My Business Cards – A Sentimental Journey

Back in March of this year, I decided I needed to rebrand.  I’d always been pretty haphazard with design, preferring to do it myself to save a few $$, but I am a terrible designer.  I decided to commit to doing it right, so I met with the ultra-talented design professional Jill Brunner and began to bounce ideas.  I’ve read about asshole clients who put their designers through hell and I knew I didn’t want to be one, but I found myself being super flighty about things.  First I wanted a new brand, promo magazine, poster, etc.  Then I wanted just a logo.  Then, after I got chewed out by a few photographers I respect for being cheesy, I told her I just wanted a simple, elegant wordmark.  Jill was there every step of the way and eventually came up with a really beautiful design.  The business cards in particular are little jewels that I’m proud to hand out.  Letterpress, ultra-thick card stock, and edge painting.  Gold edge painting.  That’s right folks- I wanted to incorporate the gold in my name without hitting ya over the head with it and the gold edges are a subtle, lovely touch.  The folks over at Lala Press did a great job.

(forgive the lousy optics around the edges- extension tube distortion)


Now, this post isn’t all about my fancy new cards.  It’s also about my shitty old ones.  I present to you, from most recent to first, all of my previous business cards.

This one wasn’t so bad.  It got the job done and I was never really embarrassed to hand it out, but I needed to kick it up a notch.


That’s right.  A stylized aperture and faux typewriter font.  Ugh.


Believe it or not, I was handing this card out for the first year or so upon moving to DC to freelance.  I shot the picture on the front at an orgy.  I really liked it, but it was patently inappropriate for handing out to most everyone.  I gave this card to Gen. Petreaus’ wife after shooting her portrait for a client.  She asked what the picture was and I told her and she practically blanched.  I went home and made up new cards that evening.


Super cheap, but got the job done.


I was insanely proud of this card.  First of all, I was a mere intern, but my title here reads “Staff Photographer.” It’s a pretty smart move, really.  The paper sent interns to cover just about everything and you don’t want your subjects feeling short-changed when the intern hands out a card that says “intern” on it.  The card stock had a nice texture and as a bonus, it was fully recyclable. Actually, I have no idea why they felt the need to put the little recycle symbol on the card.


Another picture-card.  This was the flimsiest card stock and the poorest print-job, but I liked handing it out at the time.  If I recall correctly, I was mostly handing this out at photojournalism conferences when I was still a college student.


I worked for the student paper in college and earned something like $12/assignment.  That’s serious beer money in Athens, Ga.

This is my very first business card.  I remember making it in the photolab at school.  I used an abstract shot I took at a carnival.  I thought it was so freaking cool.  I also thought HDR was cool once.  My, how far we’ve come.


4 thoughts on “My Business Cards – A Sentimental Journey

  1. I love this post 🙂 especially the part about the old business cards. it’s so honest and I found myself exactly in doing the same things.
    thanks Melissa for sharing

  2. Very nice clean card. I’d argue your last one was pretty nice too (that might have to do w/ the fact mine is similar-esque, heh). And these are far better than others I’ve seen. Just hit up any photography forum, and find the de facto business card thread and you’ll feel better. Though, there are some gems every so often as well.

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