Catalog Shoot

Sartorial elegance has never been my thing. Frankly, it doesn’t go too well with cans of varnish, paints, and wood chips. 

If I put in an appearance at a friend’s boat shop dressed in the work threads from a fancy catalog, the sort that sells five hundred dollar work jackets, I’d be put to applying bottom paint. 

No, dapper at most working shops is worn jeans, a long-sleeve T-shirt, and a ratty sweater.

And some catalogs do sell very high-priced work togs. I get them at the house every couple of weeks. So someone thinks that a perception change in my appearance might help sales.

This morning I spent a bit of time looking at one of those catalogs; I was amazed to see that I was familiar with one of the shops where they shot part of the photospread. 

It looked almost as ratty as it did the last time I visited. Almost. 

They had moved a workbench or two out of the way. And some of the smears of paint looked like they had gotten Photoshopped. In catalog journalism terms, it was an advance in truth in advertising. They had selected shops that looked like people did work in them.

In a moment of reflection, I fantasized about having my shop selected. First, they moved half the junk out, and then they steam cleaned it. Now it looked less like a cavern and more like a shop.Then they decided that I wouldn’t do and dragged me outside. They Substituted a model dressed in fancy togs for me and shot the photos while I enjoyed coffee in the Craft Services tent. Afterward, I was given a nice severance check while my body double tried to figure out what a V-tool was.

I think I’ll drive down to the coast and bother my buddy for a while.

8 Replies to “Catalog Shoot”

  1. Hehe, clashing images of ads versus reality. I think that is one reason why some youtubers are so successful, they show themselves as they really are.

  2. Aww, poor guy. Without all your tools and clutter the old shop won’t feel like home. Then if someone sees the model and then comes to see you they’ll think it’s false advertising. They should have stuck to the real man and his shop.

  3. Back in the day when radios and TV’s could be repaired at a shop, my grandfather did that kind of work out of his basement. Unlike my workspaces his was organzied – it was like an operating room down there- all except for the infamous ( or famous ) Marilyn Monroe January 55 calander.

    1. I tried to keep a clean shop, but wood chips and shavings are the only way you know a carver is actually working. A clean shop is like a clean desk – a sign of a fussbudget.
      With electronics, though I can see why keeping it neat is important – too many contaminants can short out and ruin your work.

      No girly calendars for me, NO space. I used to have a lovely Antonio Jacobson poster, but it was getting ruined in the shop, so it’s in the office.

  4. Someone gave my son a subscription to GQ when he was a teen. I read it to find out what propaganda he was getting. My favorite was a photo spread showing how to “make women think you work with your hands” by dressing in Carhardt’s, work boots and a flannel shirt. Um, the woman could tell just by looking at your hands, hon, if they are smooth and shallow, then so is the guy dressed up in Carhardt’s!

    1. It’s true that many people believe that appearances match substance.
      Someone I met from the Southwest termed this “all hat and no cattle”, referring to people who looked and acted like they were ranchers but had no ranch or cattle. I guess it’s a successful enough ploy for some people.

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