There are plenty of things we should learn in schools that we don’t. Things like time management, how to change a tyre, taxes, good interview skills, writing a CV, and networking. Being a photographer means you have to wear many hats! And one of them is being able to attend photography networking events. Networking for photographers is crucial — you really need to be able to stick out your neck, go out there, and tell people what you offer.
It can be daunting AF but it can make a huge difference in the trajectory of your photography business. So take a seat and listen up, because class is in session.
As a photographer, you are your brand. You’re ultimately selling yourself! People want to work with awesome people — and networking is the best way to show off who you are and what you’re about.
For a bride and groom, it’s not just about the photos you produce. They want to know that you’ll be easy to work with and bring a good, positive energy to their wedding day.
Networking for photographers is all about expanding your contacts and meeting new people who might want to do business with you or send referrals your way. A big focus of networking is building strong relationships with wedding vendors and other photographers. It’s seriously one of the best ways to grow your business and can increase the number of clients you book for your wedding photography every year!
Insider tip: Wedding photographers often end up recommending friends when their calendar is booked. Vendors — from wedding planners to florists — do the same thing. YOU can be that friend!
It’s understandable if the idea of networking horrifies you! I think that’s the natural response. For introverts, it can be especially difficult. Striking up a conversation with a complete stranger is very challenging for many people, even those who enjoy networking.
But even if you’re quiet, networking is definitely still possible! An effective way of getting past this feeling is to change your intentions for the conversation. Instead of trying to talk to people about yourself or your business, put the emphasis on them. It’s so much easier to listen than it is to talk — and the best part is, you’ll still be networking.
You never know, you might even be able to help others with advice. And they’ll definitely remember you for that! If you go in simply wanting to learn about the people there, it can take some pressure off.
Insider tip: Take business cards and follow up with the people you meet. Once the spark of the relationship is lit, you need to fan those flames with a follow-up email, coffee or drinks!
Putting in the effort to develop new relationships and build a strong photography network for yourself can pay off exponentially down the line. That’s the power of networking, honey!
Wedding Conventions And Seminars
Not only can these be a great opportunity to learn, but a really useful way to meet others in the wedding industry in a very welcoming space!
Perhaps the easiest and least intimidating step of networking is connecting on social media. Find the photographers that you admire on Instagram, one of the original photographer networking sites, and build a meaningful relationship that will be mutually beneficial. Simply throwing a bunch of “likes” and comments on their content won’t cut the mustard. Show that you can provide meaningful contributions and let your light shine.
Facebook is another good social network for photographers. The groups can be especially useful for finding work. There are plenty of groups out there full of friendly photographers keen to share their experiences and insights. Think of them as online photographer workshops!
In some areas, wedding photographers organise local photographer meetups. If you hear of one, jump at the opportunity. They’re such a great opportunity to meet people and build new friendships.
What’s great about them is that everyone else is there for the exact same reason. And if there aren’t, why not organise your own?
The big leagues! Bridal shows are one of the best places for networking as a wedding photographer, with all kinds of wedding vendors. Vendors can be so valuable because they’re in the same industry as you but you never compete for clients. And don’t forget about the most important people at bridal shows — the brides and grooms!
Wedding photography involves many hours of editing and independent working, so even if you’re initially intimidated by networking my bet is that you’ll grow to love it. Want to find out more about networking and how to break into wedding photography? I got you. As an experienced Melbourne wedding photographer, I’m here to help you build your confidence and grow your business. Send me a message and let’s have a chat.