We live in a digital age. We can find anything or anyone with a simple online search. Our businesses can be managed completely online. Chatbots can reply to all our potential client inquiries. Digital calendars can schedule our appointments. If it weren’t for the fact that as photographers we still have to do photo shoots in person, we likely wouldn’t even need to meet our clients face to face.
Outdated business models, like brick and mortar stores or fax machines, are being pushed under quickly. Photographers that cling to these methods are making themselves obsolete and unknowingly losing potential clients. Those photographers are not who you want to be.
So, does that mean that if we wish to ride the modern business tide, we should stop using photo business cards too? Should we rely entirely on digital communications and contacts?
The answer to those questions is a resounding, “NO.”
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Business cards still matter. Though they might get lost in a wallet or purse, they will continue to reappear when someone goes through their belongings. A photography business card can’t get lost in a sea of hundreds of phone contacts when a potential client can’t remember your name. Research shows that even the act of handing someone a photographer business card can make you more memorable.
Of course, just because business cards have been around for a long time and are still useful today, doesn’t mean your business card has to adhere to the same old-school boring designs. You can use a photography business card design service or follow these tips to design a photographer business card as unique as your services. We’ve gathered together everything you need to know to create business cards that will help your photography business stand out and be remembered.
Below you’ll find a step-by-step guide including the type of content to include, design elements to consider, details that shouldn’t be overlooked, printing and paper choices, and other options to make your cards shine.
Photography Business Cards Content
When you hand someone a business card, you’re giving them a tangible, visual reminder of your photography business. They should be able to remember who you are and know what you do with nothing more than a glance at the card in their hand. More than anything else, your business card should highlight what makes you unique and how to get in touch with you.
However, it’s often tempting to try to fit your entire life story, work history, and business model onto a tiny card. Just don’t. Remember, as with many things in life and photography, less is more.
Share only the relevant information for that moment. The client should know who you are and how best to communicate with you. That’s it! There’s no need to waste space with the link to a Facebook page you never update or a blog you’ve never started.
If you have a specialty, highlight that on your card: e.g. if you only shoot newborns in nature, that’s something the client should know. Maybe your specialty is business headshots that aren’t stuffy and boring, so you can share that. If you’re a seasoned photographer who has done a little bit of everything and can do anything you want, maybe just leave your title as, “photographer.” Less is more.
“Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.” – Albert Einstein
Whenever possible, it can be beneficial to look at your photography competitors’ cards and see what they’re doing. Your goal in this is either to a) take their design direction and make it better and unique to you or 2) have your cards take on a completely different route. Nothing is worse than showing up to a big networking event – only to realize that your cards are almost indistinguishable from your biggest competition.
You are a unique person with a special photography business. Your cards should reflect that.
Design Style and Elements of Your Photographer Business Card
Before you dive too deep into the design, you must choose if you’re going to have pictures and information on both sides or only one. Printing on one side is often less expensive. However, taking advantage of both sides creates more space for information and visual content.
Once you’ve made that decision, the fun part of the design process begins.
Selecting the shape
Business cards of the past were all standard rectangles, measuring 2.5 inches by 3 inches. Now, your business card can take on any shape or size you’d like. It can be a square or have rounded edges.
You can even choose a die cut shape, like a camera or lens. Maybe your card is shaped like a Polaroid, slide, or picture negative. This is where your personality and creativity can begin to shine through.
Plus, original business cards are more likely to be saved. The effort to make your cards stand out will be rewarded.
Choosing to be unique
Sometimes, designing a non-traditional business card can be intimidating. What if your design style turns away a potential client?
As a photographer, your dream clients are coming to you for your creativity and unique style. You are an artist that individuals expect to think outside the box. Clients aren’t hiring you to take pictures that are boring, outdated, or look like anyone with a camera could have created the same results.
“Create your own visual style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” – Orson Welles
Clients come to you for your personality, perspective, and the story that only you can tell. The more you own what makes your pictures different from everyone else’s, the easier it will be to attract the customers you want to work with. Let your business cards start those conversations and connections for you.
Since taking pictures is what you do, it makes sense to consider using your work on your business cards. Printing quality has improved dramatically in recent years, and it has become quite affordable to print images onto your business cards. This lets your clients know what to expect when they hire you.
Showcase your style and best work on the card. There’s nothing wrong with showing off and letting your portfolio speak for you. Your past projects are what make you unique, and your originality is what will draw your new clients in.
