This section is from the "Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1923" book, by Sara F. T. Price. Also see Amazon: Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1923.
It is our purpose in illustrating Studio Light with the pictures made by photographers in various parts of the country to give some idea of the results produced by various working methods and the various conceptions of what is required to make the portrait pleasing and acceptable to the customer.
We might say that Mr. Sipp-rell. whose portraits we reproduce in this issue, works almost exclusively for simplicity and naturalness. His sittings are made in the home as well as in the studio, and while he looks to the technical quality of his work as of great importance, he believes it is sometimes necessary to sacrifice something of technical quality in order to secure the more important flash of animated expression that does not wait on arrangement or light or exposure.
Mr. Sipprell works with adults in much the same way that he works with children. He tries to catch them in their own natural positions and expressions.
To that end he makes it a point to find subjects of mutual interest to talk about and by so doing to make the picture taking an occasion for the exchange of ideas, all the time making exposures, however, and in many cases securing all the negatives required without the sitter being aware of having been photographed, until it is all over.
In this way he usually succeeds in getting pictures of people that are alive with interest and expression, rather than a record of features that, as he says, is best described by the expression "nobody home."
We think that this ability to keep the sitter in conversation and to draw out a natural and characteristic expression is a talent that cannot be acquired without considerable study and application, or a natural understanding of human nature.
Mr. Sipprell is particularly fortunate in liking his work so well that it never becomes a real task for him to make a sitting. Each new sitter presents a new problem and in home portraiture the game is made doubly interesting by the problem of strange and often unusual light conditions that must be conquered and made to lend themselves to the production of natural pictures of those who live in the light of that particular home.
Twenty years of photography for himself and several years of previous training, under a photographer who was nationally known in his time, have not made Mr. Sipprell at all narrow in his ideas. On the contrary it has seemed to broaden him to the point where his work has very little of the stereotyped and very much of the personality of the person portrayed.
PORTRAIT FILM NEGATIVE, VITAVA PRINT
By Francis .J Sipprell Buffalo,. N.Y.
As to the material which has contributed to his success, Mr. Sipprell has this to say: "I have used films exclusively for the past three years and not at any time have I regretted the giving up of glass plates."
"I find films easier to use in every way. From the exposure in the camera right on through to the final printing I find many advantages, both as to handling and in the quality of the finished work."And as an expression of his attitude towards his work, which we think might make anyone better satisfied with his chosen profession, he adds:
"Photography to me is both a vocation and an avocation. I am fortunate in liking my work so well that it satisfies me both as a means of self expression and as a means of livelihood."