This section is from the "Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1923" book, by Sara F. T. Price. Also see Amazon: Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1923.
Advertising commercial photography is a considerably different matter from advertising portrait photography.
The portrait photographer can use newspaper advertising because every reader is a prospective customer for portraits, while scarcely more than one out of a hundred readers could be considered prospects for the commercial photographer.
With but very few exceptions, then, the commercial photographer must depend upon personal solicitation or direct mail advertising for his publicity.
Personal solicitation is very difficult unless letters of solicitation have paved the way for an appointment. A call without an appointment often necessitates a long wait to see a man who proves to be uninterested, or who has nothing to do with the purchase of photographs.
In advertising commercial photography by letters of solicitation, circulars, pamphlets, or prints containing advertising matter on them or in connection with them, the main thing to consider is interesting the business man or the manufacturer in the use of photographs in his own business.
The best way to do this is to suggest uses of photographs which may be new or which may suggest other uses that are new to the man who has something to sell.
It is very important to know something of a man's business so that your suggestion will be practical. In fact, you must know more about the use of photographs in all kinds of selling or general publicity campaigns than the man from whom you are soliciting. You must know how the other merchant or manufacturer uses photography. You must be able to apply one man's ideas to another man's business and a very good way to illustrate this is to obtain a large variety of catalogues, booklets, circulars and other advertising matter in which reproductions from photographs have been extensively used.
These, in connection with fine examples of your photographic work, should be sufficient proof of the value of the photograph as an aid in attracting attention, in arousing interest, in creating a desire, in actually selling the merchandise.
In the same way the many uses of photographs for illustrating instructions, for educational purposes and for building good-will, can also be shown, and the argument is all the stronger for having, in addition to actual photographs, circulars, booklets or catalogues in which the photographic reproductions have been used.
PORTRAIT FILM NEGATIVE, VITAVA PRINT
By Francis J.. Sipprell Buffalo, N. Y.
New commercial business can be created in the ways we have explained and such business should be secured entirely upon your ability as a photographer and your knowledge of the many possible uses of illustrations in advertising and selling.
You know photography. Make it a point to also develop new ideas of how photography can be used commercially, because it is the larger and more general use of pictures that will make your business bigger and better.