Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Essential Online Resources List for Street Photographers

7:01:00 AM

Having a good place to start with street photography can be extremely helpful in the long voyage to find our inner voice. Today we want to share with you a compendium of resources we have found to be very helpful in the never-ending evolution of our passionate careers as street photographers.

After some good old brainstorming and a long series of emails, we have concluded that this might be a resource pool for street photographers – or at least an essential list for getting heavily immersed in street photography for a while. Therefore, this is an excellent place to start if you are new to street photography.

We have divided our list into 10 different categories, and each of category has between two and five different resources. We hope this list will be helpful to your growth as a street photographer.

1. Awards

If you have ever been interested in awards, then the Lensculture Yearly Street Photography Awards may be just what you need. These guys are among the leading voices in contemporary photography, and their awards are an excellent way to get feedback and critique, as well as tremendous exposure if you make it to the finals.

2. Books 

Photo by Eugenio Mazzone on Unsplash

I recently got myself a copy of this fantastic book. I'm a fan of Valérie's work, and this paperback looked pretty interesting. And it is. The book is special because it shows you the story behind each image in the book, a completely new approach indeed.

First of all, this book is huge but is a treasure. It’s filled with images from one of my favorite street photographers of all time, Helen Levitt. I felt absolutely inebriated the first time I took the time to actually read the images in the book.

Okay, the price of this thing has skyrocketed … but I bought for $20.00. Garry Winogrand was part of the bold moves John Szarkowski made at MoMA to push photography into the world of art. This book is magnificent if you like street photography. Unfortunately, it has become pretty pricey, but you can still see his work online.

3. Documentaries 

Photo by Pim Chu on Unsplash

This documentary centers on the most recent work of the legendary Czech Photographer Josef Koudelka, a personal favorite of mine. Holy Land is a four-year project in which Koudelka portrays the harsh realities of violence and conflict.

If you’re unfamiliar with the work of one of the most recent rock stars of street photography, this documentary will be a delight to watch. It centers on the life of Vivian Maier, a French-American woman who worked for most of her life as a nanny and housekeeper in Chicago, but one who had a great passion for photography. What is happening now with her prints and work has been a bit controversial, but her images are a blast.

Made three years before he passed away, this documentary is an intimate and personal film about Saul Leiter's philosophy of life, especially about how he loved to postpone things. Filled with wisdom, passion and a glimpse of humor, this film is a great lesson for everybody, not just photographers. 

This documentary shows us the lives and work of New York's iconic street photographers and the city that has inspired them for decades. The documentary pays tribute to the spirit of street photography and is an absolute must for anyone interested in this genre.

4. Gear Reviews

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

Ok, I'm not much of a gearhead, but when it comes to gear reviews, Take Kayo (aka Big Head Taco) and Ted Forbes are great at it. Objective and fun indeed (also watch Ted Forbes’ entire pool of videos; he's awesome).

5. Instagram Accounts

If you’re into endless scrolling and high-quality street photography, try adding these two to your following list:

6. Magazines

Magazines are always an accessible way to get close to up-to-date photography. These two are one of the most prestigious magazines out there. Of course, there are plenty of magazines on the market, and this is just our very brief selection: 

7. Movies

Movies are extremely efficient when it comes to storytelling. And even though the following motion pictures we recommend are not about street photography itself, they surely reflect the adrenaline rush of shooting under non-controlled conditions (like what happens when shooting pictures in the streets).

Bold indeed, Cidade de Deus centers around the tough life of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro in the ’70s (you can see how important this movie was for the Favelas in a documentary called Gringo in the Slum). One of the main characters of the movie is a photographer who documents the related drug violence of his own slum. 

This movie centers around a brief excerpt of the life of four great photographers: Ken Oosterbroek, João Silva, Kevin Carter and Greg Marinovich (there is also a book written in a sort of chronicle format which has almost nothing to do with the movie). This movie was the main reason I wanted so desperately to learn how to shoot film. I just wanted to feel how things were made by these four crazy great photographers. 

