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Business Cards for Photographers

Posted on: March 18th, 2013 by No Comments

Put yourself in the shoes of your potential client. You’ve met her while at an art gallery opening. You’re comparing the paint splatters on the abstract piece in front of you to the expressive splotches made by the late Jackson Pollack. It turns out that your conversation partner is also an artist, but she hasn’t been able to gain much exposure because she has yet to put together a really professional portfolio. You, an accomplished photographer, reach for your business card at just the right moment, telling her that you’re the guy to help her get her act in order. She smiles and takes the card excitedly. Then she looks down at the business card and her smile fades quickly to a micro-expression that seems to convey… is that disgust? Amusement? Whatever it was, it was definitely not what you were going for. She says a quick “thank you,” and ducks away.

Photograhy Companies Business Card DesignSo what happened? What happened, my friend, is that you handed your potential client a crappy business card. Maybe you got your cards free during some too-good-to-be-true promotion on the internet. Maybe you just didn’t think it was important – your work speaks for itself, right? Wrong. Unless your client is already standing in a gallery of your work, your business card stands on the front lines to fight for the infamously important good first impression you need. If you present a lackluster, cheap-looking card, or worse, one that features one of your own photographs in a cheesy, low-quality reproduction, you are definitely not going to hear a peep from the recipient of your card. You know it more than anyone else – the visual arts are about visuals! So whatever corners you do decide to cut – acting as your own agent or employing broke college students to frame or hang your work instead of splurging on professionals, for example – having sub-par business cards printed should not be an option and there’s really no need to sell yourself short. High-quality, full-color business cards are inexpensive to print, even when done on thick 16pt cardstock. Every professional photographer can afford to have top-notch cards that accurately reflect the level of quality your clients can come to expect when they enlist your services.

Now that you’ve decided to upgrade your business card, it’s time to think about design. Of course the layout you choose will depend upon what kind of photographer you are. One perk about the line of work you’re in is that you’ll have no shortage of art to choose from when you’re designing your card. Choose an image you’ve taken that not only depicts your favorite subject, but also one that represents the kind of work you’d like to do the most. So, for example, if you’re trying to market yourself as a portrait photographer, it’s probably not the best idea to use a picture you took of a fruit bowl on your business card, even if it’s your favorite piece ever. You get the point.

Business Cards for PhotographersFor some, though, a headshot of one’s self can be the best adornment for a business card. If you hire yourself out for private events like weddings, a headshot on your business card can be a good way to show your clients that they’ll have a pleasant-looking character milling around their celebration. Having your face on the front is also a good way to remind people who handed them the card, especially if you are going to a networking event or a convention, where many business cards will be exchanged because most business card printers allow you to print two different images on the front and back, you can put your headshot and contact info on one side and use the other side as a place to showcase one of your favorite photographs. You can do all this with your card and still end up paying just pennies per printed piece.

So don’t keep letting photography clients slip through your fingers. Print high-quality business cards and start making new connections with confidence.