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Dash of Inspiration: The Image Speaks Volumes

August 20, 2012

A Dash of Inspiration, A Cup of Creativity by Doreen

The Image Speaks Volumes

I’ve been a photographer for more than 30 years, it’s in my blood; my mother was a photographer and I’ve had a camera in my hands since I could stand up.  I used to follow my mom around when I was only 4-years-old taking imaginary photographs with an old twin-lens-reflex that no longer worked . . . just so I could be like Mom.

For many of those years, I took photographs of anything and everything, but somewhere along my journey I found that when I put the camera to my eye, regardless of the beauty before me, if what I was going to photograph did not immediately speak to me, there was no point in taking the photograph.  There are a few exceptions of course, recording your personal life and family or grabbing a shot of an object, or texture to use in a digital composition. Often images of autumn colors and snow don’t necessarily need to say anything more, if they are exceptional examples of the seasons.

Assuming the quality of your imagery and typography is professional in appearance and layout; greeting card success comes to those who have learned how to relate an image to a verse and a category.  Those who illustrate and paint typically don’t have this issue, because when the idea came to them to create, the inspiration came with a message (a feeling) for which they can apply to greeting card categories.

However, photographers have to learn how to ‘listen’ to their photographs.  If you don’t immediately get a message when you look at a photograph, then it’s not a good choice for a greeting card.  Taking a lovely scenic photograph and putting Happy Birthday on the front, inside or both, is not likely to be a big seller for you; UNLESS you tie that scenic into the message such as,  ‘May the serenity of nature surround you on your special day’ which might work for a nature-lover’s birthday.

Think of how you look for greeting cards when you are in the card isle at a store.  You are drawn in by the imagery first.  How the text on the front relates to the image and occasion is the next ‘grab point’, and finally how the verse on the inside of the card relates then closes the deal.  If all you wish to do is put the photographs you take on blank cards, there is a market for that, but if you wish to put those photographic cards into the Occasion Specific Market; you must learn to tie the image to the category through your text.

Here are some delightful GCU card examples where the photographers have let the image inspire the message and the category, therefore creating a truly marketable greeting card.



2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2012 7:12 pm

    I always enjoy your Dash of Inspiration articles. They are always so entertaining as well as informative! Keep up the good work!

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