In the 1930s travelling salesman John Chaloner Woods (1903 – 1986) switched from selling sweets to shopkeepers to photographing sweets for advertising. Assisted by his wife Mary, a former fashion model and dress designer, the Chaloner Woods Studio was soon receiving commissions from the biggest advertising companies in the country. The couple used clean, modernist lines to seduce the public into buying products as diverse as shoes and light bulbs to knitting patterns and lipsticks. However fashion was their forte and seeing the potential of colour work for the exploding women’s magazine market the husband and wife team soon set the tone for a now classic style of 1950s fashion photography for designers and publications including Teddy Tingling, Elizabeth Arden, Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar. The 50s and 60s were their heyday but the couple continued working until John fell ill. The last entry in the 1986 Studio Diary is by Mary, ‘This is the last of the big diary’s [sic]. John and I worked and lived together for 54 years, nothing lasts forever – yet sadness is so hard to bear. See more by Chaloner Woods.
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