Tips for Introverts: Photographers Share the Secret to Better Networking

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.

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The Power and Importance of Mentorship in the Photographic Community

We’ve all found our way into the photographic community at different times, in different ways, with enormous hurdles to surpass, no matter which way we found ourselves falling into this passion and career path.

Whether college-educated, self-taught, or anywhere in between, it’s undeniable that the barriers of entry to our community can at times seem insurmountable. Regardless of how spectacular your undergraduate program, the dedication of your instructors, or your determination to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible, inevitably we’ve all discovered roadblocks, gotten stuck, or were at a loss of where to turn to for help. This is where I believe the most powerful, positive tool available to us can be found when provided ethically, responsibly, and synergistically – mentorship. Continue reading…

Charlie Naebeck: How to Make it as a Photographer

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All images by Charlie Naebeck. Used with permission.

Photographer Charlie Naebeck is an artist residing in New York City. He knew from the start that the business would be all about networking, making deals and creating work that excites people. His business, Spiffy Photos, does headshots and portraits–but he’s also done commercial and editorial work. On the side though, Charlie is a street photographer.

Besides shooting though, Charlie is also a photography course instructor here in NYC. Most of all though, he’s a realist instead of being an idealist when it comes to the industry.

 

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The Business of Party and Event Photography

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All images by Jay Electro Blum. Used with permission.

Photographer Jay Electro Blum lives the life that so many photographers want: he shoots parties, interacts with some of the coolest people, and gets to express his creativity by interacting with people and capturing moments as they happen. Jay was a graphic designer who wanted a big change in life, and so he started shooting parties. At first, the pay wasn’t so great but eventually it got better.

What Jay realized more than anything though is that party photography requires a photographer to have some of the best people skills out there. And those people skills translate well when it comes to getting new business.

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10 Myths about Becoming a Pro Photographer and How to Debunk Them

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 Sports lens review photos (6 of 27)ISO 4001-500 sec at f - 6.3

This is a guest blog post from Nancy Young, who runs the excellent PhotoDoto website. She writes tons of inspirational articles on photography and web design, despite the fact that she is an economist by education. She enjoys reading, learning SEO and also losing her mind to French movies. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.

When dreaming of becoming a professional photographer, it’s easy to hide behind rose-colored glasses, which make everything look easy and fancy. Most people are attracted to the idea that they can get paid for their hobby. But becoming a pro photographer is really challenging. There are a lot of people who started photography businesses, but failed in the first year, as they struggled to make the money that they expected to.

Owning professional equipment, receiving compliments from friends on your photos and having the desire to become a pro is not enough to become a professional photographer. Here I have assembled 10 of the most common myths about professional photography to warn you about possible mistakes when going into this business and how to avoid them.

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On the Goals To Become a Professional Photographer

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm 23mm f1.4 product images for review (3 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

Quit your job. Right now. Go ahead, open up an email to your boss and tell them you quit. Go ahead, I dare you.

No, I don’t really dare you.

Every artist or person that identifies themselves as a photographer has at one point or another aspired to become a pro–shooting photos and developing creative ideas for clients that you get paid for. Yes, that’s the romanticised part of the job that you probably talk about in the profile you have on a dating website or when telling folks about your job, but the truth is that for the most part, photography is largely a desk job unless you hire a team.

And with that, you should start thinking a bit more logically and carefully.

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What 7 Concert Photographers Wish They Knew When Starting Out

Photo by Todd Owyoung

Photo by Todd Owyoung

All images in this story were used with permission from their respective owners

Music photography is the passion of so many–and it can be a very tough business to get into without the initiative to build connections. This is true of so many different types of photography genres, but it especially true when covering the music scene. It can make starting out really tough.

We talked to seven famous concert photographers at the top of their game about what they wish they knew when they first started out.

