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.
The Post-Card Business At Resorts. With the advent of the developing post-card, an enormous and profitable business has sprung up in the making of post-card photographs for immediate delivery at the various summer and winter resorts. Such photographs are, of necessity, of no high order of pictorial merit, but they generally have the saving grace of being good likenesses, and from their inexpensiveness alone, the demand is practically inexhaustible.
System Required In Making Post-Cards For Quick Delivery. It is quite essential to have a method or system of producing post-cards as quickly as possible in summer resort, county and street fair galleries, etc. By following the instructions and using the system herein described, and with some little practice, you will be able to accomplish this with ease and considerable profit. These instructions will lead you, step by step, from the developing of the plate to the finished post-card. They will also include the manner of conducting the business and establishing a system of working.
Required Outfit - Camera And Lens. Any ordinary small portrait or view camera fitted with double plate-holders may be employed. The holders should be provided with kits to enable you to use smaller plates. The lens should be a rapid one of short focus.
779. Where a business is made of post-card work and plates 5 x 7 or 4 1/4 x 6 1/2 are used, there is no outfit so convenient as the regular portrait outfit with cabinet attachment, with which any number of plate-holders may be employed.
Developing Tanks And Trays. You should provide yourself with at least two hard rubber tanks, the size of plate you are going to use - one for developing and the other for the hypo fixing bath; one large tray for fixing post-cards (the larger the tray, the better); one 8 x 10 developing tray; and one 8 x 10 tray for acid clearing bath.
Plates. Any low-priced brand of quick plates will serve. Some manufacturers now offer a special postcard plate, which can be bought very cheaply in quantities.
Post-Cards. The choice of a card lies with the individual, some having a preference for one make and others for another. Generally, a fairly hard surface card, semi-matte or matte is used, one that will give brilliant results and will work clean. For special information on the different brands of post-cards and their particular qualities we refer you to Volume IV. When the cards are bought in lots of 5000 or over, the manufacturers will generally print the photographer's name, or the name of the resort, on the back of the card, without extra charge.
Studio Fittings. Few pretensions are made in the way of style in a post-card studio of the nature found in resorts. Most of the elaboration is on the outside, which should be made as attractive as possible, with the showcase and business counter either right at the entrance or in full view from the outside. Inside the studio, which need not necessarily be enclosed from general view, there should be little more than a chair or two, the camera, backgrounds, some stucco rocks, railings, or whatever strikes the owner as being most suitable for the customers to sit or lounge on while being photographed, and possibly some extra accessory in the shape of an automobile shell, etc.