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How Connecting With Other Photographers Can Benefit You

It is no secret that the photography industry is heavily saturated and competitive. Photographers get so wrapped up in wanting to get all of the clients, that sometimes we don't stop to realize the importance of making connections with the very people we are competing with. Networking and getting to know other photographers on a personal level can have many benefits.

Here are a few reasons that you should consider turning your competition into positive connections!

 

Learning Opportunities

We all have different shooting and editing techniques. That's what sets us apart from the rest, because what we do is a form of art. We aren't for every client, and every client isn't for us, and that's okay. You can learn a lot from other photographers, especially those with more experience or who really know their stuff. Go out on a shoot with another photographer and watch them in action. See how they interact with their clients. Pay attention to how they give direction with posing. Check out the backgrounds they choose. Ask questions. You may learn to see your surroundings in a whole new way. Learning from an extra set of eyes can be very, well... eye opening!

Sit down for coffee and small talk and watch someone else edit. Post processing is a never ending learning adventure. So take advantage of the opportunity to learn from someone else whenever you can! 

 

More Referrals 

Who better to refer you to potential clients than a fellow photographer? Nothing makes me happier than having someone reach out to me because someone else in the field referred me. Maybe they were booked that date, or maybe the location wasn't in their area, or maybe it was just a request for a genre they didn't shoot? Either way, a professional in the same field as you recommending you reflects very well on you as a photographer. It gives the client a sense of trust and shows you are respected in the field. Remember to return the favor when the need arises! I can assure you it will be much appreciated. 

 

Constructive Criticism

This is something many photographers struggle with. Beginners struggle with critique because they feel humiliated at times when they are having their images knit picked through and all of their imperfections pointed out. It is even tougher to learn to accept critique from strangers. Even the more experienced photographers sometimes struggle with critiscm from fellow photographers because they feel they are too advanced for such a thing. Which is far from true. I've always said, the day we stop learning is the day we start going down hill. Having others we can trust and in our corner can make taking critique easier. It's an easier pill to swallow when it's someone that we have a more personal connection with and respect. Rather than feeling "attacked", it really makes you feel like you are being helped by someone who genuinely wants to see you improve. Being friends with other photographers can really help you grow because you get a sense of acceptance in the industry, and it feels much less intimidating. 

What it boils down to is this... You can either participate in some of the hostility towards other photographers that seem to surface in this industry, or you can rise above and make connections with your competition. You have nothing to gain from bashing others or participating in business drama. But, you have a lot to gain from making a few friends in the industry!

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