If you’re a photographer, I have the best business card for you. It reuses beautiful things that will otherwise be thrown away, it’s unique (for now), and handing it to someone creates immediate delight, conversation, and connection.

This is my business card (it’s not this).

1st photo

Right now, in your parents’ and grandparents’ closets and attics, there are thousands of these 35mm slides, intricately detailed, each one unique, and I can’t stress this enough, they are what that light was physically captured on, directly exposed at that time in that place.

Millions of these beautiful, one-of-a-kind objects are being thrown out every day. They should become the business cards of photographers everywhere. But photographers everywhere won’t take the time. YOU will, because you’re an interesting, fun-loving, enterprising go-getter.

My first stab at this idea was right out of college in 2005 using old slides and a rubber stamp. This is still the best way to do this, in my opinion. Rubber stamps have a beautiful quality all their own. The issue is that many slides are plastic or have writing all over them.

When I ultimately had my own company (film/video, not photography), using old slides didn’t make as much sense and it was more important that the logo be prominent. This defeats at least 61% of the coolness of the idea, and they’re also TERRIBLE to make:

Eventually we did find a great company, J.S. McCarthy Printers in Maine, who came up with a much better way to do these for us, still with a bit of manual assembly, but nothing like before.

The way we had done them previously (with our original name) was with die-cut stickers.

IMG 28771st phott

Now that I’m reconnecting with photography and taking portraits of neighborhoods and strangers who live in those neighborhoods, I finally have a reason to do my original idea. I found some low-priced eBay auctions for old Kodachrome slides and I’m making a rubber stamp.

2nd photo

The cool thing about Kodachrome slides is that the colors are incredibly vibrant like an old Technicolor movie and one side is blank for rubber-stamping.

For those who don’t know, Kodachrome was a complicated development process with brilliant colors and it no longer exists.

3rd photo

Now, when I meet a stranger whose photo I would like to take, in addition to dressing myself well and some other strategies I’m experimenting with, I’ll be able to hand them a piece of film with my name and a website where their portrait might show up.

You should totally use slides as your business card if you’re a photographer. And if you’re not a photographer, what might be out there, readily available, with a little bit of space on it where you could print or rubber stamp your contact info?