An old man poses for his portrait for a photographer named Porter, in Allegan, Michigan. The man is wearing a jacket and has long hair and a wonderful long (but groomed) beard. The gentleman and his beard have earned a spot in the Cabinet Card Gallery’s category, “Beards (Only the Best)”. Click on the category to view the large collection of interesting beards that comprise the category. The photographer of this image, HV M. Porter wrote a letter to The Photo Beacon (1898) proposing a plan regarding how photographers could get better prices for their photographs. Porter advises readers that “the public doesn’t know a poor photograph from a good one, because it is so seldom they see a good one”. Porter goes on to propose the establishment of a board of judges who would give ratings to all photographers based on their submission of twelve photographs. If this plan was in effect, Porter asserts that the higher rated photographers could be paid more money for their work than lower rated photographers. Although Porter’s plan seems viable in theory; what would stop untalented photographers from paying talented photographers for samples that they could submit to the ratings board?
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