Forums > Photography Talk > Do you use Business Cards?

Photographer

Black Stallion Photos

Posts: 423

Amsterdam, New York, US

I've been promoting myself using mainly word of mouth from friends and showing my pages on my cell phone. Now I'm considering ordering some business cards, so I can expand my customer base by leaving some at convenience stores and other places in my area. A few things I wanted to know from those photographers using them already. What have you found works better for imaging?
Should I design with text and no image, text and self portrait, text and model or just text and a logo? Just looking for feedback if there's any thing people have experienced being more/less attractive to potential clients.

Nov 15 12 07:06 pm Link

Photographer

Valent Lau

Posts: 130

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Does your convenience store allow random people to leave cards there? Or will they just be thrown out?

Nov 16 12 01:45 am Link

Photographer

JustinAllenPhotography

Posts: 324

San Jose, California, US

Black Stallion Photos wrote:
I've been promoting myself using mainly word of mouth from friends and showing my pages on my cell phone. Now I'm considering ordering some business cards, so I can expand my customer base by leaving some at convenience stores and other places in my area. A few things I wanted to know from those photographers using them already. What have you found works better for imaging?
Should I design with text and no image, text and self portrait, text and model or just text and a logo? Just looking for feedback if there's any thing people have experienced being more/less attractive to potential clients.

i struggle personally handing out business cards but i suggest making a tumblr and an instagram and learning how to hashtag i built over 150 followers in 2 weeks recently on my account... i feel at my size its quiet an accomplishment and if you have to start somewhere its great to start somewhere

therefore a business card if you can hand them out might be a good idea but also look at other areas for marketing

Nov 16 12 02:10 am Link

Model

Princess Dasha

Posts: 57

Malmö, Skåne, Sweden

Put your business card in places where they offer print of photos and business cards as well. Make a deal with these local shops as well as anywhere you wold travel. Good luck with spreading the news! smile

Nov 16 12 03:41 am Link

Photographer

SPierce Photography

Posts: 19789

Amherst, Massachusetts, US

I'm almost all business cards and google adwords; for me it's worked out pretty well. Mostly because i'm not the "cold calling" type, and I need a non intrusive way of letting people know i'm there. So far it's worked pretty well- sometimes you get a call, sometimes you don't, but if you meet a person on the street and they want a card? You have something to give them.

Nov 16 12 05:16 am Link

Photographer

D-Light

Posts: 618

Newcastle, Limerick, Ireland

I use business cards and have my logo and some text only on them. I used one before with a photo but some people took it that I only did that type of photography.

Be selective where you put them and try to give one to everyone you meet, especially if they ask about photography. Never let anyone leave your premises without one.

Nov 16 12 05:25 am Link

Photographer

photoimager

Posts: 4906

Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom

Do I use them ? - Yes
Do I use them to their utmost effectiveness ? - probably not.

Different card designs for different purpose - wedding cards, model cards, family cards, product cards and a general one.

Nov 16 12 05:31 am Link

Photographer

KMP

Posts: 4822

Houston, Texas, US

I strongly suggest you beg, borrow, steal or pay a designer to design one for you.

Crappy business cards with multiple fonts, too much information and just bad, bad design, screams low-budget, amateur..

Whether or not you use images, is up to you.
Personally, I don't care for them but that's a personal choice.

Regarding photography, you probably don't want potential clients to to think,  "I can do this. How hard can it be?"   

Don't make that mistake for yourself.

EDIT: and YES I use business cards.  They're a great to network in person.   I've even gotten work from other photographers..as referrals..odd as it may be.

Another good networking item, is it have a signature at the end of all your business emails with your contact info. 
Email/web/phone and address if applicable.
You can even have links to a Facebook or Twitter link.

Nov 16 12 05:55 am Link

Photographer

rickspix

Posts: 1304

Vallejo, California, US

i totally agree with this as the first thing anyone sees is your card and it has to look good

i work with graphic designers and art directors and my card was designed by a pro and has won graphic awards and been selected into two books on design. i feel that when i hand out my card there is a feeling of professionalism that is given out to the recipient so that they then will go to my website or keep me in mind for work.


