Newsletter for July
MARKS ON PRINTS and Printfinishing
CHANGEABLE BACK CAMERAS
REPORT FROM NORTH CAROLINA 1979
1999 A lot is now out of date but there are some interesting concepts here if you look for them.
As I sit here in a big shopping centre carpark at 3.24 p.m.
with a temperature reading 44 degrees Fahrenheit or
7 degrees Celsius, it makes one wonder why Saturday morning
trading is not brought into New Zealand. There's absolutely thousands of cars here in a fantastic large
mall. I've just walked through a Foodtown, where there were
ten aisles working with about eleven people queued up waiting
in each. They have a computer electronic scanner there for working
out the price of the goods from the bar code we are starting
to see on the packets, so they are going through really fast,
yet there are more people in the line than they can handle and
they are all walking through the Mall where the North Carolina
Photographers Association have their display, one can't
help thinking Professional Photography. They have the travelling loan exhibition on show and each individual
photographer in the area has a stand showing his work. There
was only one switched on Photographer there with a little table
to talk to people at, but the exhibit itself fills the complete
mall and believe me the mall is much larger than anything we
have seen in New Zealand. It is of course filled with shoppers, as it was last night,
which was Friday night and it was open until 9.30. Today it
is open from 10 o'clock in the morning until 5 o'clock. Of course
they have strong unions here and they do believe in the 40-hour
week, but the various people work shifts which then allows them
to keep the shops open. The Professional Photographers of North Carolina have got a
public relations programme running there where they did the
actual judging for the champion prints of the show in front
of the public.They had a rather interesting triangular stand which revolved
and they fitted each side up with a photograph and when the
judge was ready for the next one, he just moved it round one
space. The judges use an electronic marking device and they
all had the right to challenge. So if a print was marked lower
than one particular judge felt it should be, then he could challenge
it and give a reason why he was challenging it, then there would
be a re-calculation.After this they had a posing demonstration showing how a professional
photographer could, with very little trouble, get three or four
beautiful poses from the model sitting in the one position.Sam Gray gave a fifteen minute talk and slide show on his type
of photography which was extremely well received.Now at the other end of the scale upstairs while all this was
going on was a firm called Kiderfoto International Inc. which
was a Milestone (Pixie) type of operation and people were queuing
up to have their children photographed. They could have the
choice of one 7 x 5 or four wallet size prints for $1.95. They
limited the age to twelve years and made an extra charge of
$1.00 if there were extra children in the photograph. They guaranteed
satisfaction or your money refunded and I stood there for about
half an hour watching these two young girls at work. They were both about 18 years of age and took turns at the
camera, working in full view of the public with one light above
the camera, the camera on tracks so they could move it to and
fro, it was a Beattie Coleman type of camera and had the focusing
set so that you could view it from the front. They had a electric cable release with a button on it which
when they touched put a focusing light on. They did four poses
and none of the four poses were the same. They changed the background,
they changed the position of the child, they moved from close
ups to full length, they varied each pose as much as they could
and didn't press the exposure button until they were sure of
a print. After all that they guaranteed satisfaction or money
refunded and extra prints were available for $17.55 which gave
them two 10 x 8s, three 7 x 5s and eight wallet size prints.
Or alternatively, they could purchase 5 x 7s for $1.95 or 10
x 8s for $3.90 out of the original package.Whilst I was there they had about half a dozen in the queue
all the time, with one girl taking the photographs and the other
girl serving the people who came to pick up photographs. Those
girls really worked I have a feeling they must have been on
commission.The seating arrangements that they had for the children was
rather interesting, it was a table that would fold up at the
back so that you could lean a baby against it. The photographs
were not terribly impressive that I saw on display, they all
had a shadow behind them because of the single light, but believe
me, none of the people that were lined up for the photographs
really were terribly interested about the shadow.Four o'clock back at the mall, they put another presentation
on of the decorating with home art and showing how a photographer
worked to achieve the best from his model. Again there was a
great crowd watching and it went over with a great deal of success.MONDAY
Still at NORTH CAROLINA 1979
1999 Some more good meat here...
He also makes the comment that if you are using a vignette on your camera and you don't have a through the lens meter, again you'd better do some extensive testing to see the results that the vignette gives you in exposure at different settings.
He made a very good point that if you have a single lens reflex, you should have it checked on a yearly basis, to see if the image that is on the film is the same as the image that is on the ground glass. In other words check for the registration and whilst you're having that checked, have the speeds checked at the same time.
