This section is from the "Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1922 " book, by Aristo Motto. Also see Amazon: Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1922 .
The display case should attract attention by mirroring the kind of work the studio does. Consequently it is of considerable importance that the display case present an attractive appearance. In addition, the display case is a sales force, so that it must make an active selling appeal to the passerby.
But the photographer is primarily a photographer and not a trimmer of display cases, nor is he a salesman. The result of these two facts, in many cases, is a display case arranged in a hurry so crudely that it neither attracts attention to, nor does it sell the studio's goods.
Examples of this type of display case are common. There is the large case crowded with a confused mass of photographs of all sizes and styles - men, women and children placed in solid rows just the way they sit at the movies. Such a display of photographs implies not quality or refinement, but work that is rushed out in quantities and not carefully finished by experts. There are plenty of display cases that cast this"your-picture- on - a- post - card- while-you-wait" atmosphere around a first rate photographic studio, There is the small case with half-a-dozen prints in a space just large enough for one or two. There is the case in which one print has become detached and lies on its side in the bottom - or it has come partly loose and leans drunkenly against the glass. There is the case with a glass so dirty that the photographs appear only through a fog of dust.
An example of a good idea gone to seed is the picture of "Martin F. Blayne, Democratic Candidate for Mayor" which is still in the display case a month after Mr. Blayne has been defeated. A second example is the case showing a photograph of a girl in cap and gown. It symbolizes commencement and June, but it is forgotten and left there for Christmas shoppers to ignore.
None of these mistakes mentioned are imaginary - all of them were noticed in an hour's time and within a mile of each other in the same city.
The impression one receives from a glance at such display cases as have been mentioned is that the studio is unprogressive, slow and slovenly. No one wants photographs that are made in a studio whose display case gives such an impression, so these display cases do not call attention to the studio by mirroring its work, and they certainly do not sell photographs to the crowds that pass by.
You may say, "Such simple faults in display cases are just mistakes - everyone knows better." But we all know the hoary joke on medical men - their mistakes are never seen because they bury them. Unless you guard against these mistakes, that everyone knows better than to make, and correct them at once when they happen, they tend to bury a lot of potential business so deep you cannot dig it up.
Turning to positive suggestion, as contrasted with the destructive criticism that has been offered, attention is called to the accompanying illustrations.
We acknowledge our indebtedness to Taprell, Loomis & Co., of Chicago for the photographs and mounters which we have used in preparing these display case trims. We only wish there was enough space to permit the reproduction of the entire Taprell, Loomis line of mountings because they are fine - all of them - and should prove of interest to every photographer.
The arrangement of each trim, and the quality of the photographs reprqduced serve to attract attention to the studio - to mirror its work. Then, too, each of these trims embodies one sales idea. One idea is as much as you can hope to sell at one time in a display case. You can not expect both to attract and to sell father, mother and the young folks all at once except, perhaps, in a group picture. Embody one definite appeal in each trim.
Good photographs well arranged and often changed catch the eye - that's the first point in your favor, attention gained to the work your studio does. But the display case must sell, too, and selling requires sales talk. We emphatically advocate the use of small price or announcement cards, or both. They furnish the sales talk required to enforce the appeal of the trim and they bring in orders - that's the other point gained in your favor. Your trim may convey the idea, "This is high quality work" but a little placard with "Be photographed this year on your birthday" or "Your photograph for mother's birthday" or "The only gift that you can make that only you can make" is a strong bit of selling talk. Price cards are excellent sales talk.
For example, Trim "A" tells a story that can't be missed. The four mounts and the card plainly say, "If you want a neat but inexpensive picture, get your photograph here."
The too well arranged display may denote expense that a number of people do not feel they can afford. A little price card dispels this illusion as in the trim lettered "B". It says, "This fine looking work is priced at $18.00 a dozen, unframed, a reasonable figure for work of such fine quality." The single photograph display signifies that the studio does careful portrait work that is, as well, natural, simple and refined. The frame helps to create this impression. Much the same idea is expressed in trim "C", only the appeal is to women instead of to men. Then, too, replacing the price card with the style name, seems to us to weaken the sales talk. The framed photograph in trim "B" mirrors quality - the price card gives the sales argument. In trim "C" the photograph mirrors quality. Isn't the card a little superfluous? Wouldn't a price card be more effective? We say "Yes" to both interrogations.
The fourth trim, "D", is intended to attract girls and show the studio does good work that is quite inexpensive and within a young girl's means. The card helps materially to make this message plain.
The prices indicated in the illustrations may not be your prices. They are not intended to suggest what your prices should be but are used merely to illustrate this discussion.