One of the biggest challenges for many photographers is networking, and it starts with taking the first step.
If there is one thing that eludes many photographers, it’s networking. Marketing yourself and even simply talking to people can seem difficult for lots of folks, but it’s even more difficult for folks who are introverted. So, we talked to a number of successful photographers about how they network and what they’re doing right now.
“Lately, I’ve been strengthening my relationships within my existing network by asking for coffee dates and sending planners, florists and venues my studio magazine. I send the same magazine digitally to potential clients!”Vanessa Joy
“I think the key to good networking is to not worry about what someone can do for you, it’s better to think about what you can do for them and of course just enjoy meeting new people. When you are only interested in what you can get, people can tell and they stay away.”Tony Gale
“In 2020 I have made it a mission to meet more women doing amazing things. I don’t like the feeling of approaching someone blindly, so every now and then on my social media I will ask the people that follow me who I should meet and ask if they connect me. I have made some amazing connections that way!”Jen Rozenbaum
“I am a notorious introvert, left to my own devices I can happily live in my own headspace for days. Being in an industry that requires a lot of human interaction with new people – one of the best pieces of advice I ever received is to pretend in your head you are interviewing people. Ask them questions, most humans like to talk about themselves and don’t often have a listening ear. You will be amazed by what you find out and commonalities will pop up to continue the conversation. The other great advice I received was this; make people like you or be likable. As weird as that sounds – if people like you as you for being kind, honest and generally low maintenance to work with – they will move mountains for you. I have been on many shoots where the video Directors have saved me hours and helped me to increase the volume or quality of my work by allowing me to use their lighting setups on a shoot. It’s come back to me in many ways over the years, but honestly, the best thing I can tell you is to always be kind!”Ingrid Irsigler
“Networking is not a trick. The easiest way to connect with people is to begin by being authentic. It comes from a genuine feeling of curiosity and requires respecting the person and building a relationship—in any amount of time. By taking the attention away from yourself and focusing on others, meeting people becomes easier. People can feel your authenticity when you reveal your true self and what you care about. Your genuine interest in a subject will attract people with similar interests and they, in turn, will attract other like-minded people. You can create a powerful community and a collaborative spirit by tapping into your passion and authentic self.”Ami Vitale
“Networking amongst peers almost always leads to work from clients and other avenues. Keeping your powder dry, being positive and generally helping others will always yield to positivity in the return form.”Kevin Mullins