Creating photographic art cards #photography

A number of artists have done art cards about the size of a postcard. Jean-Michel Basquiat sold his art cards in a cafe and they were bought by Andy Warhol launching his career as an artist. I decided to take some photos and then have a little competition in our local history group that I run to decide the best pictures for a pair of art cards. The competition and pictures made the local newspaper! I checked prices for printing and it was quite expensive unless I had a lot printed. I also checked how much they could be sold for. I ended up having two printed and with a run of 1,000 of each. That was a lot of cards. I did sell about 100 and gave some away. The next year, I had two more printed and so now I have over 3,000 art cards but I hope to give a lot away next summer. They are quite collectable now!

A sharp photograph

Obviously, you need to take a really sharp photograph. You need good light, then you can shoot really fast so get no blur at all. Today’s photograph is the first one I chose. It was quite late in the afternoon and I had excellent light. It wasn’t an ideal shot, there were cars parked and what looked like a gazebo on the grounds of the church. I think however the cars might add something to the picture in years to come. I decided to take the shot sitting in my car and that gave me a really steady camera and allowed me to shoot from quite low down without stooping or crouching.


A picture of The Olde Leathern Bottel in Vicarage Road was my second choice for an art card. The pub claims it was established in 1510, over 500 years ago. It also, like many other inns, claims to have been visited by highwayman Dick Turpin. It also claims to be haunted and it does have a few spirits! I shot this image quite fast to get a really sharp image and I did edit out some posts that were in the foreground.

Those were my first two art cards. For the second pair, I left Wednesbury and photographed the Red Lion in Darlaston on a really nice day with plenty of light and then I photographed the Fountain in Tipton for the final art card. The Fountain is a listed building and famous for a connection to the Tipton Slasher, a well-known bare-knuckle prize fighter.

The main things to think about when doing art cards are choosing a popular subject and getting a really good image. I had the images printed on 350g silk-finish cards.

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