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.
The photographer's Thanksgiving really should come right after Christmas, not because he expects to be thankful for various and sundry gifts but for the holiday business and the opportunities it offers for business during the coming year.
At one time the photographer counted on a dull season immediately following Christmas. He anticipated a slump - prepared for a slump and he got it. But many photographers have been converted to a more optimistic state of mind and a belief in the power and psychology of advertising. As a result they anticipate continued good business - prepare for good business and they get it.
The bugbears of business are overhead expense and labor. Over-head is the expense that goes on whether business is good or bad and the same is largely true of labor. You can't lay off good help because of a dull season and get it back again when you get busy.So it is necessary to keep reasonably busy at all times to keep these expenses from eating up busy season profits in dull seasons.
It is said that the golf player who tees up an old ball when he has a difficult drive to make, mentally prepares for failure. He fears the loss of a new ball so be prepares to lose an old one. The successful player tees up a new ball, confident that it is not going in a water hazard or a bunker or the rough where it will be lost, and his confidence enables him to make a good drive.
Business has been good, is good and will continue to be good so let'steel up some good advertising and make a clean straight drive for after-holiday business.
Just now you have business coming your way - why not keep it coming. Photographs are going to be passed around very generously at Christmas time and each gift portrait suggests a like return. Advertise for this business while photographs are fresh in mind and you should keep busy long after the holidays. Being photographed doesn't require a special occasion so there should be no real slumps at any time of year.
November is always a good business month because a great many people try to get their preparations for Christmas made in advance so that they may avoid the December rush. It's a good idea to advertise to get business into the studio during November.
But do what you will, there will always be a rush in December. You can't avoid it because you can't stock your wares as the merchant does. You must make your work to order.
You can help matters considerably however by cutting down on your styles of work. Many merchants drop certain lines at Christmas time because of the rush. Even the candy store will often refuse to put up a special box of candy for you because of the rush a few days before Christmas. You must take the standard package. So why not limit your Christmas styles of portraits? At certain times of the year you devise special styles for school work or baby pictures or odd shaped panels or ovals to attract certain business. You may find that you have fifteen or twenty different styles.
PORTRAIT FILM NEGATIVE, VITAVA PRINT
By D. D. Spellman Detroit, Mich.
Determine right now that you will limit your December business to five or six styles - at least to the fewest number you can possibly get along with. Put away all of your other samples when December conies, order the films and paper and mounts needed for standard styles, have your printer clear the deck, storing away his masks and forms and mounts for all the other special sizes so that he can work most efficiently. Don't even consider making sepia tones in December.
You will need a smaller variety of standard materials and can carry an ample stock so that you will not run short on any size or style. And as a result you will be able to handle a larger volume of work and deliver your orders promptly right up to the last day.