Login or Join Now

Upload your photos, chat, win prizes and much more

Username:
Password:
Remember Me

Can't Access your Account?

New to ePHOTOzine? Join ePHOTOzine for free!

Page Three photography

Join Now

Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!

55% OFF new PortraitPro 12 - use code EPHZROS414.
Category: Portraits and People

Working as a Page Three photographer - James Vellacott gives us an insight into the world of Page Three.

Posted:
Print Article Add Comment Add CommentJargon Buster: Off Jargon Buster: Off
By James Vellacott.

For the past forty years it has provided incredible opportunities for girls to get into the competitive world of glamour modeling. It has become institutional in its notoriety all around the world. Celebrity models such as Jordan, Samantha Fox, Maria Whittaker, Debee Ashby, Jo Guest, Kathy Lloyd, Linda Lusardi, Gail McKenna, Michelle Marsh and Melinda Messenger, among many others have had very successful careers started by their topless images appearing on Page Three of British national tabloid newspaper - The Sun.

Page Three Shoot - Army
©

On November 17, 1970, then Sun editor Larry Lamb decided to take a gamble and published a photograph of 20-year-old German model Stephanie Rahn in her "birthday suit." Profiled from the side, sitting nude in a field with one of her breasts visible. Beverley Goodway photographed Rahn, he worked as The Sun’s main Page Three photographer for many years and was known for his legendary ‘un-Fleet street’ like bow tied attire and his gentlemanly personality.

In time, The Sun began to feature Page Three girls in more overtly topless poses, with their nipples clearly visible. Although these photographs caused some controversy at the time, they are credited with the massive increase in circulation that established The Sun as the most popular daily tabloid newspaper in the United Kingdom.

Page Three shoot
©
In the 1980’s popular sporting events such as Wimbledon, the World Cup and Cheltenham Festival – were used as themes for costumes worn by the girls on page three. Revealing sports wear or ‘painted on’ football shirts often adorned the girls on the page during these events. There were suggestive and titillating double entendre captions about the girls’ lifestyles and interests, to accompany the images. Widely considered sexist, these captions were replaced in the late 1990’s with a simple listing of models' first names, ages, and hometowns.

Beverley Goodway, The Sun's main Page Three photographer retired in 2003 and shortly afterwards the position was taken Alan Strutt and then by Alison Webster. Alison is one of only a handful of female photographers to make a successful career in "Fleet Street". For 30 years she has worked in the British national newspaper industry and definitely has printing ink running in her blood.

Model on beach in LA
©

Every year there are thousands of girls who write and send emails to Alison and The Sun attaching photographs in the hope of being selected to come into the studio for a Page Three "tryout". Alison told me: "I look for a shapely figure, nice boobs, not saggy. The girls’ boobs don’t have to be big necessarily as is popular belief, curves are important along with a fun personality; many of the girls are required to meet the public at events as ambassadors for The Sun."

Though the size zero mentality of some of the fashion industry is frowned upon by Page Three, the girls are still required to be fit and not overweight, and all girls are required to be 18 or over.

With the recent trend in augmentation, models such as Jordan and Melinda Messenger were banned from the page and the girls were required to be 100 percent real with no silicone enhancements.
Nikala as a Bunny
©

Alison carefully selects a dozen or so girls from the thousands of applicants to attend a studio for a “test” session. The girls arrive, often with a friend or parent and are asked to wait outside the studio until they are called. When they are ready to shoot, the assistant will bring the applicant in alone to meet Alison for a short chat. She then is taken into the dressing room for some light makeup. The makeup artist is briefed to remove any makeup already present to allow the girls a "level playing field". Alison shoots a series of pictures, some in underwear or a bikini and some topless. The Studio is a closed set to all males and only women involved directly in the shoot are permitted entry.

Models and photographer
©
Models and photographer
©

Many of the girls often arrive carrying a portfolio of their images to show Alison, The images are usually taken at their own financial expense in the hope of becoming a Page Three regular. Alison never takes on a girl from her portfolio alone, "it is very difficult to see what a girl is like from her own photos, many of the images have been heavily retouched or shot in unusual lighting. I need to see them in person, under even lighting and without any makeup, before I make a decision."

During the shoot Alison shoots up to 60 frames with her Nikon D3X and 105mm lens. She chats and jokes with the girl to make them feel at ease, "a lot of the new girls have been at home in the mirror practicing that one pose that makes them look great, I often have to train them out of it, to get as many different poses to choose to see what they are capable of."

