We know it isn’t always easy to stay motivated with photography. This is true if you are looking through a detailed book on photography or scanning through the internet. It can be difficult to find the information you want, in the way you want it. Enter Photzy Snap Cards.
If you haven’t heard of Photzy before, they are a sister company of Light Stalking and create ebooks and tutorials to help people with their photography. Their latest creation are snap cards that the team describes as “a training boot camp in your bag”. You print these .pdf files, toss them in your camera bag with your equipment, and are set for any photographic journey.
The Photzy Snap Cards are perfect for the intermediate photographer who is looking to get more out of their work. You can use these cards as a go-to guide for specific topics. I wouldn’t recommend them for absolute beginner photographers with zero knowledge of photography, as you need a basic understanding.
My first reaction to downloading these cards was excitement. This is the first time I have seen something like this that you can take into the field to help with almost every photographic theme. Whether photographing people or landscapes, these cards are designed to cover all fields and help you get the best out of your work.
The great thing about these and the format is that as soon as you buy them, you download them and can use them straight away. They are designed to be printed at A5, which is the preferred size, or even A4 without loss of quality or readability.
These can then be used indefinitely. If one gets lost or destroyed, just reprint it. They can be laminated (for those underwater enthusiasts), printed double-sided or even printed smaller (to be used with a magnifying glass) to create a concise set to save space in your bag. They fit in your bag, and they can go everywhere and anywhere. You don’t even need to take the whole set with you.
What I find difficult is that, unless you ask a company to print them, they can be a hassle to resize, print and laminate yourself. Not everyone has a printer tray with A5 paper. In order to keep things as cheap as possible, two A5’s need to go on one-page of A4. This all requires software and a patient mind to organise.
Another thing I would have liked to see is a way to keep them all together. I can see myself going out into the great outdoors, setting up that perfect shot, looking for the relevant page and then remember it’s crumpled at the bottom of my other bag at home.
A contents page would have also been nice, telling me I need to look at Green-page 3, instead of flicking through all 44 pages (or sides, depending on your printing skills).
If you ask a company to print them, it would cost a pretty penny. Printing black and white is a possibility, but then you lose all of those great colour examples. I also find that using more paper is harmful to the environment, takes space and adds weight to an already bursting camera bag.
The benefit of this system is that you can send them to your smartphone, Android or tablet and use them digitally. No printing necessary. However, they are not so great if you spend a long time away from civilisation, where you might need a WiFi connection and the ability to recharge your device.
Moreover, using them for portrait and wedding photography could be a no-no. These photography areas require a more professional workflow and might be too fast paced to dip into your Photzy cards easily. Plus, no one at a wedding really wants to see the photographer reading a manual.
The card system is very concise. A professional photographer and educator has also evaluated them, as the Photzy page states. This gives the cards more credibility, which is important for many photographers.
I did find a spelling mistake and a few language errors in the ‘exposure compensation’ page.
Also, some of the phrases are over-simplified and lose accuracy. For example the Exposure Compensation says that in Program Mode, “exposure compensation will change the Aperture and Shutter Speed equally.” This is not correct. Concurrently or simultaneously would have been better choices.
Attention to detail is very important to me so spelling mistakes and lack of clarity stood out.
The pages are great at keeping information to specific areas due to colour coding, and not going overboard on any topic or problem. There are also practical examples to really hone in on what you should be getting from each area.
They have found a way to simplify the information for intermediate photographers, who already understand the basics and just need a quick reminder.
The pages keep confusing information out and focus on one or two points, which is a great advantage. The photographic examples are also good, work together well and are placed nicely within each topic.
Who Are They For
I myself would have found these very helpful in the early days of experimenting with photography, once I had an understanding of the basics. I would have gotten out and about more, practicing with different methods. Instead, I stayed indoors a lot, reading about shutter speeds and shooting modes.
Currently, I would keep them in my bag as an error checker. If my photographs don’t turn out as I’d hoped, I’d use these to make sure I’m doing everything correctly.
The world of photography can be a daunting place, not knowing where to turn first, especially as it can be a very complex and scientific area to work in. This huge amount of information can easily put off both beginner and advanced photographers.
These snap cards are here to refine all that knowledge into something workable. They help you review what you have learned about specific fields and look into areas that you don’t know yet.
I would say that you need to have some basic photography understanding, but by no means do you need to be a weathered photographer. An intermediate photographer would get the most out of this.
As these snap cards are a brand-spanking new product, finding reviews from other users is a little difficult. So far, their website only has a few.
“I was a little worried whether there’d be enough useful information on the cards…I was pleasantly surprised. They are extremely useful. I’ve printed out different sets and they now live in my bag,” says Amy W.
“My best holiday photos yet…These are amazing! So useful. I took them on my trip to Europe. Read through all of them on the plane…My best holiday photos yet,” comes from Juan P.
These snap cards, 44 eternally printable pages split into 9 beautifully coloured segments, retail at $220 (if you missed their special deal). That may feel a little expensive for what you are getting, but you are paying for easy to understanding information at your fingertips. And think of the alternatives – there are none. There is no other product like this on the market.
Sure, there are huge, heavy books on everything photography-related. But those will take hours to sift through and get to what you want. The language used is also usually that of a high-brow 1960s English gent.
The internet could be another resource, and photography is probably one of the most searched for keywords. There are videos, tutorials, courses and so on, but they all cost money and you will find it harder (and more costly) to take them with you.
With these cards, you can easily find something specific. There’s significantly less hassle involved.
Putting aside that the language used is not always perfect, I still think they’re a great tool to use.
They are a breath of fresh air in an overly crowded world of information. Portable, concise and indestructible (unless you delete them), the Photzy Snap Cards can offer advanced beginners and intermediate photographers some needed help and advice.
Photzy retail these cards for $220, but they’ve cut us a special deal for our readers, for only $29. Click here to see this offer.
A note from Josh, ExpertPhotography's Photographer-In-Chief:
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