8. Podcasts

Photo by Eric Nopanen on Unsplash

Podcasts aren't for everybody, but I'm a huge fan. I download them and play 'em in traffic. Try these three if you love street photography and podcasts: 

9. Website

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Magnum Photos is the best website to keep an eye on if you like high-quality candids and street photography. After all, Magnum was founded by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa – who else would you want to learn street photography from?

10. YouTube Channel

Hosted by the talented, charismatic and passionate John Free, this is pretty much the quintessential channel you need to watch to get a real grasp of what street photography is about.

We hope you enjoy these amazing resources and, as always, if there is anything else that should be added to these lists, please let us know in the comments

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4 Compelling Reasons To Print Your Photos

5:02:00 AM

I can’t flat-out state that printing is a lost art; there are beautiful photos being expertly printed on a regular basis, but prints are no longer the go-to medium for viewing photos. Why would they be when you can have an ultra hi-def screen in your pocket to view photos on? Makes perfect sense to me.

But even as someone who enjoys looking at photos on a screen, I still have a deep appreciation for the printed image. I’m really not trying to twist any arms here, but I want to present a few thoughts that will hopefully inspire you to print more of your photos.

Prints Represent The Ultimate In Creative Control

Monitor calibration is a topic that many a photographer has obsessed over, something that indeed needs to be addressed if you care about things like color accuracy. But even if your monitor is calibrated, that doesn’t mean everyone else’s is. Given all the screens/monitors out there with all manner of different settings applied to them, the look of your photo is going to vary from screen to screen. This isn’t an issue with a printed image; when you print, you remove all those variables and create a way for everyone who sees your photo to see it the way you originally intended.

Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash

Prints Provide A Greater Degree Of Detail

I’m not necessarily referring to conventional sharpness. Anyone can increase image sharpness in software, and every popular mobile device in the world is equipped with a sharp, state of the art display.

A print, however, provides a deeper look into the nuances of a photo — the contrast and tonalities and textures. Even the medium you choose for your printed image (paper, canvas, metal, acrylic, etc.) contributes to the particular look of your photo, something for which there is no digital equivalent.

Photo by Jean-Philippe Delberghe on Unsplash

Prints Allow The Viewer To Bond With A Photo

A print is static in comparison to the digital experience. When you look at a print you’re more likely to spend some time with it, reflect on all that you see in the photo, perhaps try to put yourself in the mindset of the photographer (or, if you’re the photographer, recall how you felt when you made the shot).

Of course, a captivating photo is a captivating photo regardless of how you view it, but mobile devices and social media cater to short attention spans; most people won’t spend as much time looking at one photo on their phone as they would if that same photo were hanging on a wall or printed in a book.

Photo by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash

Prints Are Satisfying

To assert that prints are satisfying probably rings hollow at first, but there’s really no other way to put it. The tangible nature of a printed photo — the feel of the paper, placing the photo into a frame, hanging the frame on a wall — provides a pleasant escape from the pixel-based universe we spend so much time in. It’s fun to share photos on social media and email them to family members, but there’s something uniquely gratifying about making a print for someone.

Photo by Squared.one on Unsplash

Final Thoughts On Why You Should Print Your Photos

There are many other reasons why you should print your photos — the risk of “digital rot,” potential file type obsolescence, to serve as a backup to your backups. Those are all legitimate and pragmatic reasons. But this is photography we’re talking about; photography is a creative pursuit and it’s nice to have creative bases for continuing to make prints in the digital age.

Do you print your photos? Feel free to share your reasons with us.

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30. November 2017

4:03:00 AM

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

kwerbox #9

10:03:00 PM

kwerbox

Die letzte kwerbox für dieses Jahr steht seit heute zum Verkauf. Wie gewohnt ist unsere Überraschungsbox gefüllt mit Produkten für Fotointeressierte und ihr Gesamtwert liegt über dem Kaufpreis. Einige kleine Hinweise, was Euch dieses Mal erwartet und wie Ihr an eine kwerbox kommt, findet Ihr im Folgenden.

