So “networking” has been a buzzword since the early 90s. Everybody is networking, or so they say. As a photographer this is one of the ways I network that does a couple of things that I think all photographers want to do.
- Get your business card into a strangers hand and introduce yourself.
- Get people to know that you are a real photographer, not just “a guy with a camera.”
- Create interest about your work and get people to at least go to your website or blog one time and hopefully return in the future.
- And most important tell other people “hey I met this really cool photographer.”
Your main goal is to be known and to have people think enough about your work that you get called upon to do paid work. Wow paid work… that has a nice ring to it. But paid work in the photography business doesn’t just happen, you have to make it happen. And it will happen. For those who don’t know me personally I have a catering business that I started several years ago from practically nothing. At this present time, although the catering makes me money, I am tired of it, it was never a passion, it spawned out of necessity of being laid off from a job. But through “networking” the business grew and it became well known. Well known to the point that I do very little in advertising and if I did no advertising at all I still would get calls. Because it is a unique catering business that specializes in on-site BBQ & pig roasting something not too easy to find in New Jersey and because we do a professional job we are sought after. I get people all the time who say “I’m so glad I found you” and the pass on our name to others. That is where I want to take my photography and illustrative work. I want to take it to a place where I’m sought after and then the PAID WORK will always be there. Another funny but true thing is: many times I get hired to roast a pig by a person that knows full well how to do it. But the “heard” I was good at what I did and they would rather pay me to do it.
Photography is a saturated market to the 10th power. You do not need the best camera, just a good camera & lens. You DO need to be a good photographer and just as good an editor. In a day and time where soccer moms & grandparents throw down 3k + on a camera, put it in auto mode, start taking awesome shots and then call themselves “photographers” and the are (because they have a camera) well that is when you need to do what they can not do. You need to really start digging and find a new way up that “photography hill” otherwise you are just another guy with a camera.