9 Things a Photographer Should Purchase Besides Gear

Photographers: You’d be shocked at what the $2,000 for a lens can do to help improve you instead.

GAS: lots of photographers have it and many can understand the need and benefit of getting a brand new lens that can render all the bokeh. But after a while, you’re pretty well saturated and set in the gear you’ve got. Eventually, you realize that you’re the one who takes the pictures and not necessarily your camera. And you’ll end up at a point where you want something, but don’t need it. That’s fine–satiate your wants as much as is reasonable. But when you want things, you’ll start to realize how much of your money can be invested into things that are bound to make you more money: that’s more about doing something for yourself as you grow as a photographer. Here are just a few.

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Pro Tip: Add a File with Your Contact Details in Your SD Cards

This pro tip could help you save some important files for work and personal projects should you misplace your SD card

Losing SD cards with days’ or even weeks’ worth of hard work is one of the most dreaded scenarios for photographers. Anyone who constantly switches between multiple SD cards or USB drives will especially find this a valid cause for concern. Whether it’s for personal projects or commissioned work, you can potentially save yourself the hassle of losing your files forever with this simple pro tip: add a file that has your pertinent contact details in your SD cards and USB drives.

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The Photographer’s Guide to Creating Business Cards That Stand Out (Premium)

Let’s be incredibly honest about business cards: for the most part they’re very boring. I can’t tell you how many times photographers have handed me business cards and then afterward they simply just sit on my desk. Sometimes I’ll care enough to look back at them but most of the times I’ll just throw them away and try to find another way to contact them if anything. But the problem with most of these cards is that they don’t stand out to me at all. Many of them are bland. Some of them are cliche and a whole lot of them are simply just ugly. Every now and again though, I get a card that is gorgeous. If you want a business card that stands out, then keep reading.

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.

Meaningful Conversation

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.

The Awkward Photographer’s Guide to Networking With Other People

Networking events are part of the whole body of the photography industry no matter what part of it you happen to be in. They’re essential when it comes to building your business, building your name, and even just to keep the door open to possibly working with folks in the future. It’s also no secret the industry is more often than not about who you know more than what you know. So if you’re looking to network with other photographers, editors, Instagramers, gallery curators, wedding planners, etc. then read on for a few tips.

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Moo’s Latest Business Cards are Made From Cotton

Lots of photographers have trusted MOO for years when it comes to business cards. And now the company just got a whole lot cooler. They just announced cotton business cards. Yes, cotton. If you’re a photographer who prints often, then this isn’t only exciting but also very familiar. You see, lots of papers these days are made with cotton because it gives you a much different quality and feel than what’s possible with paper. Some papers are a mixture of trees and cotton.

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The Best MOO Business Cards for Photographers

Around the photo industry photographers and creatives have often turned to MOO for their business cards. It started years ago when some photographers got those little miniature half-sized cards, then the square cards, then a whole variety of them. Often, they’re a point of conversation amongst photographers, creatives, and anyone that you give your card out to for the reasons that you’re not giving them just any business card but typically one that you’ve thought about and carefully designed yourself.

We checked out some of their wares and found some of the best business cards specifically for photographers. Of course, there is always that NFC device card. But here are some of the better more traditional paper cards.

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MOO Designs Business Cards with NFC Technology In Them

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MOO designs business cards that are very popular with photographers. and for years I’ve been thinking that there has to be a new evolution of the business card. After a while, they just tend to pile up.

But MOO is now taking a new step forward. They’re calling it Paper+ and they have lots of different uses. In a video of theirs (after the jump) they show how viewers at a gallery can tap their phone to a card to find out more about art; but photographers can also save money on business cards by letting people just tap their card.

Of course, for us iOS users this may be tougher to do. But for Android and Windows Phone users, it’s much easier to work with.

They start out at $29.99; their demo video is after the jump.

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Social Print Studio Lets You Turn Your Instagram Images Into Business Cards

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Sometimes the best way to make someone remember you is to give them something personalized and beautiful. And what better way to do that then by curating some of your best Instagram photos and making them into a 2⅜” x 2⅜” custom cards? Via their Printstagr.am service, Social Print Studio is offering customers a chance to make their Instagram images into a business card. But they’re calling them Contact Cards.

Of course, this isn’t for everyone. We don’t expect you to sit there turning photos of your cute kitty and the baked ziti you had for dinner last night into a card. Sure, you could trigger a cuteness overload or insatiable hunger–but like actual portfolio building, image curation will take first priority here.

As an extra tip, only use the images that you’d use you try to sell yourself to a client. But enough tips from us, go check it out.

Hands On: HoldFast Gear Indispensible Wallet

I’m a photographer that values both functionality and beauty. Those two can sometimes mix very well together in the photography world. In the case of the newly announced HoldFast Gear Indispensible Wallet, you’ll get an item that is both functional as a wallet for your CF, SD, and business cards while still being quite beautiful. Admittedly though, it leans a bit more towards the beautiful side than functional.

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