How to Market Your Photography On a Budget

by | Jan 9, 2022

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

“An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” – Edwin Land

Sometimes the old ways to promote your photography are also the best ways. One of the oldest axioms in photo marketing is that it takes 28 impressions before you make a sale to a new client. Each point of contact for these potential clients can be a direct mail piece, visit to your website, blog post, tweet, Instagram image or even that most overlooked of all marketing tools—the business card. And I believe the business card is the best face-to-face marketing tool available.

Here’s a fact of business life that I have discovered over many years: While people easily toss out even the most elegantly crafted and beautifully produced business card, they won’t easily toss out a photograph that has a picture of a person on it. More than once, I’ve had (what became a new) client hang onto one of my business cards or direct mail pieces for more than a year that featured a portrait before they dug it out of their desk drawer and called me for an assignment.

One of the coolest promotional material that I’ve found is’s “pocket portfolio” that consists of 50 photographic business cards with up to 50 different images that’s available at affordable prices, around twenty bucks as I write this. To top it off, Moo often runs sales with discounts or free shipping and that’s when I stock up. I also use their MiniCards; these are the same price as their standard business cards but for the same price includes 100 smaller-sized cards.

To extend the concept, I’ve produced a several different series of cards: One (below) uses the traditional horizontal orientation and was aimed at automobile photography highlighting my car photography website. The front side has a portrait of me* along with relevant contact information, while the back has a series of different images of cars that I’ve photographed. The next time, Moo ran a sale, I ordered another set of cards, this time aimed at portraiture. It (above) uses a vertical orientation and the back side had different portraits I’ve created over the years.

Moo accepts JPEG, PNG, GIF or PDF files and the cards are available in different types of media including Classic, upscale Luxe or Green (100% recycled and biodegradable) versions that cost a few bucks more. The image quality and color accuracy of these cars is quite good although you should have a color correct monitor and make sure that the color and image density is perfect. You give the Moo’s a great file; they’ll give you great looking cards.

When discussing your work with a potential client in a social situation, the use of customized business cards is the perfect answer to the question of “what do you shoot?” You can hand them a photo card and answer their question in the best possible way, all the while knowing that the flip side is a traditional business card with all your contact information. I also never leave the house with a nice leather business card holder that’s filled with both kinds of cards, because you never know who you might bump into at Starbucks.

*PS. And yes, I agree that it’s time for me to update my business cars with a new portrait of me, featuring one where I have the beard I’m currently sporting. So like the photographer who has moved and hands out business card with their old address and then gets out a pencil writing the new address on the cards, I’ve been guilty of trying to use all of my old cards before ordering new ones. I’ve justified this buy thinking that the flip sides of the cars have some of my photography on them but I guess I need a round tuit…

If you like to play with images in either color, monochrome or a mixture of the two, Please pick up a copy of my book Creative Digital Monochrome Special Effects that’s available new from Amazon for $25.90 or used for around two bucks as I write this. No Kindle version is available at this time.