Who am I as a photographer? What is my photographic genre of speciality? Who am I as I person? Who are my clients? How do I undeniably represent myself and my work in an intentional targeted pitch to a customer or in a microsecond during a chance passing?
More importantly, how do I get them each to remember me? How do I stand out from the crowd? Enter the staid ol’ standard: THE BUSINESS CARD. Like most of us out there, my business cards were of the self designed and unmemorable variety. Name, contact info, photo or graphic. Nothing wrong with this. They served the purpose of having something to exchange following a few seconds of conversation or during what I call the “Business Card Shuffle”. Having watched artists, promoters, editors, and publicists collect 10 to hundreds of these at any given moment I began thinking of what mine represented in terms of me as a photographer, me as a person, and me as a brand.
Two photographers and brands in the industry I highly respect have recently gave conflicting opinions on this subject.
Forget about branding – Zack Arias
A good brand is more than just a set of visual conventions. It’s a concerted effort to clearly say “This is who I am”. Done right, It resonates with the market you are working to connect with. A good brand builds confidence and honestly represents the company for which it stands. Its built around a story – who you are, what you do, why you do it, and for whom. It’s unambigous and differentiates you from the crowd – David duChemin
Both are correct. Zack speaks from the perspective of starting out as a photographer, David from the perspective of once becoming established. Not sure where I fall in that spectrum, but I do know that if I set out to do something, I tend to do it as over the top as possible. ;-).
The concept clicked with me one day in passing the photo pass wall of shame – a landing strip for the nights’ assignment credential. It then hit me. What better a representation of my photographic genre than the single most cherished item at any music performance – the tour laminate. This not only would provide for a standout business card. It would undeniably represent who I am and what I do. It would allow for the ability to always have them at the ready to handout via a handy bulldog clip on a lanyard I can wear while shooting. Now I just need to pull it off.
Over the next few months I reviewed a number of designers and printers while pondering the design concepts. Ultimately I found Taste Of Ink Studios who not only offered leading design and printing capabilities, they embraced and further encouraged the concept. A few design sessions later and the ultimate business card was born. While it is always interesting when creatives do business with one another – these fine folks hung in there with me and delivered one of the most outsanding designs and design experiences I’ve had to date. Major shout outs to David Stuebe, Heather S., and the fine staff at Taste Of Ink for helping make my vision a reality.
Having been handing these out the last few weeks, the response has been overwhelming. Conversations are started from first impressions, an increase in follow-up email inquiries, callbacks (like on the telephone), and site visits. Bottom line, they completely rock!
If you’re in the market for some truly baddass design and print services hit up the fine staff at Taste of Ink Studios who are offerring a 15% discount on printing services using promo code “allenthomas”.