There are arguments for and against delivering proofs from retouched negatives, but the arguments against proof retouching do not come from those who have adopted this plan. They have found it profitable.

The same is true of arguments for and against the delivery of proofs made on the grade of paper to be used for the finished prints, or at least a developed proof on a similar grade of paper.

When albumen paper was used almost exclusively, proofs were made on albumen paper. When gelatine and collodion papers were placed on the market, proofs were also made on these papers but they were not toned. It was thought too much trouble and unnecessary.

As higher grade papers were made and higher grade work exploited as the finished product of photography advanced, the proof stood still. It has stood still until the gap between the two has become so wide that many of the most progressive photographers have decided that it should be closed, that it isn't necessary to deliver a glossy red proof that is guaranteed to fade away before the customer has a good chance to examine it.

As a consequence, some photographers show and deliver proofs that are almost equal to finished prints. The main point is that such proofs have some resemblance to the finished product and are more likely to create a better impression and induce a better order.

Another good point about the delivery of such finished proofs is that they are obviously of value and the customer can understand why he must pay for them if they are not returned. It has always been more or less a mystery to the average, honest-minded layman why the photographer should insist that "all proofs not returned will be charged for at 50c. each," when to his mind, the blamed things are no good anyway.

On the other hand, it is easy for the customer to understand that a finished print has value and can not be kept unless he pays for it. It is also easy to understand that the photographer keeps returned proofs as a record of negatives from which orders have not been received.

At any rate, the delivery of a good stable proof doesn't make it necessary for you to guard against the possibility of an occasional customer taking spare proofs to your competitor to have them toned, to prevent which it has been customary to use precautions which might be objectionable to other customers.

The possibility of increasing orders is the greatest incentive for proof-retouching and better proofs. A rough proof from an untouched negative is seldom a beautiful thing to show a customer, but a few strokes of the retoucher's pencil will make the proof presentable. You may not know the little things your receptionist can instinctively see will be objectionable to a woman. But she can give a few instructions to your retoucher and a fault is eliminated and a complaint forestalled.

First impressions are always strongest, yet first impressions of the work you do for customers are made when you show proofs. And these impressions are usually the worst ones received during the entire picture-making transaction.

Because glossy red proofs were delivered in non-actinic red envelopes at one time, and because it was too much trouble and necessitated too much delay to tone such proofs is not sufficient excuse for adhering to an old and threadbare custom.

The proof which makes the best impression and which gives the best idea of the finished work will surely be the means of securing the best orders. And when a variety of negatives are made, good proofs will, in most instances, induce orders from several negatives, which means that the order is usually larger and duplicate orders are more certain.

The "progressive" photographer casts precedent and tradition to the winds, studies the buyer's viewpoint and follows lines of reasoning which will obviously create more business and make better satisfied customers.

The proof is an important part of the business transactions of photography and if poor proofs make good orders difficult to secure, good proofs will make better orders.

Artura Iris, the paper that has no rival.

Artura Print, From An Eastman Portrait Film Negative.

Artura Print, From An Eastman Portrait Film Negative.

By Dudley Hoyt New York.

February 1917 Vol 8 No 12 Better Proofs Better Ord StudioLightMagazine1917 31