KevinMcGowanPhotography wrote:
I strongly suggest you beg, borrow, steal or pay a designer to design one for you.

Crappy business cards with multiple fonts, too much information and just bad, bad design, screams low-budget, amateur..

Whether or not you use images, is up to you.
Personally, I don't care for them but that's a personal choice.

Regarding photography, you probably don't want potential clients to to think,  "I can do this. How hard can it be?"   

Don't make that mistake for yourself.

Nov 16 12 06:14 am Link

Photographer

PhillipM

Posts: 6545

Martin, Tennessee, US

No

Nov 16 12 06:16 am Link

Photographer

Ron Casas Photography

Posts: 813

Lexington, South Carolina, US

Yes...

I follow the close proximity rule I made up; if someone is close enough to shake hands and talk to (this means just about any one anywhere, cashiers at stores, fast food places, waiting in line is a good one to use to chit chat), I do strike up a short conversation and make sure they get a business card... Carry 30 to 50 cards at any given time they will go fast following this pattern.

Ron

Nov 16 12 06:29 am Link

Photographer

Yen Studios

Posts: 785

Memphis, Tennessee, US

Yep, I use business cards and brochures.  In fact I just designed new cards and brochures and I put the order in this morning

Nov 16 12 07:55 am Link

Photographer

Select Models

Posts: 36178

Upland, California, US

I use what's called 'a promo card'... simular to a business card... BUT... it has studio rental details... photoshoot event details... website link... cell number... 'Taco Tuesday' information... paid assignment details... all this in 'business card size'... borat

Nov 16 12 08:01 am Link

Photographer

Awesome Headshots

Posts: 2369

San Ramon, California, US

I have 5 of my best headshots on the front with company name, quick sales slogan with SMM logs on the back and a QRC code to my mobile site. I've found more traffic from Google Adwords going to my mobile site than my regular site.

Nov 16 12 08:10 am Link

Photographer

Jacob delaRosa

Posts: 208

Birmingham, Alabama, US

I wouldn't be caught dead without mine! You never know who you'll bump into. Just the other day I was assisting a local photographer on a commercial shoot and struck up a conversation with the art director during a break. You better believe she got one of my cards before the end of the shoot. Your network is your net worth smile

Nov 16 12 12:20 pm Link

Photographer

Ken Marcus Studios

Posts: 8490

Los Angeles, California, US

I carry two different cards . . . one with just text and the other with a photo.

Depending upon who I am giving it to will determine which card I chose to use.

KM

Nov 16 12 12:30 pm Link

Model

Nadia

Posts: 402

Houston, Texas, US

get one but be smart! they are super handy!

I once saw a models card... nothing flattering at all, but she was "supermodel _first name__ _last name___"

made me giggle more than anything

Nov 16 12 12:35 pm Link

Photographer

JBerman Photography

Posts: 1113

New York, New York, US

I ordered a set of cards from MOO - image on 1 side, text on the other.
Having a card on hand comes across alot better than having to write your info on a napkin.
Also makes approaching someone that you'd like to shoot much easier.
That's my $.02

Nov 16 12 12:47 pm Link

Photographer

SPierce Photography

Posts: 19789

Amherst, Massachusetts, US

I forgot to mention what i actually did with my card.

Aside from hiring a designer to help me out and also print them, it has a eye catching photo in the front, and all the info in the back, so double sided. I can't imagine myself with any other card at the moment.

Nov 16 12 12:48 pm Link

Photographer

Studio IV T Photography

Posts: 1

Fair Grove, Missouri, US

Black Stallion Photos wrote:
I've been promoting myself using mainly word of mouth from friends and showing my pages on my cell phone. Now I'm considering ordering some business cards, so I can expand my customer base by leaving some at convenience stores and other places in my area. A few things I wanted to know from those photographers using them already. What have you found works better for imaging?
Should I design with text and no image, text and self portrait, text and model or just text and a logo? Just looking for feedback if there's any thing people have experienced being more/less attractive to potential clients.

