This section is from the "Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1913" book, by Aristo Motto. Also see Amazon: Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1913.
May the year 1913 show a gratifying and profitable increase over the previous years of your photographic business. We wish every photographer a merry Christmas and an increasing]}' prosperous and happy New Year.
A bit of fresh crisp holly suggests Christmas. Used with good taste in your display, it suggests a portrait as the solution of the gift problem.
An idle display case is like a vacant house. The longer it is idle, the greater the loss to its owner.
Every display window in your city is filled with Christmas suggestions to tempt the Christmas shopper's purse. Is your display case doing its share of tempting? Does it compete with the shop window of the jeweler down the street?
A good print on display is worth two in the - well, anywhere they can not be seen except by those who come into your studio to buy pictures. The print on display in a street case reaches those who would never think of coming inside to see your work, but the display print may bring them inside.
And an attractive advertisement in your local paper will reach the great number of people who only see your display case occasionally. It will give you a chance to break even with the great army of advertisers who are offering all manner of arguments for the sale of their wares. Nothing is more appropriate more pleasing as a gift, than a good portrait. Remind the readers of this fact in your Christmas advertising.
In the old corner studio, over the bank and directly back of the leading attorney's offices, we used to do a fine family group business with our country trade, on Saturdays, and while court was in session. And Saturday was the day I had to spend a good part of my time in the dark-room developing the negatives.
We didn't even show proofs of many of these sittings. The boss would show the developed negative and get the order and a deposit, if all those in the group had held still. He would mail proofs if the patrons were insistent enough, but was usually able to convince them it was a fine negative, and the order was secured.
You couldn't do that sort of thing to-day, - there is too much competition. The average patron demands better work and has a better idea of what may be accomplished by the modern photographer.
Instead of making two negatives, as we used to do, you probably make half a dozen or more. And you do this with an idea of giving a pleasing variety of positions and lightings to select from, as well as to sell from several negatives, with an additional charge for each extra one.
This is salesmanship. It is more profitable to make three prints from each of four negatives, than twelve prints from one. You make an additional profit on finishing the three extra negatives, and have four live prospects for duplicate orders instead of one.
There is a very practical and logical way to increase the amount of your orders by selling from several negatives. Try it out the next time you make a number of negatives of a good prospective buyer and see how it works.
When the lot of negatives is ready for proofing, look them over carefully and see where your etching tool can be used to good advantage. You can't very well hurt a woman's feelings by etching off a few pounds of flesh, if she is inclined to be stout, and if you know how to use your etcher, she is none the wiser. She will say you are a wonderful photographer, however, and will advertise you to her friends.
Of course, you can make the proofs and then tell her you can trim down her neck, remove her double chin and make her much slighter, - but these things hurt her vanity. How much better it is to do these things first and clinch a good order from several negatives without resort to what may be embarrassing explanations to a sensitive customer.
The same thing applies to retouching. A receptionist showed me a set of proofs that were far from flattering - and I had to say I would not like to try making a sale from them. Then she handed me a set of proofs made' after the etching and a little proof retouching had been done on them. They were fine, though by no means over-retouched.
From An Artura Iris Print By O. C. Conkling St. Louis, Mo.
The lady sitter had been greatly pleased and gave an order for over one hundred dollars worth of pictures from several negatives. They were all so good she simply couldn't decide on any one. She had cautioned the receptionist not to let them take out a line of expression in finishing the pictures, because they were perfect likenesses. I shuddered to think what she might have said had she seen the first proofs. She probably never could have been convinced they would be all right, and might not have liked them after they had been retouched.
I believe there is a very large percentage of photographers who do proof retouching and etching before proofs are made, and I think I am safe in saving their orders will average enough more on this account to pay for their retouching and leave a substantial profit.
If you have never tried this help to salesmanship, test its value on the first difficult subject you encounter. You will find the average person likes to see a proof that gives some idea of the finished print - and such proofs will enable you to sell larger orders.