Besonders freuen wir uns über eine Neuerung: Da kwerfeldein sich schon seit Langem als Plattform für Künstler*innen versteht, stellen wir regelmäßig Fotograf*innen aus verschiedenen Bereichen der Fotografie vor und möchten diesen Aspekt auch in unsere kwerbox übernehmen. Dank Saal Digital ist uns dies nun möglich geworden: In dieser sowie den kommenden kwerboxen stellt Saal Digital je einen Fine-Art-Druck zur Verfügung. Die Fotograf*innen dafür werden von uns ausgesucht.

So haben wir die Möglichkeit, Fotografien aus der digitalen Welt direkt in Euer Wohnzimmer zu bringen. Gleichzeitig entdeckt Ihr neue, noch unbekannte Künstler*innen und natürlich verschiedene Papierarten, denn diese passen wir zusammen mit Saal Digital immer dem jeweiligen Foto an. Wir hoffen, Euch gefällt die Idee und die Bilder bekommen bei Euch einen schönen Platz.

Wessen Bild sich dieses Mal in der kwerbox versteckt, bleibt natürlich ein Geheimnis, denn wir möchten die Überraschung nicht kaputt machen. Aber wir verstehen auch, wenn Ihr nicht die Katze im Sack kaufen möchtet, daher kommen im Folgenden noch einige kleine Hinweise zu den weiteren Produkten. Wer mehr wissen möchte, markiert den folgenden „unsichtbaren“ Text. Wer Überraschungen liebt und keine weiteren Andeutungen möchte, liest einfach unten weiter.

In unserer neunten kwerbox werden sich neben dem bereits erwähnten Fine-Art-Druck natürlich noch weitere Produkte befinden. Das Highlight wird ein Bildband sein, mit dem Ihr es Euch bei dem kalten Wetter vor der Heizung gemütlich machen könnt. Damit Ihr auch etwas zu lesen habt, gibt es zudem wieder ein aktuelles Fotomagazin. Da Ihr Euch immer etwas zum Kreativwerden wünscht, haben wir uns natürlich auch darum gekümmert. Zu guter Letzt ist noch etwas Kleines, mit dem Ihr für Ordnung sorgen könnt, mit im Paket.

→ Hier geht’s zur Shopseite der kwerbox #9

 

Einen Einblick in unsere bisherigen kweroxen bekommt Ihr hier

An dieser Stelle möchten wir einen großen Dank an unsere Sponsor*innen richten, ohne die unsere kwerboxen nicht möglich wären. Und natürlich auch an alle Käufer*innen, denn mit jeder gekauften kwerbox finanziert Ihr auch kwerfeldein.

Die kwerbox #9 ist wieder limitiert auf 300 Exemplare und erfahrungsgemäß schnell ausverkauft, also zögert nicht zu lange mit Eurer Entscheidung!

Noch ein letzter Hinweis: Wir tun alles, was wir können, damit Euch die kwerboxen vor Weihnachten erreichen, können es aber leider nicht versprechen, denn es hängt vor allem vom Versanddienstleister ab. DHL hat bekannt gegeben, nur noch maximal 100 Pakete auf einmal abzuholen. Wir werden die kwerboxen also in Schüben versenden und im Notfall auch auf andere Versanddienstleister zurückgreifen müssen. Danke für Euer Verständnis!


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3 Important Facts About Street Photography

7:11:00 AM

Street photography has become quite popular in recent years, and I find it fascinating. Thanks to the Internet, we have access to endless streams of images that keep our craving for images constantly unsatisfied.

And since this genre has become so popular, it seems important to talk a bit about three important facts that will help you understand what street photography is all about.

Street Photography is simply recording life.

Valérie Jardin

 If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough

Robert Capa

 I can't photograph anything without a city. I'm definitely addicted to cities.

Daido Moriyama

What Street Photography Is Not

First, let's start by defining what is not street photography. Street photography is not about shooting pictures of random crowds or the social mayhem that happens within a landscape. Street photography is about looking for the aesthetics that happen within the ordinary daily life of society.

People often comment that certain pictures aren't street photography because they happened inside a store or place, but for me, capturing the beauty of society interacting inside a common place is just another layer of street photography.

