We all know the man who says to himself: "If I bring my price down to a little below that of my competitor across the street. I can get enough extra business to squeeze him and make a few dollars myself." Let us see. We will assume that he cuts his price fifty cents, thereby making it three dollars. We will also assume that he gets more business, three hundred sittings more than under former conditions. Now, the business, with the same overhead expense and at the same cost for material, will have to total thirteen hundred and fifty sittings at three dollars, or four thousand and fifty-five dollars for the year. This shows that, after having done almost a third more work, he has had to assume a loss of five dollars.

Look at these figures as Ave may, there is only one conchiMnn that can be arrived at. and that is: when we are "monkeying" with price-cutting with prices anywhere around three dollars for cabinets. we are "fooling with a buzz saw."

A picture with a low price may be used as an inducement to get people into the studio, but every effort possible should be made to switch the customer to higher-priced work. Department stores use bait of this kind, as an advertisement; but when one goes to buy the goods, he finds he has to run a gauntlet of wonderful and attractive displays in other lines, displays that almost compel purchases. The advertised bargain is in some remote corner of the huge establishment, and the reason it was placed there is obvious. Unless we can handle our customers in this way, a cheap picture for a leader is a dangerous thing for the pocket-book, and it should only be used when the proprietor is a shrewd salesman or has a most competent receptionist in his service.

From An Artura Iris Print By L. F. Griffith Salt Lake City, Utah.

From An Artura Iris Print By L. F. Griffith Salt Lake City, Utah.

From An Artura Iris Print By L. F. Griffith Salt Lake City, Utah.

From An Artura Iris Print By L. F. Griffith Salt Lake City, Utah.

Have you had enough figures? We will look on the brighter side for a few minutes and make some comparisons, using higher prices. Taking the same expenses, and raising our price to four dollars, we find the figures show a profit of five hundred and thirty-five dollars for the ten hundred and fifty sittings. Raising them still another dollar, we show the still larger margin of fifteen hundred and eighty-five dollars. We are now mounting into the realm of profits, yet five dollars is not a big price. If you really want to soar, try eight dollars; many men are getting it for cabinets and 4x6 prints; and, to make up for the additional cost of higher grade material, we will add seven hundred and thirtyfive dollars, which should surely cover it, bearing in mind that we are still making the same ten hundred and fifty sittings, and our profit for the year reaches the astonishing sum of four thousand dollars.

Is it worth while going after business on the price-cutting basis? Why not be a little more sensible and boost prices a trifle all along the line? What can a photographer expect from the public when he has no more respect for himself and his work than to charge less than a day labourer's pay for producing it? How much profit, real profit, are you getting out of your business? I do not mean how much you can save on an income of fifty dollars a month, but how much are you getting to lay up against that time in the autumn of life when you may need it?

We can talk about art all we wish; it is an interesting subject, its study is essential to the production of better work and the attainment of higher prices, but the man who is weak on the business side of photography has a hard row ahead of him.

In conclusion, I would say that if you will yourself tackle the question of ascertaining the cost of production of your own pictures, you will find it an interesting, not to say surprising, problem, and you cannot but benefit by doing so.

From An Artura Iris Print By L. F. Griffith Salt Lake City, Utah.

From An Artura Iris Print By L. F. Griffith Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Cost Of Producing Photographs StudioLightMagazine1912 32