The proprietor of a New York photograph studio and the press agent of a metropolitan theatre met and talked after the manner of their kind.
After a while the photograph man gave a good imitation of a man doing a thinking act.
” Why so contemplative? ” asked the press agent.
” I am struck with a great idea” said the producer of photographs and as he continued his conversation he showed that he was also a producer of ideas.
” See yon fair damsel, blithely tripping along the Rialto? See the several bevys of beautiful womankind that pass by? See the swagger stride of every actor that moves along? See the –”
” Cut it out! What’s your idea?”
” Not so fastnot so rude, young man! This is a good idea for youfor me. All these peoplethese renowned actors and famous actresseswant their photographs in as many papers as they can enter. They want publicity-photographs. They want photographs publicity. They wantwell, we’ll give it to ’em.”
” What? How? ” asked the press agent.
” You send me twenty leading people from your unequalled star cast. I’ll give them each a dozen photographs for nothing. They’ll jump at the offer, of course. Then I’ll give you two dozen photographs of each actor and actress with the under-standing that you’ll send my photographsand my photographs onlyto the papers and magazines with your regular press notices. When these photographs appear my name ’11 appear on each and presently it ‘ll be known to hundreds and hundreds of thousands of readers as that of a leading artist in the photo-graphic line. Oh! This is a great idea, my boy.”
“Good ideaI’m with you ” enthusiastically said the press agent.
” I’ll also give you a half dozen large sized crayons if you will distribute them judiciously about your foyer,” continued the photographer.
The ideas as conveyed in the preceding conversation were put in execution by the photographer, aided by his friend and collaborator the press agent. The magazines blazoned forth without charge the name of the photographer every time one of his photographs of a dramatic star appeared. The daily papers literally advertised his script cognomen without charge or question. The theatrical world saw his name and picture and was much impressed thereby. His business grew to the point where he presented his very good friend the press agent with as handsome a tailor made suit as you could find on Broadway between Twenty-third and Porty-second streets.
This is no sketch spun from the thought-webs of the imagination. It is based upon a fact and contains a pointer worthy of consideration by any photographer in any town or city where there is a fair theatrical contingent.
The photographer who manages to show pictures of local interest in the principal show windows, hotel offices, railroad depots and public places of his town usually does the lion’s share of the town’s photograph business.
When it comes to newspaper advertising he need not take much space, but the little space he does take can be filled up by convincing talk as to the artistic merit of his photographs. He can quote prices. He can make a special bid for children’s trade on Saturday and tell mothers that he is always fortunate in getting the best expressions and happiest results in such cases. He can say that cloudy days are as good as sunny days. He can give an idea of the time required to produce a dozen finished cabinet photographs. He can afford to cut prices on a line for a week or sojust to stir up trade. He can talk about the bright, cheery atmosphere of his studio. In short he can find lots of interesting points to talk about in his advertising.
He can circularize at special seasons of the year. At the beginning of the holiday season he can well send out a well worded circular calling attention to his facilities for producing in short order, holiday photographs and their desirability as Christmas presents. In June he can send out with profit a circular calling attention to his ability to photograph satisfactorily picnic groups, lawn groups, yards, houses, schools, conventions, etc.