Some people think street photography needs to happen inside urban venues – but as a Latin American photographer, I don't limit myself to urbanism alone. Rural venues offer a great deal of street photography as well. For me, the main parameter for defining an image as “street” is the presence of humanity and society. That's why I define myself more as a social photographer because it broadens the possibilities.

Image by Federico Alegría

Some other people say only candid images are “real” street photography, but for me, taking images of unknown people who completely aware you’re photographing them is a valid way to go. The reason I defend this (even though I rarely practice it) is that because even though people may be aware they are being photographed, the previous social interaction makes it a street thing.

To avoid confusion, street photography can be summarized in a single equation:

Aesthetics of society + non-controlled situations = Street Photography

What Is Considered Street Photography

Street photography is just visual evidence of the social moments of human nature that come across our eyes for a fraction of a second and trigger us to use our camera to preserve that moment in time.

Street photography is the reflection of how we see society and humans interact. Perhaps the most evident element you'll find in a lot of street photographs is human nature (in an obvious way), or even in a metaphorical sense, like when we see images of decaying cities on the Internet.

Image by Federico Alegría

Many people tend to narrow their own expression and creativity to a monochromatic format when working in street photography, but you should know also color street photography is great. Why has black-and-white street photography become such a standard format that shooting and viewing color images of the streets is called “color street photography”?

The answer is simple and has nothing to do with glamour and style. The main reason why a lot of people find themselves comfortable while working with black and white on the streets is that these scenes tend to have a lot of colors competing with each other, and the black-and-white format is more efficient for telling a message or a story.

Image by Federico Alegría

Seek Meaningful Photographs

Street photography is accessible. You don't need huge and expensive equipment (check out Daido Moriyama in this compelling video, where he shoots with an almost generic point & shoot camera), or models and special lighting setups. Even though Street Photography is easy to start practicing, there’s always something more you need to know. It’s not easy to capture meaningful images on the streets.

I don't know if Keven Carter actually said this, but I like to believe that he did. Also, Robert Capa knew that getting closer to your subject is extremely important, not just with your camera, but as a human being. You need to “connect” with people to create meaningful images.

The term connection is a metaphor; you need to be able to perceive emotions and moments as they happen in front of your eyes. If you’re not quick to recognize those meaningful moments, you need to walk more to connect better with society. You don't need to be extroverted or even awkwardly social; you just need to be able to anticipate and feel those moments that are worth being preserved.

Image by Federico Alegría

Street photography is getting crowded, and its popularity will grow. This is not a problem for any photographer who loves challenges and understands that capturing meaningful images will always be the ultimate goal. Shooting crowds is easy, but the ability to isolate a truly meaningful moment within the teeming crowds is the first step to becoming an excellent street photographer.

Image by Federico Alegría

Maybe this list hasn't been as generous as it might have been, and the reason why is because I want to leave the discovery up to you. We are sure you'll become a passionate and talented street photographer simply by knowing what street photography is and is not, and also by recognizing that you need to set your goals high.

Look for work that matters. Rise above the random shots taken at crowds in the streets. And remember to always have a camera with you. You never know when the best picture of your life will cross your sight – and trust me, you want to be prepared for that.

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Varina Takes on The Challenge of Low Contrast Light

6:03:00 AM

When you think of great light for photography, you probably picture a brilliant sunrise or the rich golden-hour glow. When the clouds move in, you probably aren’t excitedly grabbing your camera and tripod, and heading for the nearest natural icon… but maybe you should! Heavily overcast skies produce soft, filtered lighting… which can result in reduced contrast through the lens. Low contrast photographs are characterized by soft textures, and subtle shadows and highlights. It can be difficult to create images with impact when the light is less interesting… but it’s an excellent way to challenge your creativity!

When we visited White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, the skies were heavy with thick clouds. Skies like these filter and scatter the light so that shadows are all but eliminated. Minimalist compositions work especially well in conditions like these, so I pushed my tripod feet into the sand, and positioned the camera to remove all distractions from the frame. The smooth curve of the dune, understated colors, and the repeating patterns in the sand combine to create a spartan composition. Subtle imagery and subtle light go hand in hand.

