With the advent of the new year, I, in common with most of the rest of you, builded a platform of good resolutions. But like most folks who are their own architects, I built this platform on a slant, and slid across most of the good resolution planks at a forty horse gait. I am, however, hanging on to one plank with a death grip and that is the one wherein I resolved to slick up the studio for spring business.

Now my studio fittings and furnishings are not so bad generally, but I notice that as I go around town, the department stores and other progressive business houses are always ripping out fixtures that could be made to do, and installing the latest devices, or rearranging their places so as to afford a new effect. And I have also noticed that my wife and I, and a whole lot of other people, seem to prefer to trade at these up-to-date places.

I believe a lot in first impressions; if I go into a store or office and the surroundings are spick and span and modern, it conveys to me a sense of prosperity, and a feeling that the concern must be making good, in order to afford such surroundings. Now that is the way I want my customers to feel when they come into my studio. Not only do I want my reception room right, but the studio proper as well. An ancient and marred camera, with a faded paper lens shade, may deliver the goods all right, but the customer thinks "things look sort of seedy here," and straightway feels that perhaps you can't deliver the goods, making it just so much harder for the operator to secure the best expression.

What I have remarked don't mean that I renew everything about the place each year, but I do renew every time any piece of apparatus or furniture gets into the "has been" class.

I recently read a reporter's story about a photographer who said that he always kept the parents out of the room when photographing children, and that the last time he let a mother in while he was preparing to take the picture decided him. The woman wanted her little boy photographed while he was playing. After many unsuccessful attempts she exclaimed, "Johnnie, if you don't begin playing this minute I'll lick you within an inch of your life."

I had a man working for me a while ago, a first-class man too, but he seemed to be always "agin the administration." Nothing in my place was done to suit him, and his specialty seemed to be first tenor in the anvil chorus. I found upon investigation that he had the same reputation wherever he had been employed, and had lost several good positions solely on his propensity to always knock. Elbert Hubbard seems to have encountered similar individuals, and he expresses most clearly just what I would have liked to impress upon this man of mine:

"If you work for a man in heaven's name work for him. If he pays you wages that supply your bread and butter, work for him, speak well of him, think well of him, stand by him, and stand by the institution he represents. I think if I worked for a man I would work for him. I would not work for him a part of his time, but all of the time. I would give him an undivided service or none. If put to a pinch an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.

"If you must vilify, condemn and eternally disparage, why resign your position, and when you are outside, damn to your heart's content. But, I pray you, so long as you are a part of the institution, do not condemn it. Not that you will injure the institution - not that - but when you disparage the concern of which you are a part you disparage yourself and don't forget - I forget' won't do in business."