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. The studio system, to be practical, must be as simple as possible, and require as little duplicate recording as is absolutely necessary. The first step in establishing a business system is to open a bank account, and all money received should be deposited in the bank. All bills amounting to more than $1.00 should be paid by check. One advantage of employing this method is the prestige it will give you among business men. The majority of banks will supply you with special check books, free of charge, with your name and the character of your business printed on each individual check. The photographer should be a business man, and as all business men do business with banks and bank all their receipts, you should not fail to avail yourself of this privilege.
713. Although there are different methods which may be employed for the proper handling and keeping of a perfect and systematic record of the studio business, the following is the method adopted in many studios: As no studio can exist where general credit is given, and all should be conducted on a cash basis, we will consider that all business done is cash and that no accounts are carried. When the pictures are delivered they must be paid for in full. There is no need of carrying on a business in any other manner, and credit given the customers will invariably cause considerable loss in course of time. There are cases, of course, when you are dealing with friends and some of your best trade, that you may find it necessary to favor them, but even then you should keep a record of the transaction in a small ledger and render a bill the first of the month.
243 The Schriever Studio Register
Illustration No. 91 Studio Register See Paragraph No. 714.
The Studio Register. The first and most important book to be considered is the studio register. There are many standard forms that may be obtained from any photographic stockhouse, but these fail to provide for the record of the necessary items for the modern business. The most successful form to employ, and one that has received a thorough, practical test in some of the largest studios, is that shown in Illustration No. 91. The size of the page in this book is 11 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches, and the book contains 456 pages, yet the number of pages is immaterial. This register should be well bound in half leather, as it will have considerable usage. The lines on which the data is written should be one-half inch apart, in order to allow of plenty of room for giving full information regarding each order. In this way it will be possible to place twenty names on a page and the complete book will hold 9120 orders.
715. The date is placed in the first space to the left, the number of the negative in the next, and then the name. The name of the customer should be written first, with the initials following. The street address is placed in the following column under its proper heading. It is not necessary to have a space for recording the date when the proof is delivered to the customer, for a rule should be established that all proofs are to be mailed or delivered the following day after the sitting is made. The date the proof is returned should be recorded, however, and also the date the order is promised for delivery. The number of pictures ordered as well as the style are placed in the next space, then the number of negatives from which prints are to be made, the total amount of the order and the amount paid. In the column under remarks it is usually customary, especially in studios where a large number of sittings are made, to make a note of the style of dress and waist or tie worn by the subject, or any mark that will lead to their identity when the negatives come from the dark-room after having been developed, dried and made ready for registering.