If you're displaying your work you should always get a model release and keep it It cost him $1,000 to find this out. He's found that after 3 p.m. he gets the maximum in directional light and made the comment if you can't be good, at least be different.He made the point that the eyes see thousands of tonal ranges, the film sees approximately 200 and the paper reproduces approximately 70, and one should be aware of this.Good pictures are made in the blink of an eye. You should keep it simple and give room for the birds to fly in outdoor photographs.Evidently in America a lot of people knock Kodak and Leon's comment about this was, where would we be without the yellow box still at the post office waiting for the Agfa film to arrive.He made a very good point that we normally sell what we like and as far as he's concerned 20 x 24s and larger is what they like, that is Leon and Betty. Mat spray kills low key work and should not be used on those circumstances at all.back to top ^
A MORNING WITH HAROLD
Point 1 - people leave a living image of themselves in your care for their loved ones. So you should always do your best.
Point 2 - make your customers completely aware of your requirements from them with regards to payment. If they, after you have made them aware of a sitting fee or minimum deposit, and they arrive in without the money, give them an addressed envelope to mail the cheque in to you. In other words make it as easy as possible for people to give you the money.
Point 3 - you must always keep a stock of ovals in stock that will fit your proofs so you are then able to sell oval prints. Nobody can imagine what an oval looks like until they have seen it, so therefore if you place an oval over the proof, then they are able to see what you are talking about. back to top ^
TOM AND JO ALICE MCDONALD
They have two displays outside their studio in busy centres and this has been the key to their success of their business. They have 29 new portraits on display every month which I'm sure you will agree is quite a challenging task.
Everybody is staving for attention and so by placing their photographs on display, this is the best form of advertising you can get. The photographs that he does have on display are in actual fact owned by his customers, however this took quite a time to get to this stage.He started off displaying photographs on speculation and found that he was having very little success.He then starting making notes of the photographs that his customers liked and starting displaying those and had a little bit more success. However his current sales method is to upgrade his sales from 11 x 14s to 20 x 16s so that he can use it for display.He does it in the following method insomuch that his price list has a one off print price and a second print price. If he decides that he is going to use a photograph for display, and he wants to increase the size of the picture that his customer is buying, he will offer them the print at the second off price, which is often only $5.00 more than the smaller print. He sells it on the policy of 50% deposit and the balance to be paid in two months. In this way he is making each order reach its full potential and uses his price list as a real selling tool.
During the Christmas period he had so many requests for people wanting their photographs on display that he is now booked up for the following two months, with display photographs waiting to go on display. They've all paid their 50% and will be paying the balance once the photograph comes off display. He does however use the phrase if he is not particularly keen on having a particular photo on display or wishes to play hard to get. that he is over allocated on that particular area of his display.He is given the person who answers the telephone at his studio a mirror with written on it Into this mirror looks the best salesperson in the world.When this is in front of the telephone, you cannot help but look at this and you cannot help but smile and this then places the smile into your voice,
He uses makeup extensively and makes up every person that goes in front of the camera, in this way eliminating a lot of work that has to be done on his prints.He uses a fishing tackle box for spotting so that it can be closed up and it keeps all the dust out of it.
He has a computer readout each month giving completely itemised
information on his profit and loss and the percentage of his
turnover in each department. In this way he can eliminate sections
of his business which are not paying or give it more attention.He operates in an area of 30,000 and refers to the Kodak survey
which found that only 11% of the people having a portrait made
actually are influenced by price, 61% of the population in actual
fact want a portrait made. So that when you get a telephone
enquiry as to how much is the 10 x 8, you have to get them involved
in a discussion which results in them stepping foot in your
studio to have a portrait made.Each set of previews that goes out of his studio goes out in
a black box with the previews wrapped in tissue and a Kodak
mailing piece on interior decorating placed inside. He tries
to make them look extremely valuable.back to top ^
His studio also offers free gift wrapping and often this results in an increase in the order. If an order is running late for some reason he is in contact with his customer with a little postcard which states that the order is running late and points out that Michael Angelo did not paint the Sistine Chapel with a roller and that it indeed took a great deal of time.When the order is complete it is delivered with a restoration brochure so that he is then looking for the next lot of work that he will get from the customer,
With every order over $3000 a thank you card is sent with a business card inserted so that they can lift it out and keep it.His answer to discounts to relations or friends or somebody that you feel for some reason you wish to give a discount to,.."for example you may wish to give a discount to your local preacher and the best way of doing this is to give a gift voucher for X number of dollars. This means that they know they have X number of dollars to spend and this makes them aware of precisely what you are giving in money.
Under no circumstances does he give a discount which in actual fact becomes a thing which people expect to go on forever. His final words that you must have a goal for each day in order to be a success.
JULY 1977 ROCKY
He does however, send some very interesting information on
a response to a student questionnaire for one of his seminars.
Incidentally he has been the first instructor to be invited
back to Winona twice in the one year. This is perhaps the biggest
honor that anybody could get.Of his class of 65 students, 75% of them replied to the Winona
1999 Rocky was a very bright light on the American wedding scene who’s light was puffed out all too soon after he traveled to NZ leaving a gap, that, perhaps, has never been filled.