A career in photography can be awesome. You get to travel, meet interesting people, and capture moments that are special to you and your clients. But to get the most out of your career as a photographer, networking is key. Why? First, networking is how you make valuable connections in the industry by meeting other photographers or potential clients who might need your services. Second, networking gives you the opportunity to learn from others in the industry. This is especially helpful if you’re new to photography but still if you need some advice on how to approach certain situations or get better at certain techniques.
So how do you actually go about networking as a photographer? Here are some tips.
Attend Photography Events
Try to attend photography events in your city or area. These can be anything from photography workshops, meet-ups, trade shows, seminars, or conventions. It’s an ideal way to connect with potential clients and other professionals within the industry in an informal setting: agents, editors, makeup artists, etc who might be able to help you with your work.
At these events, always have business cards or even a spiral bound book of your best photos with you, and be prepared to talk about your work. Introduce yourself to other photographers and don’t forget to ask them questions too as this is how you’ll connect.
Leverage Social Media
Social media is one of the most powerful tools for networking, making connecting with potential clients by showcasing your skills a lot easier. Instagram is especially useful for photographers, but Facebook and Twitter can be great platforms too.
Start by creating an account on the platform of your choice and then following other photographers, models, agents, and all potential clients. Post pictures of your work often and take advantage of hashtags to get more exposure for your work. Be sure to interact with others in the industry by commenting on their posts or sending them messages (when appropriate).
Join Professional Organizations
Joining a professional organization can be a great way to stay up-to-date on industry trends, get advice from other photographers, and develop valuable relationships. Consider joining local or national organizations like the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP).
Once you get in, take advantage of the resources available to you. Participate in workshops and seminars, attend conferences or meetings, and get involved with volunteer work. Introduce yourself to other members of the organization and start building relationships.
Monitor Your Progress
As you network, consider tracking your progress. This will help you understand which strategies are working and which ones may need some improvement.
How to monitor your progress? Track events you attend, conversations you have, and any new contacts. Jot down any feedback or advice you get. Also, keep an eye on how many followers or likes your social media posts get with apps. That way you’ll know what kinds of posts you should repeat and at what prime times of the day.
By following these tips you’re sure to get the most out of networking as a photographer. Remember: networking is all about building relationships, so be genuine and authentic when connecting with others in the industry.