Finding Friends in Our Industry
In the age of social media that we currently live in, it is so difficult to not compare our work with the work of others. Comparing their Instagram feeds, their following, their amount of bookings they appear to be getting, their style. We hear all the time about not comparing our selves to avoid feeling as if we are not enough, and that is absolutely true, but we need to bring the theme of “Community over Competition” into the conversation!
I am very fortunate to have a small group of local photographers that I am blessed to not just call my peers, but also my friends. We can bounce ideas off of one another, seek advice from one another, request constructive critisim on work we have done, borrow/rent equipment from one another when something goes ary, vent to one another when we are having difficult days (or clients), book each other for our own family portrait sessions, learn of new locations for shoots, and we refer clients to one another.
We have embraced community over competition, because at the end of the day there is more than enough work to go around and not one of us seem to have the same style of shooting/editing. Some of us specialize in newborn photography, some in family/children photography, some in weddings, some in branding photography, and some in product photography. Some of us have stepped away from the business for a little while, some of us have just started out, and some of us are seasoned vets in our industry. We are what you would call a melting pot of photographers.
So, when someone reaches out to me about newborn photography, I quickly can refer them to my peers within this group, and the thing is, they repay the favor and refer clients to me as well. This is the beauty of Community over Competition – the knowing that you are not alone in this business, and that there are people who have your back!
Raise your hand if your family and close friends do not fully understand what all that you do on a daily basis as a photographer. I’m raising mine right now. They see that we work weekends and not ideal hours, they see that we are up late at night editing, but that is sometimes the extent of what they see. We are “picture takers” in their eyes. So often we can’t always get the full understanding from our families when things go sideways, and this is why I am stressing the importance of finding industry peers in your area and connecting with them on a more personal level.
If you do not have a group that you have connected with, I encourage you to start reaching out to fellow photographers in your area to meet up for coffee to at minimum meet other people in your field, but I bet if you keep it up, you will soon find a little community that will fill your cup the way my group has filled mine.