Give Someone a Print (Or something Like It)
As a photographer, you’re supposed to give someone an impression of the type of work that you’re capable of. So a business card for you should be some sort of branding. With that said, choose a few of your favorite photos from your portfolio and put them onto the cards. To be clear, I mean that you should have somewhere around five different business cards. Everyone will look at them and realize that they’re far different from everything out there. One side should be the print and the other side should have all your information. Go ahead and put these into someone’s hand and you’ll be amazed at their reactions. Many people have never seen business cards like this before and so they’re either confused or really amazed at the effort that you put into showing yourself off.
This sort of design can be done very easily not only at your local Staples but more importantly from a company like MOO.com. That’s where most photographers get their cards made if they’re not making them themselves at home. Because of the cost of ink and paper, I generally don’t recommend doing them yourself.
Additionally, the other thing that I’d do is make your cards have an either luster or glossy finish. This way, they’ll be much different from most other business cards out there that otherwise have a matte finish. Well, that and at that size, glossy photos just look really nice.
Shapes and Designs
Believe it or not, this is really important. Years ago, every photographer was all about those small rectangular business cards from MOO. Why? It was the cool thing to do. Photographers have for the most part moved away from that and have either gone square or back to rectangular. But these shapes vary. Some cards have very hard, rectangular edges. Others have rounded edges. The rounded edges stand out a lot more from the harder, rectangular sides unless the card is some sort of cardboard type of stock. Thicker business cards also stand out. My personal cards look like Polaroids/Instax film. They’re purposely designed to look that way for mass appeal to a variety of photographers, people, editors, etc.
NFC: The Party Trick
One of the latest offerings in the business card world merges modern technology with the traditional business card. Some business cards have an NFC chip located in the middle of them. MOO also does this, and as you can probably tell, I’m pretty smitten with the services that MOO offers. NFC stands for near field communication and if the person that you’re talking to has an Android device or a Windows phone, then their phones have NFC built in. So if the enable NFC and you swipe the card around the back of the device, your information will be pinged from the embedded microchip in the business card. That will give them all your information on the card. You can customize what comes up too!
From there, the person that you’re meeting with can simply save your information in their phone.
It generally makes life really easy.
Of course, what I’m going to also add into this is that you should include meaningful conversation that will make people want to follow up with you. If you simply throw down a business card then they’ll generally act bewildered. But if you form a meaningful connection, then they’ll be much happier and better off.