This section is from the "Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1911" book, by Aristo Motto. Also see Amazon: Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1911.
"Now, do you see how your quality and my quality hitch together?
"When you advertise, you put yourself on record that your product is of superlative quality. It is the best that you can produce when you begin to advertise it. But you grow, and your workmen grow. You find not only how you can make it more economically, without damage to the quality, but also how you can further improve its efficiency without making the consumer pay more. Then, if for no other reason - just to make good the record you have given of yourself in your advertising - you are impelled to introduce these improvements and raise your own standard.
"For, as soon as you begin to advertise to your particular public, you begin to look at your product from the consumer's point of view, and you are spurred on, thereby, to devise new improvements which will give you new talking points in your advertising. Whatever your industry, when you begin to advertise it, you have to ask yourself the blunt question: What excuse have I for being in business?' Your own answer to this searching self-examination is the commencement of improvements and increasing efficiency.
"To express it as simply as possible - advertising that is based on quality creates a knowl-edgable bond of sympathy with the public. What pains have you taken to say frankly to the public: Let's you and I get really acquainted. I want you to know all about me and my business. I am putting the highest possible type of quality into my work. I am trying to serve you, honor bright. Look in detail at my service, and judge of my motives by my methods.'
"I am not going to suggest ways and means to you; not the methods of publicity, nor the percentage of your business which you should devote to an investment in publicity.
"But I do suggest that you take the very best specimens of your art and make the whole local public acquainted with your work at its finest and best, and not at its cheapest. When you produce a type of artistic picture that satisfies your sense of artistic merit; when you produce a specimen which compares favorably with the best type your keenest competitor can produce; then make your local public know all about it. Make them see it. Make them talk about it because of its art. Make them say to one another, The man who did that surely put brains into his camera.' Yes - 'Go out into the highways and hedges' and advertise it.
"No matter now how you convey that message to them - whether by a dainty brochure with sepia reproductions, or by newspapers, or by street car signs, or by putting up your specimens in as many store windows as can be made to take them, - you are conveying the right thing. You are bidding for business because of quality. And because the best paying part of the public want quality in photography rather than cheapness, you will come into your own just as sure as night follows day. As Mark Twain put it: Blessed is the man who bloweth his own horn lest it be not blown,' but mark you, my friend, have a tune to play that is worth listening to.
"You know as well as I that a big percentage of men in any line of business are commercial cowards - timorous and uncertain, with just enough moral fiber to make a defensive fight. They understand cutting prices and retrenching. They know how to run to cover. They peg along with a small degree of half-baked success because they lack courage. Having no confidence in themselves, they have none in the public. You know who these men are in your own towns. If they advertise at all, it's in a half-hearted way that leaves the field open to their aggressive competitor who puts quality in his goods and extols their merit to high heaven.
"The public can be depended upon to recognize and appreciate enterprising merit, and the public will pay, willingly, for real quality if they know where it is to be found.
"An enterprising, progressive photographer who makes a study of his business and keeps abreast of the advancing strides of his art - and advertises the fact - won't have to do a cut-rate business at certain times of the year. His name and his work - if well advertised - are a guarantee of quality which makes the question of price a secondary one. He can get any price within reason, simply because the prizes of business always go to the aggressive fighter who has the goods.'
"A man must be an enthusiast in his work in order to accomplish anything. The Japanese have a proverb: No man can find the best way of doing a thing until he loves to do that thing.'
"Unused talents - ungirt loins - unlit lamps - sink a man like lead. Doing nothing is enough for ruin. Rouse ye! Put the best quality in your work that a combination of head, heart and hand can produce and advertise the fact - and you won't have to worry about the future.
"While spending a forenoon in my friend Bradley's office, on Fifth Avenue, looking for a few points toward the building of this talk, like a thoughtless amateur, I asked him to show me what he considered his best piece of work. Bradley's reply came back like a flash: My dear Frothingham, it has not yet been done.' There's a text for you, gentlemen, more eloquent than anything I could say if I spoke here all night long. It was in fact the inspiration of this halting address of mine, and it calls to mind most vividly those wonderful lines from Kipling:
'When Earth's last picture is painted, and the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colors have faded, and the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it - lie down for an aeon or two,
Till the Master of All Good Workmen sets us to work anew!
'And those that were good shall be happy; they shall sit in a golden chair;
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of comets' hair;
They shall find real saints to draw from - Magdalene, Peter, and Paul;
They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired at all!
'And only the Master shall praise us, and only the Master shall blame;
And no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame;
But each for the joy of working, and each, in his separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They Are!'"
The Inter-Mountain Photographers Association will hold its convention at Salt Lake City, Utah, April 5, 6 and 7, and it promises to be a hummer. The photographers of this section are enthusiastic and the convention will be well worth attending.
The Kansas Convention will be held in Wichita, April 10, 11, 12 and 13.
The Photographers Association of Iowa will hold its 21st Annual Convention at Sioux City, May 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Sioux City is a young man's city and claims to outclass anything on the state map when it comes to entertaining conventions. Their program promises to be right up to the tick of the clock. Better go.
Other conventions will be as follows:
Oklahoma at Shawnee, June 6, 7 and 8.
Indiana at Winona Lake, July 11, 12, 13 and 14.
National at St. Paul, Minn., July 24th to 29th.