Dundrum area!

The rest are a hotchpotch of scary criminal line-up snaps, many clearly taken by cowboys. In fact I’ve seen better Polaroids on Crime Watch.

Of course the printers will blame the photographers and the photographers will blame the printers. But ultimately the blame rests with the politicians and the blatant liar who told them they look good in that snap.

So all photographers are advised to place the following notice on their door:- “DON’T CANVASS HERE UNLESS YOUR POSTER PHOTO WAS TAKEN BY A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER”.

Regards, Dominic.


  1. ian bull
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    well dominic. I have seen the professional portrait you took of Berty and even you couldn’t make him look like he is electable.

  2. Posted May 6, 2007 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I agree that most of the shots are awful but I imagine that your rant insults the many professional photographers who took these shots! Are you a bit peeved that you didn’t get asked to do any of them this year, Domo?! Just wondering….

  3. Dominic
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Yes Fionan I was totally devastated I only got one poster jobie this time, if only I got another two or three I could have taken my family on a nice holiday!

  4. Profile photo of Fionan Fionan O'Connell
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    I really don’t like getting involved in this blog business as it all seems so cynical and self-important and bulshit-ridden. That said, I’d like to know which politician you photographed, Dominic.
    While I’m at it, I saw your book a while ago at The Radisson and though I liked a good few shots, am keen to know why you captioned the images as you did…..F

  5. Posted May 7, 2007 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Fionan, “so cynical and self-important and bulshit-ridden” with all those qualifications maybe I should be a politician instead of a photographer!
    I photographed the lovely Maria Corrigan as already mentioned in the blog above.
    Glad you liked some of the photography in my “Out of Your Tree” book. The captions simply explain the subjects Profession and Hobby e.g. Padraig Harrington, Golfer and playing Space Invaders in his games room or Diarmuid Gavin, Gardener and Swimming in the sea.
    Aa the proceeds went to charity a few hotels bought one for each room including the Raddison.

  6. ed
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I wonder why photographers feel the need to slag each other off.. is it becasue they feel alittle insecure about their own work..
    or maybe its the fact that there are not much secrets left in the business with the event of all the knowledge that is freely available on the www.
    So they must try and put themselves on the higher ground than other photographers , sort of like a lobster trying to crawl out of a barrel.

  7. Maggie
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    His comments were more geared at the politicians than the photographers but even a Taxi Driver agreed with me that the posters are very amateur looking. Maggie

  8. ed
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    he said …The rest are a hotchpotch of scary criminal line-up snaps, many clearly taken by cowboys. In fact I’ve seen better Polaroids on Crime Watch.
    and said …So all photographers are advised to place the following notice on their door:- “DON’T CANVASS HERE UNLESS YOUR POSTER PHOTO WAS TAKEN BY A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER”.
    insinuating thats those that where taken where not taken by professional photographers prehaps Maggie you would care to reread the post.
    Dominic I have it said the the only difference between a pro photographer and a non pro is that the pro has a reason to press the shutter, meaning money i guess Id be interested on your take on this and also if you would bother with photography if you where not getting paid

  9. Maggie
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Dominic, I now understand what you meant in your article “Two Bridesmaids in a Confession Box” (Nov 06).
    Where you wrote the following “You may receive comments from people, who get their writing power from their Schizophrenia or who have the sense of humour of a stuffed Gryphon” But Dominic, did you ever expect to get a reply from one person with both these traits? Maggie

  10. Jim
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dominic,
    I have to agree with you regarding the election posters. It may have been a good idea to show the images alongside your comments. But hopefully the politicians get the message as well.
    Perhaps it would be no harm to mention that estate agents who are busy selling houses for megga money are also loath to spend a few bob having a decent photograph taken of their overpriced pad.

  11. Posted June 3, 2007 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Just for the record, the election posters cost about 10 Euro each and the average candidate gets 500 so that’s 5000 Euro which does not include hanging them, taking them down & disposing of them.

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