I make art cards for sale, all from manipulated iPhone photography. In the studio we display them clothes-pinned to vine-y paper rope. Subject matter that does best in iPhone imagery is immediate and familiar, making it a natural for the intimacy of a hand written note. A pertinent photo image card plus few lines of hand written appreciation, recognition or even condolence are so personal that they touch the lives of others in a way both deep and precious – almost forgotten in the mass of terse texting and emailing.
Don’t get me wrong; blogs and facebook are the current ideal both for business and just staying in touch. The hand written card is reserved for something very special and very personal. Not for announcement to the world. By all means tell people on the internet that you were well served by a certain company, but then send a private card to the person who made your experience wonderful. You’ll almost be able to hear the smiles of the recipient.
Of course photo greeting cards and announcements are hardly news, but a return to the nicety of mailed correspondence is. And I don’t mean just a Kodak quick print with Merry Christmas in red type. Nor the Mother’s Day Hallmark card with a flowery verse. It’s no wonder all the photo labs and on line sites now offer blank photo cards for you to write your own message. Instinctively we are reluctant to throw away a baby announcement showing the squinty eyes and tiny fingers. A photo graduation announcement will literally disintegrate in Grandmother’s purse before she will give it up.
As a photographer I recommend you can go several steps further, using the immediacy of being able to print a one-off photo card any time you want to be a hero to a client or a supplier. Or just your favorite hair dresser or coffee barista, as noted by the Sunday Morning commentators. And the photo is the icing on the cake of your words written from the heart. Following our recent house remodel I sent no less than 67 cards of appreciation to our workers. I handwrote each card with a comment about each person’s contribution. The photo was a composite of several architectural angles.
Of course any art work styled photo such as a landscape or editorial or abstract image you made yourself will garner interest. But for maximum impact and lasting impression, the photo must be in some way pertinent to the recipient. A funny outtake from a portrait session, a close up of how you used a supplier’s product, a reference to a hobby or interest of the recipient. Those will be the pictures that are kept and treasured. Don’t forget to hand address and use a real stamp, rather than a postage meter label.
I can’t think of a better way to keep our name in front of the public we care about.
This is our best networking method for keeping in touch with the most important people who already know and trust us. Which as we all know is the most effective way to generate new referral business and bring back old clients for more.