I finally decided to order some business cards, despite not being in business. It just makes it easier for people to deal with you, and in some cases, take you a little more seriously. For example, I may run into someone who isn't actually a model, but could make a good photo. If I walk up and say I'd like to take your picture, I'm just another creep they want to avoid. If I introduce myself as a photographer and have some business cars with samples of my work and contact information, then the conversation seems to have a little bit more credibility.
I've noticed other photographers pass out cards as a way to stay in touch, let others check out their web-site, or perhaps collaborate on a project in the future. Quite a few of those cards ended up on my desk and they all have something in common. They suck. Seriously, they're just flimsy, tacky and cheap. That's not the kind of impression I want to hand out to someone.
One person gave me a MOO card, though. It wasn't a business card, but one of their mini cards. I liked it right away because it was printed on very sturdy cardstock and you could tell this thing was meant to last longer than the other cards I've seen. At the time, MOO didn't have regular business cards. They started doing those a little while back, and it was the first company that came to mind when I decided to create my own.
I'm not disappointed. MOO cards come double-sided on much sturdier stock than any other cards I've seen. You can upload photos or pull them in from sites like Flickr, Facebook, SmugMug or Etsy. The opposite side with your text can be another image, a text layout you input on a web-form, or a combination of both. I was able to upload the header on my web site for a logo and input text with my web site, e-mail address and Google Voice number.
There was no issue with cropping my images to fit the cards. Each of them appears in standard format and I think they look great. This is the kind of product I want to hand out when I make a first impression with someone. It just feels solid and looks wonderful. It gives the recipient an example of my work, contact information, and I hope a sense of confidence that I never received from the flimsy cards passed out by other photographers.
The best part is that it's quick and inexpensive. A box of 50 cards is $22. You can have them printed and shipped in a week. If you want rush shipping, they'll accommodate you for an additional cost.
You don't have to take my word about the quality, though. They'll ship you a free sampler pack of ten cards with your own images. That gives you the chance to see how your work looks on the cards before you commit. That's not something I've seen offered from other printers. There are other products available that I haven't tried, but I'm willing to use them on faith after experiencing the business cards. I'd give these cards my highest recommendation.