"Why are you called an operator - smacks of surgery, doesn't it?"

"I suppose," replied the operator, "it's a survival of the days when having a photograph taken was something to be dreaded almost as much as being operated upon by a surgeon. But once a name gets a good hold, it sticks. If you ask me what I would like to be called, you must wait for your answer - I haven't a name ready. I only know that I don't like to be called the operator. Apart from that, it isn't fair to the retoucher - there you have a real operator, who straightens crooked noses, reduces the number of chins, and, with a scalpel, mind you, actually cuts pieces out of human figures."

"How would you like to be called an artist?"

"Not a bit. It sounds too pretentious when applied to a man.who doesn't handle pencil or brushes; the public wouldn't take to it. And, besides, the name is already in use - the man who finishes enlargements and paints miniatures is called the artist."

"But apart from liking or disliking the name, don't you think that it helps to keep alive the old idea that sitting for a portrait is as bad as having a tooth taken out?"

"Of course I do. That's just the point - professionals don't study psychology as much as they should do; they don't realize how little things like that influence the minds of the public. Why, some photographers are cultivating the habit of calling the studio the operating room'! Fancy a timid old lady, who hasn' t been photographed for fifty years, being asked by a receptionist to come into the operating room! Even in the most inviting studios, one gets sitters who come in with such remarks as: I - I - hope you won't be very long, my nerves are not quite as strong as they should be.' It is left to the operator to explain to sitters that there is now nothing unpleasant about sitting for a portrait - it shouldn't need explaining in the studio. The idea ought to be banished from the public mind."

"You think, then, that the public need educating with regard to photography?"

"I think that they need educating about photographic studios. There are a few people who really like coming to a studio, but they are not often met. Why should not women be attracted to a studio in the same way as they are attracted to a shop? You know that many of them go shopping because of their sheer love of shopping itself. Read the average professional's price list and circulars; what is there in them to suggest that going to a studio will be a source of pleasure? There is far too much about skilled operators,' modern apparatus,' and up-to-date instruments.' That sort of talk gives people the shivers,' it makes them put off being photographed as long as ever they can."

"But surely everybody knows now-a-days that there is nothing to dread in going to a studio?"

"No, that is not the case. There are thousands of people who ought to be photographed - and who really want to be photographed - but they will not go to a studio because the idea is hateful to them. These people will tell you that they cannot bear the thought of having their heads screwed up in a head rest, their arms and legs twisted into all sorts of unnatural shapes, and to be told to look pleasant and stare into a lens that looks as formidable as a six-inch gun. You'd be astonished to see what a number of sitters come into a studio fully believing that they will have to endure that sort of thing. We who are in photography are too apt to think that the public know as much about the inside of a studio as we do. What a busy time photographers would have if they could induce every person in the country who hasn't been photographed for ten years to give a sitting before the end of the year! But these people haven't been thinking, reading and talking photography during the past ten years - they have been interested in other things. They don't know how different it is to be photographed now from what it was when they were tortured the last time they visited a studio." "What would you do, then?" "I would make studios attractive, and advertise their attractions. I would tell people that the old torture chambers' have been abolished, and that it is now just as enjoyable to go to a studio as it is to go to a large drapery establishment. I would talk about the charming pictures

Is There A Better Name StudioLightMagazine1915 200


Is There A Better Name StudioLightMagazine1915 201


By A. J. W. Copelin Chicago, Ill.

Photographs, like the family furniture, are most cherished when very new or very old. Mother banished her mother's old sofa to the attic. You, the grand-daughter, brought it down again and you prize it, even above the latest "new piece."It's the same with pictures - your photograph just as you now are - your friends will appreciate, now. And the second generation will cherish it even more.

There's a photographer in your town. Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, N. Y.

At the annual home coming on Thanksgiving day - they will be glad to have your picture and you, theirs.And if, perchance, you can't go home this year, how pictures will help which show the latest fashions in dress, about the new styles of finishing and mounting, toys for amusing children - in fact, anything pleasant, but I would never refer to being photographed as an operation,' and I would never speak of instruments,' latest inventions in apparatus' and operating rooms.'" "Perhaps you're right. At any rate, it's worth thinking about."

There's a photographer in your town. Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, N. Y.