As photographers, most, if not all of us, are small business owners. Yes, we can socialize with our friends and family but no one quite understands this business, like another photographer! It’s hard to explain to your 9-5 or even your SAHM friends and family that you are still working at 1 am on a Saturday night. Having a social network is important. In this article we will show you why you need a photographer social network and how to find or build one!
Work from home professionals lack a built in social network.
Photography is a draining profession. We put ourselves into our work, abusing our bodies, working long hours in less than optimal situations and conditions, putting countless hours into crafting, editing and completing works of art. For most people who spend long hours at work, they have a built in network of people to socialize with. Ashley from accounting, Mary from Marketing. There is time in the work day to gossip, vent, laugh and blow off steam. But, when your office is in your home, and you rarely move from in front of a computer, you lose that built in network of the workplace.
The good news is, there are literally thousands of photographers in the world. It’s a fact. Which means that there are MANY people who DO exactly what YOU do! There are people, built in to your world who GET IT! You just have to find them. Social media and online resources like Facebook groups and forums provide the perfect outlet for finding and building a photographer social network.
Finding a social network to support you as a photographer.
So the bad part of this scenario is its kind of like high school or college all over again. The good part is that it’s easy to start finding a social network… just ask around. Attend a convention and meet people. Ask them where they “hang out” with other photographers. Word spreads fast and finding friend groups will not be hard. You will come to find that there are many friend groupings in the photography industry. You will inevitably fit into one, or many! Just be yourself.
Can’t we all just be “Frenemies”?
Many photographers would have the tendency to want to feel like each of these photographers are the “competition” (read: enemy). But having that kind of outlook will isolate you. They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer… so listen to your mom. It is okay to be social with others in your industry. I mean who else is still awake at 2 am and riding an adrenaline high? Quite often, after weddings, we would go out to eat or get a drink with our competition and other industry experts.
We called ourselves “frenemies”. (Friend + Enemy = Frenemies — OK so it’s a phrase that was coined to describe the unique relationships you have with your competitors.) While we socialized with each other and even recommended each other as professionals (only if we didn’t have the date open of course), we never mistook these other photographers’ places in our businesses. There was no need to tell them everything or share all our secrets but if someone needed help, and asked, we would help each other out.
Benefits to having a photographer social network.
Beyond having a safety net of people who could fill in for you at a shoot, social photography networks have many benefits. Having a social network can help you alleviate stress allow you to grow as a human being and business person. Being able to vent about a crazy client to someone who really understand is important. The people in your social network can be consulted for things like business changes. They can tell you what works and what doesn’t. They can also tell you if you are about to make a HUGE mistake. Your social network will help you celebrate your successes and comfort you in your failures. These are the people who will “do life” with you as a photographer.
Your social photographer network people will help to hold you up when photography knocks you down and they will help to inspire you when you want to quit (and I promise you, stay around long enough and you WILL want to quit at some point). It is so important to have a social network to ensure your sanity and longevity in the photography industry! Go out there and make some friends today!
Don’t forget to join us next week when we talk about building a creative network for yourself as a photographer.