As photographers we face the same, if not very similar, problems every day at the start of our business. As business men we face the same challenges, if not very alike, of maintaining and improving our company.
Photo meet ups
But when I sit at some local photo gathering in different cities, you are always there listening to how great their business is going, how many gigs they are getting, that they don't have time to sit and talk and share, but always ready to let their lungs squeeze to emit words of criticism as soon as someone has a picture to show.
I am part of Facebook groups where, originally, photographers had to share their knowledge and pictures to collect constructive criticism. Either business related or photography related. But I a good number of groups I joined are only about bragging of their skills, only investing the time to upload a picture and waiting for LIkes, Shares and Praise. And sit there looking at their only post waiting. Instead of scrolling down and check what the others are doing, feeling inspired. So now we have a bunch of people either staring at their monitors, where their shot is uploaded or checking their phone every two seconds to check if anyone noticed their awesomeness in that one shot uploaded in eighteen different groups.
I started chatting with a photographer I met just recently. We had entire conversations through facebook, twitter and email. I will not mention their name and soon you'll understand why. I'll give her a fictitious name such as: Mandy.
We agree to get together for a coffee and we did. And I was not expecting what happened afterwards.
A few words about Mandy: she is a very well known baby and children photographer and has had numerous successful exhibitions in two or three different countries.
She openly said she had been having difficulties. Difficulties in finding honest and humble photographers to collaborate with. To have a constructive discussion without ending up rolling your eyes to the ceiling due to too much self praise. She went on and on and I felt happy. Happy that I was not the only one with similar struggles and could openly discuss them with someone else. Find someone who can challenge me and push my limits.
Photography Hangout Express
I then realized there are solutions, there are groups on facebook you can join which are interwoven with this kind of fabric. I have created a group of this kind some time ago along with Alexander Koval from Out-n-About to gather minds of this kind. We have kicked off pretty well and getting better! There is also Fotografando which is mainly in Italian but English is widely spoken. If you know of such groups or places where we can all share and grow please feel free to let me know in the comments below!
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