Rosie Jones
©

“…A few girls arrive looking completely different to the images they have sent, but I still shoot them on the day. I show them the images on the back of my Nikon, I then put them side by side with a copy of page 3 in The Sun and point out any issues and explain what is needed to make Page Three. It’s harsh, but they have the opportunity of toning up for a future shoot. It’s fair to say that they rarely come back again.”

Alison then takes the short listed images to The Sun's offices of News International in London where opinions of the Associate Editors are gathered before the girls are selected.

The Sun editors have very clear ideas of how they like the girls to be shot. In the studio; the background tends to be black or lit/unlit white Colorama- falling to grey. Alison insists of Elinchrom lighting as she finds the light precise and reliable and the control packs have an easy to use interface. Very importantly and often overlooked is the fact that when traveling to other studios Elinchrom tends to be the house brand of choice, and they tend to keep all the soft boxes, dishes, snoots, honeycombs and reflectors on site for all possible lighting scenarios.

Model photography shoot
©

She tends to use a single Elichrom Octa 190cm Indirect Lightbank and diffuser at the front slightly set to one side. Two Elinchrom flashheads are set off to the rear of the girl, one either side, sometimes with white reflective brollys. The Octa gives a gentle diffused light at the front, much like daylight from a large window. The flash heads and brollys bring the edges of the girl out, separating her from the background and highlighting her hair.

On outdoor location shoots, Alison uses her Elinchrom Rangers. A single portable softbox at the front, and midday sunshine to highlight the hair and shoulders. She often just uses a white or gold Lastolight reflector to bounce the sunlight back onto the girl if it's not too windy.

Demographically, the girls can be very different. There have been doctors, architects, students, and factory workers, a whole host of different girls from many backgrounds. Some of the girls pose for some extra cash to see them through University, and then often leave early to pursue a career in modeling; others want to follow in multi-millionaire Jordan’s footsteps and have their own television series and spend much of their lives in the public eye. Being a Page Three girl brings benefits such as national notoriety, travel to exotic locations for shoots, free entrance to well-known bars and clubs and a chance to mingle with the rich and famous. The Sun sent some of the girls to South Africa for the World Cup to help promote the campaign for its readers. Many of the girls get photographic contracts with lad’s mags such as Nuts or Loaded as a result of being chosen as a Page Three girl.

Vikki May
©

When a girl is selected for Page Three, she is expected to be polite, professional and on time for the shoot. Glamour photographers often refer to ‘model time’, this refers to the lateness of the model arriving for any given shoot. Alison does not tolerate excuses for tardiness, "there are many girls out there who would love to be on Page Three, it’s a competitive business. A Page Three shoot is hard work and I often have many girls to shoot in a day, professionalism is a pre-requisite for the job."

If chosen for Page Three, a girl will earn £500 for the day and would usually have 24 one day Page Three shoots per year. She may also earn extra cash for the Page three calendars that are shot once a year in locations such as Lanzarote or Mallorca, along with regular Sun promotions events.

In 1999, page3.com was launched. Content includes more in depth shoots with the girls, videos of behind the scenes on a shoot and chats with the girls. Wallpaper downloads and a yearly competition where viewers vote for the ‘Page Three Idol’, where girls compete for a Page Three job, the winner becoming a regular there.

Checking Photos On a Page 3 Shoot
©

So how does Alison feel about the whole concept of Page Three? "I am not a judgmental person, I think that it’s about personal choice, each to their own," she says: "My daughter Charlotte met some of the Page Three girls a few years back, and subsequently became one herself. This was before I started shooting the page.

I personally think that the Page Three images are very tame, you see worst things whilst walking down a beach at a coastal resort!"

Asked about the future of the page Alison says: "There are no plans to tone down or stop Page three, it has successfully moved with the times and is as popular as ever with The Sun readers. 7.5m people, nearly half of them women, can’t be wrong!"

Group of Page Three Models
©



Explore More

Tips On Photographing People On Holiday

How To Photograph People On Holiday

Here are some handy tips and tricks for photographing people...

5 Reasons To Shoot A Self Portrait

5 Reasons To Shoot A Self Portrait

Here are five reasons why we think you should give shooting ...

7 Top Children Photography Tutorials

7 Top Tutorials On Taking Photos Of Children

We list some of the most popular child photography tutorials...

Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

Comments

MikeRC
MikeRC e2 Member 83464 forum postsMikeRC vcard United Kingdom
9 Aug 2010 - 3:48 PM

.....please...please...PLEASE....I wanna' be a "page three photographer"
.....Mike

Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links 
9 Aug 2010 - 6:35 PM

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

Big Bri
Big Bri  1215507 forum posts England
9 Aug 2010 - 6:35 PM

Bet this is the most-read article ever LOL

JJGEE
JJGEE  96103 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
9 Aug 2010 - 7:44 PM

The Sun page 3 is still going then and now with a female photographer at that Wink

SosFM
SosFM  580 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
13 Aug 2010 - 6:52 PM

Bri I never saw any words to read in this article...

Dave87
Dave87 e2 Member 742 forum postsDave87 vcard England5 Constructive Critique Points
14 Aug 2010 - 8:37 PM

Marking out of 20 - No hesitation giving the article top marks 20/20. Wouldn’t like to think how long it takes to produce such an informative piece of work as this.

Thoroughly enjoyed reading and the behind the scenes shots work a real treat with the second to last image of the lady photographer and lady model looking at the image together puts across the correct feeling - model and photographer working together to produce a picture to capture the viewers eye!! Extremely well done.

Dave.

rudeboy
rudeboy  3
21 Nov 2010 - 7:55 PM

“I personally think that the Page Three images are very tame, you see worst things whilst walking down a beach at a coastal resort!"

"There are no plans to tone down or stop Page three, it has successfully moved with the times and is as popular as ever with The Sun readers. 7.5m people, nearly half of them women, can’t be wrong!"

In response to the first portion of the quote one must admit that pornography far overshadows the extremity of a mere “tasteful female nude”, however as the saying goes; there is a time and a place. Pornography has a place and it is hidden from current media and the general every day. A page three nude woman on the other hand, is available to broader a society and it hides under the false pretence of being part of an “informative” newspaper. The mere fact that it is allowed in the public eye suggests that women are an inferior gender to men in that the only way they can contribute to this already male dominated society is to provide a pair of breasts in the morning for the perverse men of Britain, loosely speaking. The worst thing about nude women being shown in everyday newspapers, is that women have seemed to just follow the status quo, as the second part of Alison Webster’s quote proves. Her idea that Page three is ‘moving with the times’ is an uneducated and deluded opinion that was probably only said to protect her own self-interest. Women have been the subject to man’s insulting gaze for centuries through the charade which is nude art. The fact that it has continued in spite of the ‘liberating’ feminist movement proves that it has done anything but move with the times; for if it was doing that, it would be celebrating women’s minds and actions and not just their bodies. Wouldn’t it be more celebratory of femininity if you could turn to page three of the sun and see a woman who has done something great, rather than just look great with her top off?

Its time to wake up and spit out what you re fed people

rudeboy
rudeboy  3
21 Nov 2010 - 9:10 PM

“I personally think that the Page Three images are very tame, you see worst things whilst walking down a beach at a coastal resort!"

"There are no plans to tone down or stop Page three, it has successfully moved with the times and is as popular as ever with The Sun readers. 7.5m people, nearly half of them women, can’t be wrong!"

In response to the first portion of the quote one must admit that pornography far overshadows the extremity of a mere “tasteful female nude”, however as the saying goes; there is a time and a place. Pornography has a place and it is hidden from current media and the general every day. A page three nude woman on the other hand, is available to broader a society and it hides under the false pretence of being part of an “informative” newspaper. The mere fact that it is allowed in the public eye suggests that women are an inferior gender to men in that the only way they can contribute to this already male dominated society is to provide a pair of breasts in the morning for the perverse men of Britain, loosely speaking. The worst thing about nude women being shown in everyday newspapers, is that women have seemed to just follow the status quo, as the second part of Alison Webster’s quote proves. Her idea that Page three is ‘moving with the times’ is an uneducated and deluded opinion that was probably only said to protect her own self-interest. Women have been the subject to man’s insulting gaze for centuries through the charade which is nude art. The fact that it has continued in spite of the ‘liberating’ feminist movement proves that it has done anything but move with the times; for if it was doing that, it would be celebrating women’s minds and actions and not just their bodies. Wouldn’t it be more celebratory of femininity if you could turn to page three of the sun and see a woman who has done something great, rather than just look great with her top off?

Its time to wake up and spit out what you re fed people

- Original Poster Comments
- Your Posts

Add a Comment

You must be a member to leave a comment

Username:
Password:
Remember me:
Un-tick this box if you want to login each time you visit.