As a family photographer, you may sometimes feel like you are working alone, spending hours editing photos and answering emails with no coworkers to keep you company. But the truth is that you are not alone! The family photography industry is full of talented and passionate photographers who are eager to connect, collaborate, and learn from one another. Here are a few ways to harness the power of networking and collaboration in your family photography business:
Tip #1: Collaborate on styled family shoots
Getting out of your comfort zone and collaborating with other family photographers can be a great way to get a fresh perspective. Maybe you want to try out a really epic spot and style the family in a way that your clients don't normally choose. Or maybe you are traveling and decide to collaborate with another photographer who is familiar with the area. This can be a fun and exciting way to learn from each other, experiment with new ideas, and create beautiful and unique images for your portfolio. Who knows; you might just make lifelong friends along the way too – I know I have!
I've had a few different photographers come to Portland from out of town and ask me if I'd like to do a styled shoot with them. Once we traded and photographed each other and our daughters, and another time we did a model call and photographed a beautiful family. It's always so much fun meeting new people, experimenting together, sparking new ideas, and capturing gorgeous images!
Tip #2: Attend small retreats or large photography conferences
Attending small retreats or large photography conferences is another great way to network with other family photographers. These events provide an opportunity to meet other photographers in person, learn from industry experts, and participate in hands-on workshops and sessions. By attending events like these, you can expand your knowledge and skills, make valuable connections, and find inspiration and motivation to take your family photography business to the next level. Additionally, participating in social media hashtags and discussions related to the conference can be a great way to connect with other photographers online and potentially make new friends in the industry.
I have been to WPPI in Las Vegas and have formed some really great bonds with photographers that I met there. Another larger conference I've been to is Clickaway and made plans to meet up with a group of women that I had been chatting o on Instagram for a couple of years. We all got along so well and are meeting up again for WPPI in the spring! I've also gone to some smaller retreats and because there are a smaller group of photographers, you have more time to get to know more people and create lasting friendships. Once you start going to things like this, you will become addicted and it's no longer even about the learning (although that's great, too!) but you start to look forward to the people more!
Tip #3: Join a community of family photographers
Another way to benefit from networking and collaboration in the family photography industry is to join a community of like-minded photographers. This could be a local photography group, a Facebook group, or an online forum. By joining a community of like this, you can connect with others who share your passion and interest in family photography. You can learn from each other, share tips and advice, and provide support and encouragement (like when you're having an editing crisis and need a second opinion😉). A community of family photographers can also be a great source of inspiration and motivation for your own family photography business. I run a facebook group for family photographers and you are welcome to join! We do weekly photo sharing and I am always posting tips and advice.
Tip #4: Go location scouting with other local photographers
Another way to make friends with other photographers is to go location scouting with another local photog. This is an awesome way to discover new and interesting locations for your photo sessions, as well as to have an excuse to hang out and make a new friend. I personally love location scouting with my best photographer friend who lives in my area, but if you don't have any local photographer friends yet, get to know them through social media first and then invite them if you seem like you would get along.
Tip #5: Make friends on social media
Take advantage of social media to network and connect with other family photographers. I love Instagram and facebook for this. Start a group chat with some local photographers or even photographers from all over. I have a few of each! You can become great support for each other for a lot of different reasons. The local group can be great for asking about locations, or whining about the weather (you know you do that!), or even referring sessions out. The broader area group is great for asking for advice on any topic since you will usually get a great mix of people in there. I've seriously formed some amazing and genuine connections doing this!
Tip #6: Refer sessions out to other photographers
One of the benefits of networking with other family photographers is that you can refer sessions out to each other when you are unavailable or when the job isn't right for you. For example, if you are booked for a session on a certain date and a potential client contacts you, you can refer them to another photographer who might be available on that date. In turn, that photographer may refer clients to you when they are unavailable. This can help you to provide a better experience for your clients and to grow your network of contacts in the family photography industry.
But don't stop there. Make friends with photographers who offer different types of photography services, too! I personally get inquiries for things that I don't even offer like cake smashes and weddings and I gladly refer them out to friends who do these things really well.
Now that you realize that networking and collaboration are powerful tools for family photographers, get out there and make some friends! If you would like to join a community with other family photographers and learn from each other, then I invite you to join my Facebook group, Family Photographers Connect. You can also check out my page just for photographers with tons of free blog posts. I look forward to connecting with you!
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