The Edinburgh Society of Professional Photographers


Summer Holidays

A proposal was made to the meeting on 21 January that the photographic businesses should close for summer holidays during the second fortnight of August.  

 [BJP 1921, p.39]

Free Sittings

Edinburgh's photographers had objected to the practice of professional photographers offering 'Free Sittings' and had written to the Professional Photographers' Association in London enlisting their support.  A reply from London was read out to the Meeting on 21 January saying:

"Whilst we deprecate the giving of free sittings as a business system we are not in a position at the present moment to take effective action on this matter."                                                  [BJP 1921, p.39]

It was reported to the ESPP Meeting on 4 April that:

"The practice in London of giving 'Free Sittings' was carried on by professional photographers to an alarming extent and tended in great measure to reduce the business standing of professional photographers"                                                 [BJP 1921, p.39]

Lighting and Posing Classes

Support was given at the meeting on 7 February for the Lighting and Posing Classes being held at the College of Art.                                               [BJP 1921, p.101]

Water Rates

Mr Ferguson proposed at the meeting on 7 February that the Society should approach the Water Trustees to get water rates payable by professional photographer put on an equitable basis.  It was agreed that this was not a matter that the Society should take up.                                                                                                                      [BJP 1921, p.101]

Swan Watson  -  PPA President

Mr Swan Watson was congratulated on being nominated President Elect of the Professional Photogaphers' Association in London.  It was noted that this prestigious post had previously been held by the late Frank P Moffat.                  [BJP 1921, p.101]

Prices for Commercial Photography

There was discussion on 18 March of the minimum price that should be charged for commercial photography.  Mr Moffat had suggested charges that took account of the time and materials, with a margin for profit. Other preferred a simpler scale of minimum charges. 

The following table was adopted, and a committee was established to pursue the topic of a 'costing basis of pricing'.  Discussion of the minimum charges to be made for school classes and for groups of workers was deferred.

[BJP 1921, p.159]

Size Negative +
1 print
Duplicate Duplicate +
rough mount
Duplicate +
large mount
15" x !2" 1: 11/6 5/- 6/3 7/6
12" x 10" 1:  1/- 4/- 5/- 6/-
10" x 8" 1:  1/- 3/- 4/- 5/-
8.5" x 6.5" 12/6 2/- 2/6 3/-
6.5" x 4.75" 7/6 1/- 1/6 2/-

CONVERSIONS:  1/- (one shilling) = 0.05.        2/6 (two shillings and sixpence) = 0.125

NOTE:  Prices were often charged in guineas (=1 + 1 shilling)  1: 11/6 = 1.5 guineas.

Discussion of adopting a 'costing basis of pricing' continued at subsequent meetings.  It was agreed at the Meeting on 14 October to consider the scale of charges currently being made by photo process engravers before taking any decision.                                                                                                        [BJP 1921, p.615]

Practical Classes in Photography

No reply had yet been received from Heriot Watt College concerning the institution of a class in Practical Chemistry as applied to photography and Optics.   [BJP 1921, p.223]

The Society reported at the Meeting on 2 May that they were pursuing the Education Authority to provide a trade class in Photography at night school.         [BJP 1921, p.285]

Mr Hislop of Hislop & Day, Process Engravers,  was invited to the ESPP Meeting on 26 May.  For the past 16 years, he had conducted a class for process engravers at Heriot Watt College.  It was suggested that he should conduct an Education Department class on Chemistry and Optics as applied to Photography.     [BJP 1921, p.329]

Mr Hislop agreed to take these classes.  It was reported at the ESPP Meeting on 3 October that 16 students had attended the first class the previous week and that 24 were expected to attend the next class.                             [BJP 1921, p.615]

Drawing and Retouching Classes

At the meeting on 7 November, Members were asked to encourage their pupils to attend the drawing and retouching classes being held at the College of Art.

[BJP 1921, p.692


It was reported on 26 May that Pirie Macdonald of New York, one of the premier photographers in the USA was to be invited to lunch by the ESPP during his visit to Edinburgh.                                                           [BJP 1921, p.329]

William Crooke was congratulated at the Meeting on 7 November,  on his "success achieved in exhibition in America and the unique and meritorious honours that he had been awarded in that country."                                     [BJP 1921, p.692]

Golf Match

A Golf Match against Glasgow's Professional Photographers was arranged, to be held at Turnhouse on 21 October.                                                          [BJP 1921, p.615]

Golf Match

J Campbell Harper, in his Presidential Address on 3 October earnestly commended members to encourage and foster a knowledge of art as applied to photography amongst their members.                                                          [BJP 1921, p.615]


Mr Moffat mentioned, at the meeting on 7 November, that he:

"... had been approached by Mr Turnbull, 20 Hillside Street, Edinburgh, the owner of a neat delivery van, offering to deliver photographers' parcels at the rate of 25s per week or 5d per parcel."

He thought the proposal was a good one and commended it to the members for their consideration.                                                               [BJP 1921, p.692]

Annual Dinner

The 4th Annual Dinner of the Society was held on 5 December.

William Crooke was congratulated on having won the Takoma Cup in Vancouver.

It was reported that Messrs:

-  Philip

E D Young

William Crooke



Messrs Lennie

all contributed  songs during the evening. 

 -  E D Young acted as accompanist

 -  Mr Nelson's recitation also gave great pleasure.  

[BJP 1921, p.754]