They say the business life, especially in the beginning stages, can be lonely and dark. Though there is some truth to that, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Contrary to popular beliefs and attempts, you can’t and shouldn’t do everyone on your own. Yes, we realize you can’t exactly hire a bunch of staff either but that’s not what we’re suggesting. We’re talking about creating an environment for yourself that fosters community and accountability. Two easy reminders why you need to open up and reach out and hold up your end of the bargain. Here’s how:
It’s lonely when you think you can do it all on your own. When you think that you know it all and have nothing to learn. Trust us, we’ve all been there. However, this is so far from the truth. In fact, you may know a lot about photography or editing or technical skills, but there is always something to learn and the most important thing to learn is experiences.
How can you speed up the curve of experience without aging? Meet people who have been where you are right now.
One way to avoid isolation is by putting yourself out there. Not to embarrass yourself because you might be new to the game, but to gain insight, advice, and a network of creatives who have been there before. These people are more valuable than any textbook or lecture you will get at a school.
It’s not enough just to be present with these individuals, though. Now, we aren’t asking you to find twenty new friends either, but we are asking to create relationships.
Networking can be scary but when you end up sitting down with a group of people over pizza or coffee suddenly you remember they are people too. This is such a great opportunity to brainstorm, share experiences and stories, and find a niche that you can trust.
The photography business realm should never be one of competition. Instead, it should be a community of accountability. Choosing to surround yourself with like-minded people will help you gain important knowledge but it will also help you hold yourself accountable. It’s just too easy to slack when you are alone.
One final way to kick this up another notch is to look for a mentor. By the way, they don’t have to be older than you. Crazy, right? Turns out, you can start photography at any age and you can be a professional photographer at just about any age.
Seeking someone who will actively answer your questions, give you advice, and maybe even let you shadow them while they work are going to be some of the best people you can learn from. Even if they aren’t in your niche or your style preference, everyone has something to offer.
Accountability is really tough. We have this idea that we can do it all on our own, but it’s just not possible. We get lazy or anxious that our work isn’t good and we are much more likely to give up without support. Support from strangers is still support, after all. If you are new to the photography business or have been around for a while but haven’t found your group yet, it just takes a bit of looking. They are out there and they are waiting for you to share your experiences too.