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QR Codes for Photographers

QR codes can be a great marketing tool, even if you don’t know what one is I’m sure you will have seen one on your travels. QR means Quick Response Code and is a two dimensional barcode which is very similar to the standard barcode used on general products. This QR code can hold a range of information which can be accessed using a QR reader, these readers are widely available (and free) for the majority of smart phones. Once you have downloaded a QR reader you simply take a photo of the code and the reader processes it.

QR Readers

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=la.droid.qr&hl=en?IOS: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/qr-reader-for-iphone/id368494609?mt=8

Try it yourself

So I have created this QR code that will take you to the Digital Photography School forum. If you have downloaded the QR reader for your smartphone give it ago!

201205181022.jpg

When this could be useful

So we now know what a QR code is but how could it help me, a photographer?

Event

So you have followed all of the tips and tutorials on Digital Photography School and you have decided to share your beautiful photographs in an exhibition! Great news! Why not send people invites and include a QR code that will allow people to add the event into their diary using vcalendar.

Google Ma

The venue is quite hard to find, good job you included a QR code that links to a Google map. You wouldn’t want people getting lost would you.

Ecommerce

So people have all found the venue and a couple of people even want to buy some images. You have thought ahead and have included a QR code which is next to each photograph which takes them straight to Paypal and using a Buy Now button they can purchase the image.

VCard

Everyone that came to your event got a business card which included a QR code for them to download your VCard. A VCard contains your telephone number, address, business name, email, website address etc. Good if they want to get in contact in the future! There are loads more uses for the QR code and can be included on your business cards, flyers and I have even seen people stamp it on the back of their photographs. Other uses include linking to your Facebookpage, Linkedin, Twitter and even to send an SMS message. So if you are thinking of getting some business stationary designed why not include a QR code to give you that little bit more exposure.

Create your own

There are loads of different websites and software that will allow you to create a QR code for free. The site I normally use is http://www.qrstuff.com/.

This article was written by Chris Davidson who runs photography courses and Photoshop classes at locations around the UK.

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category.

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  • http://johnbokma.com/ John Bokma

    Needs more ! and ?!!! Also, horribly written.

  • Martin

    I’ll agree about the writing… But I’d like to add to the topic of QR codes. Though they’ve been released to the public since 2005, these things have never really gained any traction. Just for the fact that QR readers aren’t often included by default with most smartphones, and let’s add that not everyone has a smartphone, I’d say that using these is mainly an extra fringe benefit.
    Though QR codes are on just about every piece of advertising now, I rarely see anyone scanning them.

    I’ll add, I agree with the author on every point, it’s what I’ve seen in everyone of my marketing classes in University, but pulling out my phone to scan a code is often more of a hassle.

  • http://www.zibri.org Zibri

    Why don’t you add some style to it?

    Look at this: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1587166/ZQR_rot_blue_op_transp3.png

    And IT STILL WORKS :D

  • Dylan

    QR codes are lazy and boring.

  • http://funmommie.blogspot.com Elizabeth

    Awesome! I have seen these everywhere, especially on cars. I would like one too. Great info. and tips. Thanks!

    http://lpsfunblog.blogspot.com

  • Neil

    Excellent article on QR Codes. I am currently using them on my biz card, but not sure if many people are familiar with this established bar code. I understand when creating, you can add design and it will still read! http://www.classicmemories.com/

  • Daniel

    QR codes are just an awesome way to direct people to your website. If “pulling out my phone to scan a code is often more of a hassle”, then you will never take note of a website address printed on some ads. So the website owner is lucky if you remember the address and type it on your computer when back home.

    It probably depends on the percentage of people using their smartphone (or tablet) to surf the web. For those using mobile devices to surf, QR codes are just a very handy (and IMHO, hassle-free) data entry little hack.

    Especially for specific campaign (if you want to deep-link to a specific page of your website), QR codes are much better than asking people to note (?) or remember a lengthy address and type it (especially on a small touch screen).

    If I want more info and if there is a QR code on an ad, then I will definitely scan it (and thank the advertiser for avoiding me the hassle of typing the address on my small telephone touchscreen).

  • robin

    if you want to get serious with qr codes and need some advanced features, you should check out the beetagg service at http://www.beetagg.com

  • http://www.thenpg.com Lance

    The National Photographer Group has just released a QR Code plugin for Adobe Lightroom 3.0 and higher that allows a photographer to add qr codes to proof images, and create contact sheets of these proof images, to give to their clients.

    When the client indicates which image(s) they like, they simple return the contact sheets with their selection(s) to the photographer, and the photographer uses the NPG QR Scan function to scan the codes via the plugin, and directly in Lightroom, to locate the images in the active catalog in seconds.

    What’s more, if the client happens to scan the QR Code with their mobile device, and the photographer has enabled the feature, the client can then visit a website which gives information about the image, and allows the client to purchase the image(s) directly from the site.

    The only thing a photographer needs to scan the image(s) is a cheap USB webcam.

