This section is from the "Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1912" book, by Aristo Motto. Also see Amazon: Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1912.
There are many kinds of -waste and many kinds of economy, and a book might be written on the combined subject, but we will only dwell upon it long enough to set you thinking, for these problems must all be solved by the individual. What is waste to one might be considered economy to another, and vice versa.
Let's drop the preliminaries and wade right in. It's too hot these days to read anything but the meat of an article, anyway. I was walking past a studio the other day, where there are two display cases. One in the stairway, with a large display of good pictures, another on a post just outside, with room for two 11x14 prints, one on each side. The pictures in the inside case are religiously changed at regular intervals, - the two large prints in the outside case have remained there for at least a year.
The casual observer sees the two large pictures and passes by.
They are a landmark so familiar that they fail to attract any attention to the new things in the other case. Change those two pictures and ten times as many people would stop and look at both cases, but 11x14 plates and prints cost money. Yes, to be sure they do, but you might as well try to attract attention to a new musical comedy with the old "Uncle Tom's Cabin" bills on the boards. It's "penny-wise, pound-foolish" sort of economy that doesn't bring customers. Think it over.
We talk of the cost of production, figure up our running expenses, allow ourselves a respectable salary, and find our balance on the wrong side of the ledger. There is something wrong somewhere; now just what can it be? Let's see if there has been any waste. We have economized by doing without a girl in the reception room - have had plenty of customers and bought our materials at the lowest prices. Our orders, however, have averaged lower than visual, that seems to be the main trouble. Just look over the orders when the receptionist was looking after the customers. You find the orders averaged higher, you bought better stock, you had less waste and made more profit. You don't believe you had less waste? Let's ask the printer. What does he say.- "Yes, we have had more trouble with those cheap chemicals we have been using; we lost quite a bit on that cheap lot of mounts; the printer who helped me during that cut price rush spoiled an awful lot of paper and we have not been getting the tones we got when we were using Artura."
How about the profit on the higher priced platinum work? Well, you haven't been doing so much of it lately for you have been busy on the cheaper work and haven't pushed it. Look it up, figure your profit on it. You are wasting time and energy on cheap work that is not profitable - you are neglecting the good business that is most profitable - you are trying to sell pictures when you are not a salesman - you are wasting material with poor help and poor chemicals - advertising cheap work instead of good work - catering in all ways to the cheaper trade and consequent small profits.
Put the girl back in the reception room, advertise quality work and make it.
If you have to make a medium grade of work (and some of you do have to) make the difference between it and your best work a distinct difference, - make it a difference in the size of the print if possible, but give even* customer as much quality for his money as possible.
Don't waste time, especially in trying to argue with a dissatisfied customer. It is economy in the end to make the matter right even if the complaint seems unreasonable. I have in mind a prominent photographer who had delivered an order of beautiful sepia prints to a lady, the pictures being of her husband. She returned them the next day with the complaint that the sepia tone of the prints made her husband look bilious. She was immediately told that the prints would be made for her in black and white. Do you see the economy of it?
The economy of advertising is in reaching the greatest number of people at the least cost. Pick the paper with the largest circulation that will directly benefit you. Don't pay the high rate charged for single insertions; get the lowest price possible on a contract covering your advertising for a year, and keep your copy fresh and attractive. This can only be done by changing it every issue. Make it worth reading by using a selling argument. Don't merely say "John Smith makes Fine Photographs." It's but seventy-two years since the first photographic portrait was made in America - a picture of Miss Dorothy Catherine Draper, made by her brother Professor John William Draper of the University of the City of New York. It took an exposure of five minutes in the full glare of the noon-day sun.
To-day it takes but a fraction of a second, even in the softly modulated light of a studio. Clever photographers and fast plates and lenses have made having your picture taken a rather pleasant experience these days.
There's a photographer in your town. Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, N. Y.
The above copy will appear in full pages of August Ainsle's, Century, Everybody's, and Harper's, with a quarter page in The Saturday Evening Post. September Cosmopolitan, out August tenth, will carry the same copy would be better to say "Your Wife wants your Photograph," if you had only space for five words, for it might remind a man that he had been promising his wife to have a photograph made. But it would be still better to use your argument and then say: "John Smith, The Photographer in your town." This would be more economy, for nearly everyone who reads a magazine has read some of the arguments setting forth the reasons why he or she should have pictures made. These ads have all said "There's a photographer in your town." Following up this advertising is just like small boys getting apples off a tree. One gets on a limb and it bends a little. Two boys on a limb makes it bend a little more. Three boys on the limb and it bends down to where the fourth boy can pick the apples. Think it over. It's economy in advertising.
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No. 8 P. M. C. Bromide is a buff stock, double weight paper, with a medium rough lustre surface, and will be furnished at the same price as other Double Weight P. M. C. Bromides.