This Photzy Snap Cards review was something I’d never expect myself to be writing here on Shotkit.
Just as a bit of background, I’ve been a professional wedding photographer for over 6 years now, and have been playing around with cameras for over twice that time.
I’m probably not really in need of something that helps you to improve at the basics of photography.
However, after discovering the Photzy Snap Cards and recommending them to my wife (a self-confessed photography novice), I thought it’d be a good idea to tell you my thoughts on what I believe might just be the best photography product for beginners of the year.
What are Photzy Snap Cards?
[Side note: I highly recommend you check out the whole ‘digital locker of free downloadable tutorials‘ that Photzy has to offer.]
Last year Photzy came up with an ingenious idea – why not create a printable education product designed to help photographers get great photos while they’re out and about.
I always recommend investing in books on photography to improve your skills, but let’s face it – no one wants to be lugging a whole book around with them in their camera bag.
Then there’s always your smart phone and good ol’ Google to the rescue, but sometimes it’s just nicer to have a tangible product to refer to.
Photzy Snap Cards are the perfect compromise – 44 printable photography lessons that are small and light enough to take with you everywhere, but still jam-packed with all the information you need to get a great photo wherever you are.
After printing out the Snap Cards and encouraging my wife to take them out on her walks near our new home on the Gold Coast, here are our thoughts on them.
What we like about the Snap Cards
#1 | Design
There’s a lot of educational products out to help beginner photographers get the most out of their cameras, but I’ll be the first to admit that a lot of them look a bit… well, ugly!
Fortunately, it’s obvious that Photzy have invested a lot of thought into the design of the Snap Cards – not only is the flow logical and clearly laid out, but they also look great too.
Everything is laid out in a way that encourages you to look at all the example images, and read every last word on the card – something an
impatient novice photographer like my wife would normally skim over :p
#2 | Content
Following on from the design of the Snap Cards, I’ve got to say that the content is top-notch too.
I feel a little big-headed saying it, but the truth is, as a professional photographer I already know all the information outlined on the Snap Cards. However, for a beginner like my wife, all the information is new… and there’s a lot of it!
Normally this could be a bit overwhelming, but the authors have done a good job at including only what’s necessary to get a great shot in the field.
Photography is an enormous topic, and I appreciate how the Snap Cards limit the lessons in a way that there’s enough great information, but not too much to bog you down.
You can see a full list of all the topics covered on the 44 cards here.
#3 | Longevity
This is a bit of an arbitrary advantage, but the beauty of a digital product that’s intended to be printed is that you can print it off as many times as you like.
Initially, I printed only the lessons that would apply to my wife’s activity that day. For example, if she was going for a walk in the evening, I’d print out the lessons on Photographing Sunsets, Night Photography and Flash Operation.
Or if her dad was coming to visit, I printed off the lesson on Photographing Men (see above!)
Often, after coming home, the Snap Cards were a bit worse for wear (since I’d only printed them on regular paper). After that I decided to take the time to print all the cards out at once, then laminate them all with a cheap $15 laminator, like this portable one from Amazon.
It’s a bit of an extra step that I appreciate not everyone will want to do, but for a little more time invested, we were left with a set of cards that could be beaten around a bit out in the field.
If you live near an Office Works or similar stationary store, I’m sure you can pay a few bucks to get the cards printed and laminated for you.
#4 | Affordability
For full disclosure, I was given a copy of the Snap Cards for free since I know the guys at Photzy.
However, as with all the reviews on Shotkit, this in no way influenced my Snap Cards review – my opinions here are 100% impartial.
The Photzy Snap Cards are valued at $220 – to be honest, I think this is way too expensive.
Fortunately though, the current sale pricing offers over 80% off, making the Snap Cards only $29… which I actually think is too cheap!
Being able to get this much useful information to help you improve your photography in an innovative product is excellent value for money.
(I guess that’s easy for me to say since I got the Snap Cards for free, but nevertheless, having this much great content is definitely worth more than 29 bucks.)
I’m not sure how long Photzy intend to run the sale, but they’ve labelled it a ‘limited time offer’ on their site, so I’d recommend you grab them now just in case they hike the price again…
As with all the Photzy products, there’s a no-questions money back guarantee too, which is a massive plus if you’re a first time buyer of their products.
What we dislike about the Snap Cards
#1 | Printing
This isn’t really something that annoyed me personally, but rather something that I can imagine could annoy some photographers who buy the Snap Cards. Designed to be printed at A4 or A5, it could be a bit of a nuisance getting the cards to print out the way you want.
Most printers can print on A4 or A5 sized paper without any trouble. It’s also easy to drag and drop the Snap Cards PDF files into Photoshop or any other image editing software, and print two of them side by side on A4 paper.
I cut the first few A4 print outs into A5’s by hand, but then decided to do them all at once using a guillotine at Office Works.
There’s no real need to cut the cards out into A5 size though – you could keep two of them adjacent to each other on an A4 piece of paper, or even print one each on A4 paper which I experimented with too (see image below).
Being a digital product that’s intended to be printed, the Snap Cards are also formatted perfectly for mobile devices too – I can see many people using them on their iPad, for example.
However to truly experience them, I’d recommend printing them out… but admittedly it is a little bit of extra work.
#2 | Colour Only
Following on from the previous gripe, you really need to print the Snap Cards out in colour.
Again, I’m fortunate enough to have a colour printer, but I’m guessing that some may not have easy access to one.
Printing the Snap Cards out in black and white doesn’t really work, since the example photos are dull and difficult to make out.
Printing them out in colour at your local print shop can cost between $3~10, depending on the paper you use, where you live, the shop you use etc etc – lots of variables that can affect the price you need to consider adding on top of the $29 cost.
Is it a big deal? No, not really – the Snap Cards are cheap enough as it is, so paying a little extra to get them printed nicely in colour isn’t too bad, and going the whole hog and laminating them all is a good idea too.
#3 | Narrow Gutter
This is a small complaint, but something that I was tempted to do when I’d printed out all the Snap Cards was staple complimentary ones together – so, all six of the Exposure Triangle cards, for example.
However, as the ‘gutter’, or ‘margin’ on the edge of the Snap Cards is so narrow, it’s hard to do this without hiding some of the content.
I guess the Snap Cards weren’t really intended to be fastened together in this way – their real advantage is that you only need to take out one or two cards with you at a time.
Also to be fair, the Snap Cards look pretty damn good just on your iPad or iPhone too!
Photzy Snap Cards Review | Final Words
Photzy have created an excellent set of educational cards to simplify the process of learning photography and getting great photos.
Initially I thought that the Snap Cards were more suited to absolute beginners, but they can actually be a useful tool hobbyists and intermediate level shooters too. Even for a pro like me, it’s good to revise the basics every now and then too.
My advice: When you download the Snap Cards, as tempting as it is to send them straight to your iPad, I’d recommend you go the extra yard and print them out. Laminate them too if you have time.
Being able to hold and refer to the relevant Snap Card while you take the shot is a fun experience, and according to my wife, a rewarding one too!
Thanks to the lessons contained in the Snap Cards, her camera knowledge is actually quite impressive now, and her photos have improved a lot too. I’ve got a feeling she’ll be borrowing from my collection of expensive full frame cameras soon…!
All in all, I highly recommend the Snap Cards if you’re looking to improve your photography in a simple, fun and affordable way.
Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post contain affiliate links which help support Shotkit.
Mark Condon is a British wedding photographer based in Australia and the founder of Shotkit.