Categories: Business & Photography.
The photography industry is different from so many ultra-competitive industries. Maybe it’s the fact that the entry barrier is kind of non-existant. Maybe it’s that we all kind of understand what it’s like to start at the bottom and build yourself up. Maybe it’s that we’re (mostly) all just super fun awesome people? Haha kidding…sort of. Don’t get me wrong, the industry is still competitive, but at least from my perspective, it seems like there’s no shortage of cheerleaders to help you push through all the challenging parts of running your own business in the creative field.
If you’re a photographer reading this, I’m writing because I feel like there’s still people out there who feel alone in this industry and haven’t quite been able to connect with others. And I want you all to know how much of a difference having friends in the industry can make. The internet and social media is seriously amazing. It’s the easiest way to connect and forge relationships with photographers (or anyone really) you may not have before because of geographic barriers. One of my 2012 goals was to make a lot more new photographer friends, and this year more than ever I’ve grown and learned SO much because of those relationships I’ve made.
Of course last year at the MJ 2 Day I made so many new friends that I’ve stayed in touch with and been able to watch grow and to email when we’re frustrated or confused or just looking for advice or to vent. But this year I’ve been able to second shoot and really work with other photographers and build these awesome friendships. I’m so grateful for the photographers who have let me shoot alongside them this year…Paige Winn, Katie Stivers, Carmen Ash, and Anna Klapp. It’s been so awesome and I have learned SO much. And then I’ve got my ever trusty Dana Cubbage and Jenny Karlsson who I email with…almost daily. Those two are the best sounding board and most reliable feedback givers ever.
It’s also been amazing to connect with photographer through blogs like Bayside Bride, A Lowcountry Wedding, The Daily Dog Tag, Every Last Detail, and Heart Love Weddings (and a big shout out to bloggers too because I’ve made some great wedding/lifestyle/pet blogger friends as well!). And of course there’s always other vendors within the industry. The list goes on and on. And obviously there are so many other wonderful photographers and people I have been fortunate enough to connect with this year, but listing them all would just get silly.
So my point is to get out there and meet people. Don’t be afraid, because you’re missing out on SO much more by holding back. These friendships have not only helped me figure out little challenges in my business, but have also made me feel so much more part of a community. There are TONS of photographers out there, and even more so, there are photographers out there who, believe it or not, totally get what it’s like to be in your shoes. Sometimes I feel so alone being young, full-time right after graduating college, and living in the middle of nowhere. But as I realized last weekend, Anna K. is basically in the exact same shoes as me! We had SO much to talk about, and I can’t tell you how awesome it is to have someone who completely gets how scary it is to be in this position right now.
So get out there and make friends! Ask a fellow local photographer to lunch (try to move past the whole competition thing – we’re all in this to collectively make the industry better), reach out via Facebook or Twitter, send a nice email, or even call that person and say hello over the phone. It’s not that bad and you’ll come to realize that what you take away from it and are able to give to others is worth it’s weight in gold :)
PS. Cut me some slack on this picture… for whatever reason when photographers get together they always forget to get pictures together. So this is me shooting Anna while she shoots Allie and Bryan at their wedding in St. Simon’s last weekend. Random but fun haha!
Hi! I’m Brittani, and I’m a South Carolina and Georgia wedding and portrait photographer. I’m also a wife, bonus mom, animal lover, and passionate about creating real, timeless, and romantic images that tell a story and are full of life. I’m inspired by light, love, the outdoors, and adventures with my family. Feel free to browse the blog to see more of my work, learn a bit about my life, and don’t hesitate to send me a note if you’d like to chat!