  • White Sands National Monument – New Mexico, USA

  • Low Contrast Light at White Sand National Monuments, New Mexico

I actually enjoyed the challenge of working with the weak light in such an interesting location. Rather than following the light and building a composition around the best part of the sky, I found myself free to let my foreground elements take center stage. I found so many interesting details in the sand – like the circular patterns in the sand that had been sketched by the grasses as they blew in the wind.

White Sands National Monument – New Mexico, USA

Fog creates low-contrast conditions, too – and it’s fascinating to work with. This shot from Banff National Park in Canada shows the gradual reduction of contrast that results from foggy conditions. Notice how clear the foreground appears. Contrast is much higher in the foreground, but as the distance increases, contrast decreases because of the moisture in the air.  The result is a moody image with a heightened sense of distance and depth. You can use that fading contrast to create unique and beautiful compositions.

Banff National Park – Alberta, Canada

Overcast or foggy days call for a different mindset. We aren’t shooting spectacular sunbeams, crazy colors, or incredible cloud formations. Instead, we pay attention to form and texture. Notice the different colors that appear as the light changes, too. Subtle colors can be just as appealing as brilliant ones. Compare these two photos of the Pacific Ocean near Mana Island in Fiji. I took the first shot from a boat on a sunny day on our way to Mana. The intense colors in the water are so different from the softer colors that appeared late one evening as the sun was setting behind low-hanging clouds. For that shot, I waded into the waves with my tripod, and took the shot with a long exposure to smooth the surface of the water. Is one photo “better” than the other? I think both are appealing.

  • Near Mana Island, Fiji

  • South Beach – Mana Island, Fiji

Of course, sometimes dull lighting can wash out colors and make the whole scene feel uninteresting. When color doesn’t add anything to the image, I start thinking in monochrome. This shot of Cannon Beach in Oregon is a perfect example. The sky was a dull grayish blue, and the blue tint to the light left the sand looking lackluster. On the other hand, the beauty of the landscape hadn’t gone missing! I waited until the incoming tide washed away the footprints on the beach, snapped a couple of shots as quickly as I could, and then grabbed my tripod and backed off as big waves covered those rocks in the foreground. A place like this doesn’t need a blazing sky to make it breathtaking. I took this shot knowing I would convert it to b&w. The emphasis is on texture, form, and tone – the colors in the original version feel like a distraction.

  • On the Lonely Shore - Varina Patel

    Black and White Conversion – Cannon Beach – Oregon, USA

  • Color Original – Cannon Beach – Oregon, USA

When the skies get heavy, don’t pack up the camera and head home! Low contrast light calls for creativity. Pull out your gear, change your mindset, and work the subtle light for all it’s worth! Embrace the challenge!

About Author Varina Patel

There is nothing more remarkable to me than the power of nature. It is both cataclysmic and subtle. Slow and continuous erosion by water and wind can create landscapes every bit as astonishing as those shaped by catastrophic events – and minuscule details can be as breathtaking as grand vistas that stretch from one horizon to the other. Nature is incredibly diverse. Burning desert sands and mossy riverbanks… Brilliant sunbeams and fading alpenglow… Silent snowfall and raging summer storms… Each offers a unique opportunity. I am irresistibly drawn to the challenge of finding my next photograph, and mastering the skills required to capture it effectively.

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20 Pictures Of Autumn Leaves That Will Leave You Breathless & Inspire You to Shoot

5:11:00 AM

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As the weather cools, it is the time to get out and about and enjoy the beautiful colors of Autumn. Rug up and wander the paths, forests, or even just around town to capture this last colorful hurrah of the year. Hopefully, these wonderful images of a mundane subject like leaves will inspire you and […]

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29. November 2017

4:03:00 AM

Das Bild des Tages von: Martin Harwardt


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7 Tips for Business Cards for Photographers

1:40:00 AM

Having a proper business card is the first step towards establishing branding as well as earning potential customers, regardless of whether you are a freelance photographer or engaged within photography agencies. Not only do they serve to boost the reputation of an individual or corporation, they are also an opportunity to showcase the many good qualities one has to offer. By investing in a good business card of your own, you will have essentially created the best possible marketing tool you have within your arsenal.

business cards- titleIf you are deciding whether to create your own business card, here are some tips for the process of creating a good one.

