This section is from the "Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1914" book, by Sara F. T. Price. Also see Amazon: Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1914.
The up-to-date photographer can not spend too much thought on his reception room. From a business point of view it is the most important part of the establishment. It is here that the prospective sitter obtains his first impression, which, if it does not actually lead to the making or marring of an appointment, frequently has great bearing upon the spirit in which proofs are received. A tasteful reception room will give the sitter a reassuring idea as to the status of the business, and will lead to a more confident order. A slovenly, patchy, or even an over ornate room will lay the germs of misgiving that will tinge all further transactions, leading, if not to dislike of proofs, to a very guarded order. Moreover, good specimens tastefully displayed tell their own story, and orders for more expensive work than that otherwise intended should result.
Nothing out of the ordinary in the way of decoration is required. Good quiet wall covering, artistic artificial light fittings and wood-work, whilst the furniture should be solid, substantial, and good, but not in any way gaudy. When decorating a room one must remember that a certain amount of repetition has to be introduced. A very good rule is to decide on a scheme in two prevailing colors, and stick to them, introducing as little as possible of any other tint. Brown and cream are a good combination, so are brown and green. Cream and red, too, is a splendid combination, but not satisfactory for a reception or show room, where the great necessity is that the wall covering should be quiet, dark and unobtrusive, so that pictures are shown off without any detractions.
When choosing wall covering, therefore, it must not be chosen for its own inherent beauty, but for its value as a background for pictures. It will scarcely be necessary to add that papers with very small indefinite patterns in self-color or quite plain papers or fabrics are the only suitable ones.When selecting furniture go in for straight lines and plain square features. Turning usually looks cheap. Avoid carving unless you can afford real antique.
FROM AN ARTURA IRIS PRINT
By Geo. M. Edmondson Cleveland, Ohio
A good table should be obtained for showing mounted prints, since it is very inadvisable to keep specimens scattered about; one with a shelf underneath is useful, so also is a chest of drawers with glass top and receptacle for miniatures, colored work, or any special goods which it is desirable to give an added suggestion of value. The drawers should be shallow, say, three inches, and, if provided with portfolios to hold specimens, are very useful.
A mirror should not be included, the space being more profitably and suitably occupied by paneling, against which the framed pictures will show to a greater advantage.
Above all do not crowd the walls. A very few perfect specimens have a most pleasing, restful, and tasteful effect quite different from the general tone conveyed by overcrowded walls, where a multitude of specimens kill one another and defeat the ends of the photographer who wants by his exhibition to convey an adequate idea of the work done. Touching on this subject one may refer again to the mistake of overcrowding tables with unframed specimens. Two or three in tasteful folders are quite sufficient to have lying loose; the others should be kept in portfolios easily brought forward and returned. The slovenly effect of a number of photographs lying jumbled up and necessarily dirty is very distracting and harmful. - British Journal.