I want to write more often about equipment I use and why but there are plenty of reviews on just about anything cameras and lenses that I struggle with offering something different that would have value. Before I write about any product or service though, I want to say that currently I am not sponsored or endorsed by anyone thus having no influence on my reviews.

During February, I spent nearly 100 hours putting together 2 days worth of Keynotes for my Santa Fe Photo Workshops class and 2 other Keynotes for presentations at NANPA (North American Nature Photography Association) and FCCC (Florida Camera Club Council) events in Florida. Of course I always back up my work regularly for piece of mind. Well, I found out recently that getting my own personalized flash drives that I can carry on my keychain were a really great idea and affordable.

I am always looking for new, innovative and practical ways to brand myself without making everything a hard sell. Recently, I have been using flash drives from USB Memory Direct. My “DeYoung Photo Workshops” logo in my favorite shade of blue is very sharply and nicely inscribed to the shaft of the drive.

USB Direct has a very nice selection of drives that you can place your business logo, web site, or any branding message. I have the Clover model with a nice chrome finish, shaped like a key which, coincidentally, fits nicely on a key ring or small caribiner made for keys. The company was easy to work with and had a very fast turnaround time. I really like having a marketing piece that is also very practical and useful.

I’m using my branded drives in two specific and beneficial ways. First, when I give an instructional-based photography workshop, I place PDF versions of my Keynote presentations on these flash drives and pass them out to workshop participants at the completion of the workshop. Speaking of Keynotes, I now back up my presentations on these drives and have one with me at all times as they are so easy to carry on a keychain or lanyard. After spending countless hours preparing a presentation, having a back up that is always with me gives me great peace of mind should disaster strike with my laptop the day I am giving a presentation.

When I have a portfolio review with an art director or an advertising agency, I always have a presentation ready on my laptop. However, I always bring a back up my digital portfolio on a flash drive. Most of the time, a conference room will have a projector and big screen already set up and ready to just pop in my flash drive, making it easier than setting up my laptop. At the end of the review I give them a drive as another leave behind piece and something else to remember me by.

I have not gone through my first 50 yet but that is likely before the year ends and I will be ordering more.