I love my business cards. I created mine using Vistaprint. I have all of my text on one side and a few select photos on the reverse side. You will be surprised how many people will want a business card and the fact that they can see your photos on the business card really helps.. I also put them on community bulletin boards when I visit gas stations, stores, etc. in my area. I have found that in order to leave business cards on the counter of an establishment they must recognize you as a trusted, friendly repeat customer. Complete strangers are not very fond of the idea. At least they aren't around here. Hope this helped!

Nov 16 12 02:27 pm Link

Photographer

Ed Woodson Photography

Posts: 2644

Savannah, Georgia, US

Lot's of variety on Vistaprint.com.

I give business cards to just about everyone I speak with who might be a potential client.

If you buy from Vistaprint, pay the extra money and get the heavier card stock.

Nov 16 12 02:45 pm Link

Photographer

GCobb Photography

Posts: 15894

Southaven, Mississippi, US

I've used overnightprints for years.

Nov 16 12 05:56 pm Link

Photographer

Phantasmal Images

Posts: 615

Boston, Massachusetts, US

I use business cards I ordered from vistaprint. Glossy, and double sided. Standard info on one side, and a QR code vCard on the back.
The only negative about them is that they will spam the hell out of you, I get emails from them almost daily.

Nov 16 12 08:04 pm Link

Photographer

L Cowles Photography

Posts: 833

Corona, California, US

JustinAllenPhotography wrote:

i struggle personally handing out business cards but i suggest making a tumblr and an instagram and learning how to hashtag i built over 150 followers in 2 weeks recently on my account... i feel at my size its quiet an accomplishment and if you have to start somewhere its great to start somewhere


You got 150 new followers in 2 weeks---------did you get any new business from it?

therefore a business card if you can hand them out might be a good idea but also look at other areas for marketing

Nov 16 12 08:12 pm Link

Photographer

Ed Woodson Photography

Posts: 2644

Savannah, Georgia, US

Phantasmal Images wrote:
I use business cards I ordered from vistaprint. Glossy, and double sided. Standard info on one side, and a QR code vCard on the back.
The only negative about them is that they will spam the hell out of you, I get emails from them almost daily.

You can go to their web-site and ask them to e-mail you only once per week.  Once you do that, you'll only get one e-mail per week.

Click on "My Account" and then click on  Settings  "Update".

Nov 17 12 12:50 pm Link

Photographer

TEW Photography

Posts: 151

Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, US

I have a QR code to my website on my card.  I've found that models + cell phones + apps + girlfriends = visits to my site.

Nov 17 12 02:09 pm Link

Photographer

Stephen K Photography

Posts: 144

Sacramento, California, US

IMO if you're not:

1. Going to a lot of events/mixers where you're going to be meeting people who you could potentially work with and want to quickly exchange contact info with

or

2. Attempting to hand out cards to random people on the street or soliciting local businesses by dropping by

you don't REALLY need business cards to get by. I have them, but rarely see the need to use them. Most of the time I'm making contact with people via email and/or phone anyways...

Nov 17 12 05:28 pm Link

Photographer

Leighthenubian

Posts: 2964

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Yes, and less is more.

A simple, classic business card goes a far way. Adding pictures of yourself to one is silly...are you a photographer or a real estate agent?

I leave the pictures for my mailer cards...stuff I send to agencies or hand out to the models/talent that I shoot with.

Nov 17 12 05:58 pm Link

Photographer

Phantasmal Images

Posts: 615

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Ed Woodson Photography wrote:

You can go to their web-site and ask them to e-mail you only once per week.  Once you do that, you'll only get one e-mail per week.

Click on "My Account" and then click on  Settings  "Update".

Thank you!

Nov 17 12 06:43 pm Link

Photographer

ZEPhoto

Posts: 191

Los Angeles, California, US

TEW Photography wrote:
I have a QR code to my website on my card.  I've found that models + cell phones + apps + girlfriends = visits to my site.