1. Design

Coming up with a card design for your photography business card should be the first step to undertake. One of the benefits of cards is that they allow much room for creativity, and one can decide to apply design on just one side or both sides of their business card. With this in mind, decide if you want to use both sides or just one. Next, begin with the creation of your card design concept. One recommended factor would be to create a design that can communicate the nature of your business to your potential customers at just a single glance.

buiness cards- designImage courtesy of Pixabay

You can make use of association by choosing to include  card designs that resemble the film used in photography, a camera or other similar shapes. You can also choose to replicate a photograph or a specific style of photography that you happen to specialise in. If you are feeling particularly creative, you can also use an actual photograph as the background of your card. To give yourself an added advantage, take the time to do some research. Look at the business card of your competitors and what other photography agencies have been producing. Take note of the common design elements they are using. By understanding what is currently most relevant, most used and what works, you will be able to choose better business card designs for yourself.

2. Content

Once you have settled on a design, it is also time to consider the contents of your business card. A good recommendation would be to keep the information disclosed clean and concise- cut down on what is unnecessary and keep the information that users can rely on to contact you. This prevents over-cluttering your business card and improves the focus as well as professionalism your business card has. Important must-have information can include your name, the name of your photography agency, the address of your agency, your email address as well as phone numbers. If you have ample space for other information, you can choose to include them as well.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

For those who have decided to make use of double sided business cards or folded business cards, you can also consider including the social signals of your corporation or slogans. Social media platforms serve quite an amount of success when it comes to customers interacting and sales conversions so by doing so, you give yourself an added advantage of having your customer look you up. If you are looking for special methods of conserving space for more information, or to encourage users to look for your products and websites, you can also insert elements like QR codes for a sense of mystery.

The fonts used to display and showcase your  card contents are also design factors that can be considered. What kind of fonts combine well with photography? What combinations can you use to associate them back to your own photography style? Can you recreate certain moods and messages by experimenting with their spacing and alignment? For consistency, you can make use of one font. But playing around with a combination of different fonts that complement each other can further display your artistic eye. You can also make use of customised fonts as well to showcase your individuality.

3. Visuals

Besides content and design, colour schemes and visual engagement are both factors to incorporate too. For photographers, the colour schemes available also vary. Most photography agencies stick to colours like black, white or sepia tones to recreate photography effects. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you can try out vintage themed colours or even modern minimalistic effects. Consider the photographs you or your agency produces and what colour schemes are commonly within them. Take a look at the logo design you have- what colour schemes can complement it the most?

business cards- visualsImage courtesy of Pixabay

Alternatively, you can also recreate colour gradients or add in visual elements like geometric shapes, the shape of photo lenses, small sections of your photographs and more! Keep in mind that these visuals are also used to enhance your business card so use them liberally. Whenever possible, experiment with your business card design by implementing different colour combinations and seeing what effects it brings. The texture of the material you use to print on can also cause certain changes to your colour scheme and display so try to keep that in mind as well.

4. Material

The material you are using to print your business card on should be taken into consideration as well. Ideally, you want to look for stock material that holds a proper weight to them. This reduces the possibility of having your business card bend, fold or even tear when users carry it with them. The better quality material you are using, the better impression it makes on others since they perceive that you carry professionalism even in the most subtle of aspects. Another factor to consider apart from durability would be shelter from the elements. Whenever possible, select card stock material that holds a degree of water resistance so your card will not be damaged when in contact with rain and other liquid forms.

business cards- textureImage courtesy of Pixabay

Apart from water resistance, it is also useful to take note of how much ink is going into your print job and if the material is durable enough to accept the amount of ink. This is even more crucial if you are printing on two sides. If you are unsure, ask for samples at printing shops or do a few test prints yourself to see how well the ink works on your material of choice. Do also take note that depending on the card stock material you choose, the availability of finishing options changes as well. Certain material is incompatible with finishing options that you may require so it is a good idea to look into it before purchase. Consult your printing service on this and ask for alternatives if they are able to suggest some.

