This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
Introduction. In supplying information regarding the equipping of a photographic studio, we will deal with studios doing a general photographic business only, for when the photographer becomes thoroughly capable of conducting a studio of this kind, should he desire to go into special work, or equip a studio specially for a certain class of work, he will, by past experience, learn exactly what is required. Circumstances have so much to do with the proper equipping of such studios, that much will depend upon these circumstances, and usually the success of such studios depend largely upon the personality of the man behind the gun.
867. For a general photographic business, too much care and attention cannot be given to the proper equipping of a studio, from the reception-room to the finishing-room. Each and every department should receive special consideration. It is not necessary to invest a large sum of money in furniture and fixtures - simplicity and neatness are the essentials. If proper care is exercised in selecting the furnishings very pleasing effects may be produced with little expense. One must use judgment at all times, and it is advisable to secure articles which are serviceable and which may be used in the skylight-room as accessories when desired.
868. As each room in a studio needs particular attention, we will consider them separately, keeping in mind a studio of the average type, such as is found both in the smaller as well as the larger cities. With alterations to suit conditions these suggestions will prove applicable to any and all studios, for the principles are the same, no matter whether you are conducting a business the gross income of which is $200 or $2000 a month.
Reception-Room. The up-to-date photographer cannot spend too much thought on his reception-room. From a business point of view it is the most important part of the establishment. It if here that the prospective sitter obtains his first impression, which might not actually lead to the making or marring of an appointment, or even the making of sittings, yet frequently it has great bearing upon the spirit in which the proofs are received. The tastefully arranged reception-room will give the customer a reassuring impression of the success of your business, and will lead to a more confident order. A slovenly room will make the sitter doubt the ability of the photographer and lay the germs of misgiving, which may tinge all further transactions, leading, if not to dislike of the proofs, to a very guarded order.
870. A reception-room may be plain in its furnishings, and one need not go to any excessive expense in fitting up such a room. Moreover, good examples of your work, tastefully displayed, tell their own story, and orders for more expensive work than that otherwise intended should result.
871. The reception-room should be made as cheerful and home-like as possible, so that the customer feels at ease immediately upon entering. Avoid a shop-like arrangement. Nothing out of the ordinary in the way of decoration is required. Avoid gaudy furniture. On the other hand it should be solid, substantial and good. Mission furniture is an excellent style to employ and it is not much more expensive than other forms. When certain styles of furniture are adopted these styles should be carried throughout the studio. While ordinarily in furnishing a room we would use all one style of furniture for each room, yet for a studio this is not necessary. Styles of furniture which harmonize well together may be used. For example, mission and gold furniture or mahogany and
"DREAMING" Study No. 42 - See Page 584 Joseph Thibault
FATHER AND CHILDREN Study No. 43 Homeier & Clark gold make good combinations. It is not advisable to use heavily upholstered furniture in the same room with mission or any hard wood furnishings..
872. In the larger studios, and whenever possible, it is advisable to have an art display room, in addition to the reception-room. In this latter room one may have arranged on the walls various framed pictures and the suggestions which follow, regarding the reception-room proper, may be carried out to some extent in the art display room only on a broader scale.