A tip for street photographers

I’ve been a photographer for over a year and a half. Hobbyist only. Not really doing anything professional yet.

And I love shooting pictures of strangers, since it’s always different, always new. Indeed a lot of the pictures I’ve taken have been of strangers out in public, with their permission. And when I do that, I tend to also ask if they want the pictures and hand over a business card if they do. But with one little trick.

On the back of the business card I write a 4-digit number. Not just some random 4-digit number, but a number off one of the picture files from the camera. This way when they write back into me, I can easily tell who is writing in if I happen to photograph multiple people when I’m out. Not everyone contacts me. And I didn’t always do this, either.

But it proved fruitful today.

Back on June 14, I took a couple pictures of two women out biking, and gave them a business card with a corresponding 4-digit number on the back. If I don’t hear from someone for at least a week, I presume I’m not going to. So I wrote off ever hearing from them. But one of the two wrote to me today to request the pictures, noting the 4-digit number on the back of the card while also noting they were out biking. My card got buried in her bag, and she found it when cleaning it out. Without the number, I would not have been able to locate the pictures without asking a few more questions.

So moral of the story: if you take pictures of someone in public, don’t just hand them a business card. Write some additional information on the back so you can locate the pictures afterward, such as the 4-digit file number sequence from your camera.