I do this as well, except I don't send them to my site. I figure, if they go to my site, they may only go there once. If they go to one of my social media pages, like Instagram, I have the opportunity to put content in from of them on an ongoing basis should they follow me. Also, I get an idea of who looked me up and liked my work.

Not saying my way is the right way, just another thing to think about.

Nov 17 12 07:32 pm Link

Photographer

D S P

Posts: 510

Portland, Oregon, US

I use 16pt business cards with radius corners, 16pt 4x9 cards, and an 8 page 4x6 Look Book which is metal wire bound.

I always hand them to a person with one exception: Several businesses allow me to put the 4x9 cards in a brochure holder on their counters. I meet my regular goal of handing out 6 Look Books per week. They make me money.

I like marketing and selling as much as I like photography so I have these with me everywhere I go.

Nov 17 12 07:50 pm Link

guide forum

Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6689

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Nov 17 12 08:14 pm Link

guide forum

Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6689

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

I've had the most luck lately with my specialized (large) cards and separate websites.

Family portraits website with a card with family / kids

Model website with model cards

Commercial website with commercial cards.

All cards are 3x5 ($27 for 1,000) thick, glossy, and gorgeous. I handed out stacks of cards (family portraits) to friends and family to hand out... shit got insane.

Nov 17 12 08:14 pm Link

Photographer

Black Stallion Photos

Posts: 423

Amsterdam, New York, US

I guess it's still a toss up in my mind. One poster said keep it simple, some say put a few of your best images. I think there should be some show of talent on it to grab their attention. Have to ponder this futher. Once you have 1000 of them you'd better be satisfied. I know a few designers so that wont be an issue I'll test some ideas with them.

Nov 19 12 05:31 pm Link

Photographer

DG at studio47

Posts: 2365

East Ridge, Tennessee, US

last thing I used and still have a stock of--chose a fav image and overlaid it with basic info--sent it to snapfish.com--I received 500 very nice 5X7 images on heavy photo stock. easy to use a large label on the back for more info if desired or to make notes on when with a prospect?
snapfish advertized 500 images for $.01 each, but the shipping was about $25! LOL. still a good deal IMHO.
not as easy to lose as a business card, and the image is fantastic.[snapfish also has good deals on 2X3 ft posters from time to time. good quality.]

Nov 19 12 05:46 pm Link

Photographer

G and G PHOTOGRAPHY

Posts: 650

Oak Park, Michigan, US

I have a lot of business cards and they really do make you look more professional, especially if you have really nice cards printed up.

Nov 21 12 03:04 pm Link

Photographer

AdamK Photographer

Posts: 2

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Text and one strong image. all the top brands in magazines only post 1 image on the spread not half a dozen just 1 strong image. smile

Nov 21 12 03:09 pm Link

Photographer

Andrew Thomas Evans

Posts: 24078

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

Black Stallion Photos wrote:
I've been promoting myself using mainly word of mouth from friends and showing my pages on my cell phone. Now I'm considering ordering some business cards, so I can expand my customer base by leaving some at convenience stores and other places in my area. A few things I wanted to know from those photographers using them already. What have you found works better for imaging?
Should I design with text and no image, text and self portrait, text and model or just text and a logo? Just looking for feedback if there's any thing people have experienced being more/less attractive to potential clients.

You can do that, however I feel it's best to leave them with someone after you met them or discussed something with them. In fact, everyone should have business cards. They are cheap, a way to leave contact info with someone, and they are cheap.

But also go back and watch the business card scene from American Psycho. It's a great scene, it does poke fun at card design, but also keep in mind that it's showing a professional card. They are bare bones, say what they need to say, have the contact info they need, and have nothing else. That's what a good card needs to be - contact info, name, title, and maybe a logo.

Mistakes people make are "designing" a card that tries to do too much. Photos are ok if they work with your whole marketing image, the same with logos. But, it seems, a lot of people think they need to fill all the space up with something and their cards end up cluttered and distracting.

Keep things simple, to the point, almost minimal, and if you "need" an image really try to select one that helps.


I just did a quick blog about it.
http://andrewthomasevans.blogspot.com/2 … cards.html


Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Nov 21 12 09:07 pm Link