It is also worthwhile to note that certain printing services are able to offer specialty papers and other novelty material. If you are looking for something adventurous to combine with your photography business card, you can  experiment with different specialty papers at different prices.

5. Finishing Options

Most printing and card design services are also capable of offering additional finishing options. Bear in mind that these finishing options are present to enhance the overall effectiveness of your card design. Using too much of them can actually detract your customer’s attention from what should really be the focus of your business card and make information hard to find, so make sure to use finishing options conservatively. Research into the commonly used finishing options and consider if they are applicable to your card design. Communicate with your designer and printer to ensure that the options chosen are feasible and easy to recreate on your actual business card. A good number of finishing options one can pick should be limited to two or three at a time.

If your photography business card is simple in it’s design, you can liven things up by highlighting different sections with elaborate finishing options like foil stamping. Whereas if your business card contents and designs are already the focus, you can add subtle finishing options like embossing or debossing to create a textural difference. With this concept in mind, pick finishing options that serve to draw the focal points of your readers attention to the right details by experimenting with different combinations and options. For particularly adventurous users, you can also consider changing certain elements in your card with die cutting and other interesting options.

6. Preparation For Print

Apart from focus on design elements, it is also important to prepare your business card for print. Understand that your business card will require to be cut and separated after the printing, and therefore you must include a bleed area so that the cutting does not interfere directly with the rest of your name card design. This is also crucial to note if you are including borders since there is a chance that the finished product will look misaligned. In the event that you are unsure of how much thickness to use as a bleed area, check with the printing service you are using. Most design and printing services are also willing to provide an editable template for you to download and include your business card design in, so do so to ensure that all your required elements are within the bleed to minimise any accidents.

Your business card should have all text either embedded or outlined clearly, with guidelines and colour scheme blocks removed so they won’t be accidentally included when you print your cards. Make sure that you are able to preserve quality by saving it as a vector based file instead of JPEG or even PNG file formats.

Before printing, run clean or scrap paper a few times to ensure that ink residue is completely removed so that you can improve the overall quality of your print. It is also essential to make sure that your printer, or the printing service providers are capable of producing your desired printing process before you proceed. If you plan to add on further finishing options or embellishments, take care to track the process so that it can be performed in a timely manner by preparing the additional materials and setting up to ready them to minimise time.

7. Creation

After finalising your card design, it is time to begin preparing the contents of your photography business card. A good recommendation would be to use software programs that are compatible with your requirements. For example, if you intend to mix photographs and design elements like borders, shapes, logos, text and other relevant examples, you can choose software programs like Adobe Illustrator. They are designed to facilitate  by providing the ability to create clean and scalable designs. Make sure to create your business card in the best possible quality/size. Once you have done so, you can begin checking for quality by conducting a few test prints.

business cards- cmykImage courtesy of Pixabay

It is a good idea to match the colour settings of your printer with the colour settings you have seen on your computer screen. As another added recommendation, make sure that your printer can facilitate printing in CMYK format, as well as other special finish options whenever necessary so that you won’t have to go through additional trouble. You can also take this moment to make any last minute additions that are required. If you are satisfied with your test print, you can carry on printing the rest of your photography business card bundles. Remember not to be complacent and to check on the quality of your printed business cards on a semi-regular basis- this ensures quality control. You will be able to detect if anything goes awry and conserve resources immediately.

These are just some of the useful tips one can undertake in their process of designing and creating a good business card for themselves. By using these included tips as guidance, you will be able to easily navigate through the whole procedure and experiment with different materials, finishing options and embellishments.

Let me know if you have any questions.

For more information on designing business cards, try this link.

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Time Trap Photography is dedicated to freezing those special moments in life that can be revisited and admired for generations to come. - Shannon Bourque

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