    Learn more: https://www.thenpg.com/npg_lightroom_photo_manager

  • http://www.lighttheface.com Jon Searle

    Having had QR codes in my ads for about 2 years, I am yet to get a good measure of their usefulness – I have seen people reading adverts then taking a picture of the ad rather than scan the actual codes.. There is still a lot of public awareness needed!

    Thanks to Zibri & Robin for sharing your links – very useful too.

    Of interest, my local town is the first in the world to become a wikipedia town, using QR codes dotted around to give visitors information – Again, lots of press interest but not sure how well its really taking off..

    http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/info/100002/business/1429/monmouthpedia

    All best

  • http://www.mhollandphotos.com Michael

    The way I can see it working is pushing people to deals…QR codes are free and easy to generate online…encouraging people that scan the code which gets them linked to a coupon or something on your site…from there they can check out you work and anything else…I have them on my business cards, facebook, twitter,I put them on photos disks, etc…I think it has brought more traffic to my site, if nothing else…

Some older comments

  • Michael

    May 25, 2012 04:09 am

    The way I can see it working is pushing people to deals...QR codes are free and easy to generate online...encouraging people that scan the code which gets them linked to a coupon or something on your site...from there they can check out you work and anything else...I have them on my business cards, facebook, twitter,I put them on photos disks, etc...I think it has brought more traffic to my site, if nothing else...

  • Jon Searle

    May 25, 2012 01:54 am

    Having had QR codes in my ads for about 2 years, I am yet to get a good measure of their usefulness - I have seen people reading adverts then taking a picture of the ad rather than scan the actual codes.. There is still a lot of public awareness needed!

    Thanks to Zibri & Robin for sharing your links - very useful too.

    Of interest, my local town is the first in the world to become a wikipedia town, using QR codes dotted around to give visitors information - Again, lots of press interest but not sure how well its really taking off..

    http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/info/100002/business/1429/monmouthpedia

    All best

  • Lance

    May 22, 2012 09:36 am

    The National Photographer Group has just released a QR Code plugin for Adobe Lightroom 3.0 and higher that allows a photographer to add qr codes to proof images, and create contact sheets of these proof images, to give to their clients.

    When the client indicates which image(s) they like, they simple return the contact sheets with their selection(s) to the photographer, and the photographer uses the NPG QR Scan function to scan the codes via the plugin, and directly in Lightroom, to locate the images in the active catalog in seconds.

    What's more, if the client happens to scan the QR Code with their mobile device, and the photographer has enabled the feature, the client can then visit a website which gives information about the image, and allows the client to purchase the image(s) directly from the site.

    The only thing a photographer needs to scan the image(s) is a cheap USB webcam.

    Learn more: https://www.thenpg.com/npg_lightroom_photo_manager

  • robin

    May 21, 2012 07:01 pm

    if you want to get serious with qr codes and need some advanced features, you should check out the beetagg service at www.beetagg.com

  • Daniel

    May 21, 2012 05:20 pm

    QR codes are just an awesome way to direct people to your website. If "pulling out my phone to scan a code is often more of a hassle", then you will never take note of a website address printed on some ads. So the website owner is lucky if you remember the address and type it on your computer when back home.

    It probably depends on the percentage of people using their smartphone (or tablet) to surf the web. For those using mobile devices to surf, QR codes are just a very handy (and IMHO, hassle-free) data entry little hack.

    Especially for specific campaign (if you want to deep-link to a specific page of your website), QR codes are much better than asking people to note (?) or remember a lengthy address and type it (especially on a small touch screen).

    If I want more info and if there is a QR code on an ad, then I will definitely scan it (and thank the advertiser for avoiding me the hassle of typing the address on my small telephone touchscreen).

  • Neil

    May 21, 2012 11:52 am

    Excellent article on QR Codes. I am currently using them on my biz card, but not sure if many people are familiar with this established bar code. I understand when creating, you can add design and it will still read! http://www.classicmemories.com/

  • Elizabeth

    May 21, 2012 05:49 am

    Awesome! I have seen these everywhere, especially on cars. I would like one too. Great info. and tips. Thanks!

    http://lpsfunblog.blogspot.com

  • Dylan

    May 21, 2012 03:00 am

    QR codes are lazy and boring.

  • Zibri

    May 20, 2012 10:10 pm

    Why don't you add some style to it?

    Look at this: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1587166/ZQR_rot_blue_op_transp3.png

    And IT STILL WORKS :D

  • Martin

    May 20, 2012 09:32 am

    I'll agree about the writing... But I'd like to add to the topic of QR codes. Though they've been released to the public since 2005, these things have never really gained any traction. Just for the fact that QR readers aren't often included by default with most smartphones, and let's add that not everyone has a smartphone, I'd say that using these is mainly an extra fringe benefit.
    Though QR codes are on just about every piece of advertising now, I rarely see anyone scanning them.

    I'll add, I agree with the author on every point, it's what I've seen in everyone of my marketing classes in University, but pulling out my phone to scan a code is often more of a hassle.

  • John Bokma

    May 20, 2012 07:21 am

    Needs more ! and ?!!! Also, horribly written.

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