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How to Start a Photography Side Business

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Oggl 2.1 iPad (1 of 1)ISO 16001-100 sec at f - 5.0

Every photographer starts somewhere, and when it comes to becoming a full time professional and having folks pay for your creative services. Many get their start by creating a side business and more and more putting increasing amounts of effort into it until they can work off of it alone. It’s not at all simple and requires a focused and steady plan as well as commitment.

At the end of the day, you’re going to become a business owner–and that means that you’ve got a whole load of other responsibilities. So here is how you navigate them.

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Thoughts On Introverted Personalities and Photography

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According to Dictionary.com, the word Introvert means:

a person characterized by concern primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings.”

Which brings us to a subject that I’ve been discussing back and forth with many photographers for months before I even sat down to pen this piece. It’s about introversion and being a photographer, painter, or any sort of artist to begin with. Introverts are very much concerned with themselves and in many cases, their social behaviors can either be all about them or there can be a big lack of social behavior. With the growth and development of the web, introversion has also become even more widespread.

An introverted photographer shoots for themselves: they don’t think or care about what a client wants, they shoot for what they want. A hobbyist photographer that is totally fine taking photos of flowers, cats, or shooting nudes is a perfectly fine person to be. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being introverted and being all about just you. But with that said, the person is so absorbed in what they’re doing that they start to care less and less about others and only about furthering their own ambitions.

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How to Pitch Your Photo Story and Get Results

The Phoblographer Project idea

Thousands and thousands of photographers try to get published, featured or promoted every year–and thousands fail. Your photo story may be wonderful, and it may be the diamond amongst all the jewels but it just may not stand out enough. So how do you get yours in the door successfully?

Imagine if you will for a second that you are blindfolded and that you have to somehow or another get to a loved one. But you are surrounded by 500 people, and they’re all screaming out to you. Your loved one is also trying to get your attention and their voice is being drowned out by everyone else’s. Additionally, everyone is pushing you in one direction or another. But in the end, you have to get to your loved one.

That’s what it’s like to be an art buyer, photo editor, magazine/publication editor, and gallery gatekeeper. And you as the photographer are the loved one. That person needs to either find a way to get to you or you need to find a way to get to the right person. For ease of phrasing, we’re going to call them all gatekeepers.

Here’s how to pitch your photo story and get results.

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FlaskMobs Take Over the Streets of San Francisco

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There was a time when flash mobs were a huge thing, when hordes of people in big cities would gather to collectively do something out of the ordinary in full view of the public. Well, the Bay Area photographers have their own version. In true San Franciscan fashion, they took the idea behind flash mobs and changed your typical photo walk into something just a little more radical.

Aptly named the FlaskMob, the monthly photo meet and greet was first organized by photographer Evan Thompson in November 2013 as a more fun way for photographers to network as well as learn from one another. At every meeting that lasts for several hours, photographers join in on the merry-making armed with not only their cameras, but also with flasks (thus the name), as they go about the Bay City streets to document its usually vibrant and crazy nightlife.

From the looks of filmmaker/photographer ‪Whitney Dinneweth’s short documentary of the group’s third meeting, this is definitely different from your usual Saturday night photo walk.

It might be cool to hop on this bandwagon should you ever find yourself in SF, so be sure to visit the group’s Facebook page or sign up on their website to get updates. For photos from their awesome meetings, follow them on Instagram.

And do check out Dinneweth’s video after the jump to see what the group’s been up to.

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Op Ed: 7 Sad Truths About the Photography Industry And What You’re About to Get Into

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer CAnon 1D X and 24-70mm f2.8 II Top Chep cookoff at Photo Plus 2012 (20 of 23)ISO 400

I’ve just come back from a much earned week long vacation with lots of time to relax and contemplate many things about the current state of the photo industry. But what I also realized is that on my time off and a return to my social life is when folks will always pick my brain for advice and questions. It’s inevitable.

But after thinking about things, I came to a bunch of very big conclusions and realities that many try to mislead folks just like you on.

And today, inspired by our post entitled, “This is Why Your Pictures Suck,” I’m here to set a bunch of falsities right in an unbiased and uncensored tone.

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