Hey Street Photographers, It’s Time To Get Your Cards Out . . .

. . . Regular visitors to the Street Photography Blog may recall my little encounter a year ago with an overprotective mother and her child I’m A Street Photographer, Not A Pervert.

. . . The experience at the time was both upsetting and soul destroying. In fact I seriously considered ditching Street and taking up Landscape Photography full-time (no offence).

I received many comments offering support both here and on photography forums which helped immeasurably, including in particular one suggestion which kept popping up. Carry a Business Card.


Now whilst photography isn’t a ‘business’ for me (I wish it was), the simple act of carrying some form of ‘identification’ can not only help in adding an air of authenticity and confidence in others of what we do as a hobby, but also improve our self-esteem as photographers.

Let’s be honest, there are some folk out there that simply don’t like a camera pointing in their direction (despite the prevalence of CCTV on every corner). No amount of flashy business cards and websites would put them at ease. In those situations, if a smile, a reminder of your rights to photograph or an apology aren’t enough, it’s still best to run like the wind.

Most people however don’t mind, though I do get asked on occasion what it is I’m doing, even by the Police. After I explain, some become interested and ask whether I have a website, or the usual “what’s street photography”. This is followed by a scrabbling for pen and paper. In those situations it would be much simpler to present a card printed with a couple of photo’s and some contact/web info.


So after a year of ‘almost doing it’, here they are and I’m as happy as a happy thing with them. Printed on both sides (double printed), I came up with the design on Photoshop and they didn’t cost the earth.

I went with one of the many printing companies that list on ebay and the quality and speed of delivery was incredible. Total time was just 3 days from uploading the JPEG files, to the completed cards landing on my doorstep.


And the total cost of 250 cards ‘including’ delivery? Just £13. I carry them in my wallet, in the camper van, in the camera bag and some in an old silver plated card holder I bought on the ‘bay for just £3.

All told, I’m very pleased with the results and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

In todays paranoid society, you owe it to yourselves to get a card. Afterall, it could make the difference between being regarded as an enthusiastic photographer, or a menace to society.

P.S. It’s just occurred to me that of the 10 or so I’ve given away already, some of you may be reading this article right now, so hello. 🙂

If you are looking to have your own Photographer’s Cards printed, eBay UK offers many card printing services here.


Author: Kevin Shelley

Street Photography. Narrow Boat Documentaries. eBooks. Blog. Reviews cameras. Develops film.

5 thoughts on “Hey Street Photographers, It’s Time To Get Your Cards Out . . .”

  1. Good idea Kevin, I was also thinking about it a while ago but never got round to it so maybe this is a good reminder, if someone does stop you for snapping them or their kids giving them a card with your details on isn’t a bad thing and shows that you’ve got nothing to hide.

    Well done Mick.


    1. Yes hopefully if the same situation arises again, whilst probably not an opinion changer, it might get them thinking “If he’s a pervert, why’s he giving me his contact details?” 😀


  2. I took up street photography after being give a book about it for my birthday. I am, of course, completely au fait about all the nonsense with police, stupid people etc. First, we were taking pictures for paedophiles. Then we were scouting on behalf of “terrorists”. I decided to adopt appropriate tactics:

    I use a small Leica 111, made in 1935. Lens is a 3.5cm f3.5 Summaron without a hood focused to the hyperfocal distance. Film is Ilford XP2 400 iso. I keep the camera in coat pocket, wound on and set. Walking along, I spot an interesting person or scene. Camera comes out, up to my eye, click, back in the pocket in one clear smooth action. Then I walk on. This latter is most important as hassles arise when people hang around. They are sitting ducks.
    Watch the New York pros, Joel Meyerowitz or Bruce Gilden, they are WALKING!


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