How to Build Community with Other Photographers
Photography is an awesome place to build relationships. When you were a photographer, you are often building lots of social relationships with other vendors or collaborators. But when it comes to building a photography community, it can sometimes be a little more difficult. There is a lot of value in seeking collaboration over competition when it comes to building a photography community. Building a photography community can lead you to referrals, and friendships with people who can commiserate over the same things that you do. Here’s how to build community with other photographers.
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Let photographers you admire know that you want to connect with them by shooting them a little note. Just a little something that says “hey! I think you’re cool!” will often suffice. Photography can genuinely be a lonely profession. Photographers are often looking for others in the same boat to connect with. This can also help them and help you with referrals. Start small by just shooting them an email or an Instagram DM to say hello.
More often than not, people will hesitate to get a cup of coffee with others that they haven’t met yet. This is just part of modern human nature. Save them time in their schedule by inviting them to a virtual coffee. You can even offer to Postmates them a coffee as that would be a memorable consideration. This allows them to make time for it in their schedule without feeling the pressure of having to go out and commute to a mutual meeting spot.
Give photographers that you like a shout out on social media! Put together an Instagram story of some of your favorite local photographers. Start a Twitter thread and tag your favorites. Give them a little platform to display their work to your following. Show them admiration because you care.
One of the biggest ways to support small businesses when you can’t afford to financially support them is to show them love on social media. Engage with the social media channels of your fellow photographers. Leave them comments and let them know that what they are doing is great! Follow them, like their posts and share your enthusiasm for their craft.
Give your fellow photographers something that they may value. Whether this is a free Lightroom presets or a template that may help them in their business, show them some value that you can provide. Let them know that you are there to be a helpful resource in their lives and in their business.
Need some new headshots? Maybe instead of pulling out your tripod, you can support local photography businesses. Hiring other photographers not only supports your photography community, but also gives you a different perspective in your business. See how other photographers are handling themselves behind the lens and are handling their business. This is a great way to support other photography businesses and also to understand more to be able to grow your own.
Start a newsletter! Start sharing things that may be useful to other photographers. Also share your own work in there to show what you are made of. The newsletter is a great way to keep in semi-frequent touch with people without feeling pushy. Flodesk is an awesome way to create beautiful, creative newsletters without feeling “salesy”.
Get involved with online photography communities. Whether this is a forum like FStoppers or a Facebook group, there are plenty of photographers out there who are spending time online creating and participating in helpful discussions. Join in on the conversation and get to know your fellow photography peers online.
Joining digital education programs like CreativeLive can introduce you to other photographers in your community. Learning alongside other photographers is a great way to get to know others who are interested in the same things as you are. Whether or not you are at the same level of experience, educational programs both in-person and digitally can provide lots of opportunities to get to know others with shared interests and common goals.
Creating community is ultimately about where you see yourself fitting in. Wherever you like to hang out online or in-person is where you should start building community. If you are an avid user of Twitter, for example, build your photography community on that network. Same with Instagram. If you love to use Instagram and you are on it every day, you should be building community there where you are most active. Having a community of fellow photographers can be beneficial to you emotionally, creatively, and businesswise.