Here’s an opportunity for Jam fans to acquire a special souvenir set of prints by photographer Martyn Goddard. These prints are made from Martyn’s original 1977 polaroids, which came to light as part of our planning for Martyn’s exhibition Golden Faces.
Background – shoot notes and original polaroids
Polaroids have long been used by professional photographers to test the set up for a shoot, and typically they are lost or discarded – very few photographers keep their polaroid tests. As luck would have it, Martyn is a fastidious chap, and as part of his original shoot notes from his sessions with The Jam, Martyn would often trim and include the original polaroids, preserving those originals along with the details of the date of the shoot, and the equipment and lighting used. Here’s an example page documenting his In The City shoot, which Martyn denotes by his internal reference MG 400.You can see from the top right hand corner that the session took place on 2 March 1977.
The images you see on the page are Martyn’s original polaroids, and document the ideas behind the front and back covers for the album. The diagrams show the positions of the band members on the tiled background that he created for the shoot with designer Bill Smith, and the camera and lighting set ups are also documented. Martyn used a 150mm lens on his Hasselblad, and for the front cover, he positioned three lights in front of the band. Interestingly (well I find it interesting) the actual cover was never shot in colour – so this small polaroid image is the only existing colour image of the front cover set up for the album. For the back cover Martyn kept the same 150mm lens, but, as can be seen from the diagram, used a single light, positioned at the side, to project shadows of the band onto the wall. You might not have appreciated it when you looked at the back cover (if you ever did look at it) but those shadows are the shadows of our three heroes.
Contents of the print set
There are four 12×12 inch colour prints in this souvenir print set, all made from Martyn’s original polaroids.
In The City – the colour variant of the front cover set up
All Around The World – a lovely variant of the front cover of the single sleeve
Mirror – headshots reflected in a mirror, from a session on 2 May 1977
Close up – from the same May 1977 session, a close up of the band against a vibrant green studio background
The set of four prints is housed in a special souvenir 12 x12 inch sleeve – you can see the front and back cover artwork in the photograph at the very top. The sharp-eyed will notice that the print set has been photographed (by Martyn) against a background of white tiles to echo the background on that very first shoot for In The City.
Here’s the link to where you can buy one.