I realize the Clayton photographs are old news already (sometimes I think this fan base gets news of things before they actually happen), but I’ve been waylaid with attempts to mitigate that impact of the financial crisis on practically every aspect of professional and personal business. Occasionally my career has to come before David’s. But only occasionally.

I like the Clayton photographs. I don’t love them. Aside from the styling (not diggin’ the hair), the problem for me (and it’s not really a problem so much as it is a stylistic choice) is that there is really nothing in the way of attitude or viewpoint in these layouts.  Nothing to really sink your teeth into, as it were; nothing even remotely inscrutable. Clayton is a skilled photog, but more of a talented journeyman than an artist. His work is lovely, classic, fresh, and authentic. He avoids, for the most part, anything mawkish or trite, even as he stays quite safely within the bounds of well-established convention. Nice work, nothing more.

I remain in a state of chagrin about the continued pimping of David in those awful teen magazines. I was given a vivid reminder of why I’m so against this strategy (or lack of one) when I read recently about the actor Chris Evans, and the issues surrounding a much passed-around shirtless photo spread of him that appeared in Flaunt magazine. The shoot lead to a ban by the actor’s publicist on photo shoots of that nature, so as to protect his chances at becoming a serious actor. Said Evans of the shoot: “I really didn’t think twice about taking my shirt off at the time, but my current publicist would pull her hair out if I did that photo shoot today.” Evans’ publicist is exactly right. Image is everything in show business and the careful crafting and aggressive control of perception is especially critical if an artist wants to be taken seriously. David cuddling stuffed animals in the pages of Teen Bop Tiger Pop undermines his potential to be seen as a serious musician just as surely as Chris Evans flaunting beefcake in Flaunt compromises his intentions as a serious actor.

It’s time for David to decide what his intentions are, and make certain that the people who work for him are carrying out his wishes.