You have likely seen those funny looking new barcode-looking things that seem to be popping up everywhere. I have seen them printed in magazine ads, on the outside of an envelope from a charity organization, and all alone on a sheet of paper stapled to a telephone pole. Quick Response, or QR code, was developed by Denso Wave, Inc. in 1994 as a quick method to inventory parts in the automotive industry. Since QR Code is two-dimensional it may be scanned from any direction, resulting in a faster scan time. QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave, which does not require a license to use the code as long as it is used as stipulated by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS). QR Codes many be scanned with PC-based QR Code scanners or via an application on many smart phones.
So is this something that photographers can utilize in their businesses? Certainly! It seems to me that there are at least three basic uses for QR Codes for the typical photographer. And since the QR Code may be placed in both print and electronic formats, photographers may customize codes to provide various types of information.
The first use is to provide information that will be saved for later use. For instance, I might include a QR Code on my business cards that, when scanned, will automatically transfer all my contact information to your smart phone. Rather than manually entering contact information from the card to your phone’s address book you can obtain the same information via QR Code in about two seconds. Try this one to see how it works!
The second use is to provide some type of information that will not be saved. For instance, the photographer may send out an email that includes a QR Code notifying clients of a special sale.
The third use is to drive people to a web site, YouTube video, event announcement, or social media site. For instance, if I want the readers of this article to visit my site I might include this QR Code in my article. I might also place a QR code in my email signature with a link to my online portfolio. The possibilities here are endless and limited only by your creativity.
Generating QR Code is very easy, with ready access to a number of free online tools. Some of the more popular QR Code generators include:
So what are you waiting for? Think of as many ways to use QR Codes as you can. If you would like to share them with others via Twitter include @AmateurPhotoMag and @manualDSLR in your message.
And if you have not yet done so, download a QR Reader application on your smart phone and start scanning. All the best…Mike
Mike Kennamer is an amateur photographer from Alabama who operates ManualDSLR.com. He is also a regular contributor to Current Photographer.com. You may also find him lurking around Twitter learning the craft by checking out your best photos. You may follow his Tweets @ManualDSLR.