This section is from the "Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1910" book, by Aristo Motto. Also see Amazon: Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1910.
You are a photographer with a studio established in a certain locality. You are in business to sell pictures at a profit. What shall the selling price be?
Now there is no doubt that some work due to style and size is worth more than other work, and that prices are or should be arranged accordingly. You may be able to do work of the highest class - work that will command a top notch price provided there is an appreciative market for it in your particular locality.
Are your prices in harmony with the people whose business you are trying to get, or rather in harmony with their pocket-books? Is the style of work you like and are trying to push the kind of work the majority of people in your community will appreciate, or is it beyond their appreciation?
In the mountain towns of a mining region the majority of residents will not appreciate the diffused focus - the soft masses of light and shade so popular in circles of refinement. They would not buy pictures of this kind at any price, and further than that, their pocketbooks would not stand the strain, as this class of work is generally of large size and expensive.
The same could be said of a town in the center of a rich farming district where money is easier. The people, while well to do, would not buy pictures beyond their powers of appreciation even though they could easily afford it. What they want is good clean work full of detail. If it's a picture of Johnnie they want it to look just like Johnnie does in every day life. If Johnnie has a necktie on, it must look like Johnnie's necktie in the picture. Art work with mystic lighting does not appeal to their common sense taste.
Now just a word in regard to the really artistic. We admire it. We advocate it and hope to see art in photography advance steadily in the future as it has in the past, but there is a place for it only in the homes of refined taste, and it is a losing game for a photographer to undertake to educate all patrons up to this level.
You are in business to satisfy the demands of a certain class of patrons, not in business to change their ideas and create a demand for something you know is better but which they don't like. You will find it a whole lot easier and more profitable to change your work to meet popular opinion, than to change popular opinion.
There is an old adage about it being easier to drift with the current which leads to destruction, but to apply in this case it should be, "It is harder to swim up stream and also less profitable."
To sell pictures, adjust your style and prices to fit the community. If there are a few people in your vicinity who appreciate high-grade work at high-grade prices, cater to them specially, but if the great majority want everyday pictures at everyday prices, don't try to cram the better stuff down their throats, because' you are losing time, business and money. .
If you are an artist in a community of everyday people and don't care to make everyday pictures because you don't like them yourself, it is up to you to move into a cultured community where you can sell the kind of portraits you like to make.
Study the class of people who make up the population of your vicinity - take their measure and offer pictures to fit.
Are you taking advantage of the "Advertising Cut Service" we offer you each month?
Hundreds of photographers order these cuts each month and are well satisfied with the result.Nearly every letter ordering a cut contains words of appreciation of these advertising cuts as business producers when used in the newspapers.You can do it, too. The cost of the cut is nominal. - just enough to cover our expense in having them made for you - and the space in the newspaper will not cost you a great deal if you live in a town of ordinary size where the circulation is not exceedingly large.
If you are one of the photographers who have not as yet tried this advertising idea our advice is to do so. Order the cuts that appear from month to month and you will find that it pays to advertise your studio. The only thing to prevent you from getting one of these cuts will be that someone else in your town has ordered it first, and in that case you wouldn't want to use it as it wouldn't do for two or more photographers to use the same cut in the same locality. Order at once to avoid disappointment.
The Artura Iris portraits reproduced in this number of Studio Light are from the well known Baker Art Gallery of Columbus, O.This large and finely equipped studio with " The best in photography " as a motto, is a success built upon strict adherence to that motto as its many satisfied patrons can testify.Energy, progressiveness and ability place the Baker Art Gallery among leaders and keep it there.
P. A. of America to be held at Milwaukee, Wis., July 12, 13, 14, 15. Secretary, J. H. C. Evanoff, Salem, Mass.
P. A. of New England to be held at Boston, Mass., July 26, 27.28. Secretary, George Hastings, Haverhill, Mass.