Additionally, consider including a picture of yourself. This is particularly helpful if you are the embodiment of your brand. Keep in mind – you are what makes the images and photography experience what they are.
Using your picture will help the clients remember meeting you and keep your face with your name. A picture of you smiling and friendly will remind them of the positive interactions you had when they got your card. Your face on the card keeps their memory of you fresher.
Details and Tone of Your Photographer Business Cards
After selecting the shape, size, and other significant design elements, like pictures, for your business cards, it’s time to get deep into the tiny details that can make or break the overall success of your card.
Remember, your card is a visual representation of you and your business. It’s essential that it has the right feel and tone. If your brand is based on traditional images with a rustic flare, your cards should mirror that. The same is true if you are an edgy, creative photographer who strives to push boundaries—your card should be too.
Using the perfect details for your cards will help ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.
The right fonts
Font choice says a lot about an individual and brand. A handwritten font in one context can demonstrate carefree and whimsical, while it comes across as childlike in another setting. A script can be classic or stuffy. Select fonts that don’t detract from your overall design and message.
The perfect colors
As photographers, we know the importance of matching colors. You wouldn’t set your clients up for major color clashing, treat your photography business cards the same way.
If you’re using a picture, pull out colors from the image and match them. If you aren’t, look at your logo or website for color inspiration. When all else alludes you, black and white or sepia tones are photography classics.
Most online design services have tools to help you decide which color combinations are the best and what will look the best for your cards. If the specific visual aspects of design are not your strong-suit, hiring a freelance graphic designer to handle this part of your photography business card process could be worth it. Take advantage of the fact that some people love those details and know what it takes to make your visuals look right well.
Printing Your Photo Business Cards
We recommend investing in quality business cards. Quality cards not only look nicer through the use of heavy paper and clear printing and are more likely to be saved, but they also have the potential to seal the deal with new clients.
Poor quality business cards tell potential customers a lot about you. They’ll begin to worry that you don’t care about high-quality pictures and don’t use the latest technology. They might be concerned that you can’t afford nice things and will stage them with props or backgrounds that appear cheap too.
Don’t let these concerns – valid or not – cost you business. You don’t have to buy the most expensive cards for them to look nice and help your customers be confident in your value.
There are plastic, metal, and even hand sewn business cards on the market. While memorable, unless they fit your branding perfectly, these elements might be unnecessary. A solid, heavy cardstock will suffice.
Some companies offer unique finishes, such as foil stamping or embossing. You can choose to cover your cards with a shiny gloss or perfectly flat matte. Much like the shape of your cards, if you dream it, you can make it happen on your photography business cards.
Photographer Business Card Presentation
If you’re still looking for more ways to make your photography business card presentation memorable, consider the following:
Use an envelope
Particularly clever if you do wedding photography or shoot other events that require special mail, you can create a business card that mimics an invitation. Plus, requiring potential clients to spend longer interacting with your business card can help solidify their time with you into their memories.
Include a coupon or discount code
Everyone loves to feel special and as if they’re receiving a great deal. Include a business card or first-time client discount on your cards to encourage fast action from potential clients and to make their impression of you and your generous services even more positive.
Attach a sticker
Everyone loves stickers. Consider affixing one onto your cards. This makes your client feel as if you’ve given them a free gift. Furthermore, wherever they stick it, is more free advertising for you. Win-win.
Are You Now Prepared to Create a Photography Business Card Design?
Have you begun to see the value business cards can provide for your clients? Did you realize that your current card design could use a spruce?
Now is the time to begin doing all of the work to stand out in the over-saturated and growing photography industry. Memorable business cards passed around during networking events or left on local restaurant bulletin boards can help you and your brand shine through the crowd.
Whether you choose traditional and straightforward or abstract and wild, be sure that your cards carry the tone of your brand. The more consistent your visual content, the more known your brand can be. There’s little point in investing time and resources into something that has the potential to distract from your message.
Once You Have Your Photography Business Card Design, Don’t Forget to Use It!
It’s easy to slip a few cards in your wallet or purse and then forget they’re there when you interact with a new client on the street or in a restaurant. Make it a goal to hand out five business cards every week.
No one likes a pushy salesperson, but attempt to genuinely engage with five new people every week that you would love to bring on as clients. Even if they aren’t in the market for your services, someone they know might be.
Get outside of your comfort zone and use your new, stand-out business cards.