SEASONAL business is expen-sive. The advantages of heavy business during the rush season are diminished by the dull periods, for extra work requires extra labor and equipment which is partly idle in a dull season. It is the even flowing river that makes the best power stream, for flood currents are not appreciated when a drouth is sure to follow.

To even demand it is necessary to increase business in slack periods, and this is the problem that has led to the introduction of new products or new uses for old products by various types of businesses. The photographer's rush season is in December, though by early advertising many photographers have been able to spread this business over October, November and December. The same plan can be made to materially increase business during January, February and March.

The portrait market is present after January first, as before - there are always photographs to be made. However, the photo-graph-for-Christmas idea must be followed by another selling campaign. Why not make it a campaign for baby pictures?

We are apt to think of babies when the new year comes in, for its very newness is symbolized by the infant. Thus January advertising that concerns baby attracts added attention and secures increased interest from its timeliness.

But we don't have to resort to the symbolism of Old Father Time with his new-born babe to find arguments for baby pictures in January. Sometimes cash presents received at Christmas furnish the means to portraits that were lacking before. And often a gift picture of little Eddie or Betty received in the holiday mail supplies the needed urge for the recipient to return the compliment with a portrait of Casper 2nd. More important still is the fact that New Years is the time of good resolutions and that advertising will act as a reminder to those who have said "We must get baby's picture taken." There are plenty of such folks in your town.

With these points in mind we have made up a folder design for the professional photographer who wants to bring in the babies after Christmas. We have used the regular cut offered for the month for newspaper work (see page 26) and have designed the folder so that the photographer can have it easily and cheaply reproduced by any ordinary printing plant. The type used should be light and free from any suggestion of boldness or severity, as type should always create atmosphere for the message. The paper should be of the finest quality that can be afforded, a hard unglazed style in either white or light buff being most desirable.

Flattening The Peak Of Rush Business StudioLightMagazine1922 270

Mailing a folder like the above to tie up with the newspaper copy shown on page 26 should keep your studio appointment register from becoming too empty in January. This folder is 3 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches in size and fits an ordinary business envelope.

This direct mail advertising can be successful, however, only if it is efficiently distributed.Once a good mailing list is compiled, the upkeep is simple, and the expense very small. One very good way of working up a list for child portraiture business is as follows: Dates of births (secured from newspaper notices or the office of the Recorder of Births) are noted on cards along with the names of the parents, and their addresses, and filed according to dates. Given names are added as soon as they can be ascertained, as letters to parents in which the advertiser mentions the baby's name have a much greater personal appeal. As soon as the photographs are made the card is refiled, the sitting date, number of prints made, etc., being recorded. If the photograph was not taken near the birthday, the photographer files the card according to the sitting date. About ten days in advance of each birthday (or "anniversary" of the previous sitting) a letter or circular is mailed suggesting a new photograph and urging that an appointment be made. If the child is less than three years of age, a sitting every six months could be urged, as babies change so rapidly that a semi-annual appointment is quite practical. With a few slight changes, the copy of the folder illustrated can be used to advantage in this work.

Another method is to cover the whole baby list just once a year, and New Years is a good time to do this. Of course this method is less effective, but it also entails less work, and still brings quite satisfactory results. The folder illustrated can do this work especially well. It can also be used as a follow up for those who did not respond to the advertising sent out prior to the birthday anniversaries during the latter part of the previous year.

Thus the baby folder can be used to advantage at New Years no matter how the direct mail work is carried on. If such plans are carried out before and after rush seasons the continual flow of good business will make the rush seasons less noticeable and all seasons more satisfactory and profitable.