Old 09-18-2008, 03:06 PM   #1
Noct Foamer
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How many of you have made up little "business cards" for railfanning? With the cheap software packs at Office Depot etc., it seems pretty easy to do. I used to make up a batch every now & then and stick them in my camera bag. I'd hand them out to train crews I catch at switches etc., to other foamers, and I also gave them to people like the general managers of ethanol plants and grain elevators when I met with them to discuss photo'ing the insides of their operations. I ran out of them several months ago and have had to resort to scribbling on scraps of paper to hand people. If you do have them, what do you put on them? I'm thinking full name, email, phone number, a small graphic, and a very brief description of what you do. I also put what town I live in, since in the rural area I'm in that's important. Do you make up more than one style for different situations?


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Old 09-18-2008, 04:16 PM   #2
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I have always found the railfan business cards tacky. So many people don't get our hobby and that makes it worse. If I was going to do a business card, I would make it something like ABC Photography. People understand photgraphy. Also, don't get the cheap do it your self business cards. Those blank business card sheets are thin and have rough edges. The print quality is always poor and the ink runs when wet. You can get professionally printed thick business cards with and without a gloss coating or rounded corners cheaper then you can make your own. try www.overnightprints.com I use them for my business and are of great feel and quality.
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:34 PM   #3
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I did mine myself with card stock using Microsoft Publisher. Nothing fancy, but it's a nice addition to give the cops when they take my ID or ask what I'm doing. It has links to my photos/Group so they can check it out later if they want. Tacky? Maybe, but it's just another way to help the uninformed...
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:45 PM   #4
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By the way, most online printers can print front and back. I think I will make my own business cards. I will make it photography based so that I "fit in". Like Ween said, it does add creditability to why your sitting there with a camera. I then will add links to my stuff on the back, which may lead to a sale of something someday.
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travsirocz
By the way, most online printers can print front and back. I think I will make my own business cards. I will make it photography based so that I "fit in". Like Ween said, it does add creditability to why your sitting there with a camera. I then will add links to my stuff on the back, which may lead to a sale of something someday.
Maybe put a thumbnail filling most of the opposite side?

The idea of making it tipped towards photography and not railfanning is a good one, thanks for that.
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:24 PM   #6
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Mpix ran a half off business card sale last year, and I made up a box, with a nice photo on the front, and my information on the back. I keep a few in the vehicle, in case someone asks.

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Old 09-19-2008, 01:09 AM   #7
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The ones I had been using had me as "Kent SD, Stock Photographer." I stayed away from "Kent SD, FOAMER" . Good idea about printers being able to print front & back, except I tend to use that to write notes on. Living out in the rural area I do, I'm very rarely hassled trackside. However, I do talk to grain elevator, ethanol plant, and other agricultural business managers plus shortline railroad management to get permission for special projects. As a salesrep (day job,) I thought it added a professional touch to my pitch. I've also had a couple of these people call me back for a paying job. Can't beat that! What do you think about having a thumbnail photo of me on the card rather than some other kind of graphic? Keep the ideas coming!


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Old 09-19-2008, 01:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noct Foamer
What do you think about having a thumbnail photo of me on the card rather than some other kind of graphic?
Depends on what you look like I suppose

Getting some cards from overnight prints is on my list of things to do... I'm thinking something along the lines of this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Front of Card

Nick Benson

(train icon) (computer icon) (camera icon)
Train Buff | Geek | Shutterbug


(email) (phone number) (website)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Back of Card
Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©
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Old 09-19-2008, 02:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottergoose
Getting some cards from overnight prints is on my list of things to do... I'm thinking something along the lines of this:
I suggest a different picture (not sure, though, if that was the picture you actually intend to use or just one you grabbed for the post). The picture should stand up well as a thumbnail - in the one above the blue train and green scene separate poorly.
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Old 09-19-2008, 02:32 AM   #10
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I need to do some business cards just for fun. I did some a few years ago, but have since moved. It's nice when you meet folks trackside who wonder what it is we're doing. It's also nice if railroaders wonder. But my actual business cards work wonders. I was getting pestered regularily at a nearby railyard. I kept being told I couldn't shoot from public property or that CSX didn't want "you guys" taking pictures of their engines. Finally, the sixth time someone came up to me, I introduced myself as a photographer, told them what station I work for as I got my card out of my pocket and handed it to them. Then I mentioned maybe it was time we did story on why CSX thinks it can tell people what they can do on their own time and on public property.

Haven't been approached since.




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Old 09-19-2008, 02:34 AM   #11
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You know, just to add, that some of you guys should consider putting "freelance photojournalist" on your cards, esp. if you've been published in a magazine. Abide by all rules and laws, naturally, but this card *might* give you a little more credibility.


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Old 09-19-2008, 03:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
You know, just to add, that some of you guys should consider putting "freelance photojournalist" on your cards, esp. if you've been published in a magazine. Abide by all rules and laws, naturally, but this card *might* give you a little more credibility.


Joe
Does getting a picture in Trains make you a freelance photojournalist?

And since when did the media have any credibility?
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Old 09-19-2008, 03:08 AM   #13
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I have Kinko's print my cards. About 500 cards for about 35.00.
I do a lot of Art and Railroad shows and go through a lot of cards.
I did the design on my computer.
I always carry cards when I railfan because you never know when you
might meet a contact or make a sale
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Old 09-19-2008, 04:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris crook
Does getting a picture in Trains make you a freelance photojournalist?
Yes. Definitely so, I'd say.
Quote:
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And since when did the media have any credibility?
Since my first day on the job!




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Old 09-19-2008, 04:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
I was getting pestered regularily at a nearby railyard. I kept being told I couldn't shoot from public property or that CSX didn't want "you guys" taking pictures of their engines. Finally, the sixth time someone came up to me, I introduced myself as a photographer, told them what station I work for as I got my card out of my pocket and handed it to them.

I very rarely (maybe once a year?) get bothered out here on the Northern Plains. The few times I have, I've pulled out one of my brother's cards. He's my "on call" attorney. Mostly though people here are either very friendly OR it's too cold for someone to want to come outside and hassle you.


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Old 09-19-2008, 05:38 AM   #16
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I wonder if I could have avoided getting frisked on a busy highway overpass if I had just pulled out my FoamerCard (don't leave home without it!)?

What's the rule of thumb for picking out something that would thumbnail well? Lot's of contrast and big areas of uniform color?

Something like this:
Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


??
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