Most photographers trade cards, on the reverse of the photographs they took, had several elements in common. The most obvious ones were the address of the studio and the fact that copies of the photos were available, as negatives were retained for future use. Most claimed that photographs could be enlarged up to life-size and could be finished in a variety of painterly finishes.
One innovation that would gladden a prospective customer’s heart, especially if they were proud parents, was the ‘new instantaneous’ photography. This allowed snaps of children to be taken quickly, so reducing the problem of keeping the little ones in pose while the photographer did his work. Examples of this development are seen above in the adverts of Percival, W C Pearson and R M Morris, who also may have provided albums to hold the treasured images. Other photographers, such as Samuel A. Walker, specialized in photographing members of the clergy, while E Davey Lavender did a nice line in equestrian portraits. J B Smithson of Leyburn was ready to photograph anything asked of him, from portraits to landscapes, in his beautiful part of the country.
Henri Aegena also went large and would photograph anything from ‘lockets’ to ‘views, groups and mansions’. In the meantime, Frank Hopps was tempting the people of Leicester with permanent portraits on on porcelain and ‘tinted portraits on paper, opal & ivory’. Mr Keen of St Mary Cray was more then willing to supply ‘picture frames of every description’ to his clientele. Fred Friston of Grimsby, as well as being a photographer and artist, would also carve and gild photo frames for his customers. None of these photographers mentioned prices but Donald Massey of Bognor laid it on the line from the start. He could supply a ‘Speciality Lifesize’ portrait for the not inconsiderable sum of a guinea (£1:1s).
The slideshow above gives some idea of how photographers set out their services