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T4P – Networking!

Tips for Photographers (T4P) is a weekly feature where I talk about a cool tip that I think will benefit my fellow photographers. For more T4Ps, click here!

Today’s tip is about something very important to me, which is networking. I think there are two types of photographers. The first is the kind who hordes everything they know, refusing to teach anyone anything unless they pay an absurd amount of money (if at all), and who thinks that if they share their “secrets” for free they will lose all their business. These photographers live sad, lonely lives and often have businesses that are always on the edge of failing.

The second photographer knows that it is their style and personality that makes them successful, not some secret marketing gimmick or Photoshop action or anything like that. They enjoy meeting and helping other photographers, and understand that the photography industry is a community of good people. These people openly network with other photographers, share what they know, and learn from those around them.

Thankfully, the latter type of photographer is becoming much more prevalent these days. It seems like everywhere you turn, successful photographers are sharing their advice and the tips that have made them successful. And, if you notice, the photographers who share the most are often among the more successful in their market.

I encourage all of you to be that second type of photographer. Get to know the photographers in your market, attend guild meetings such as your local PPA chapter, organize Photographer Happy Hour, or simply make yourself available as an assistant or second shooter if needed. You’re likely to make a lot of great new friends, and you’ll be surprised at how it may actually help your business (I book around 5-10 weddings each year that are referrals from my peers).

You can also participate in online communities. The three I frequent most are the Flickr’s Starting a Wedding Photography Business and Wedding Photography groups, both of which are free to join, as well as the Digital Wedding Forum (DWF). The DWF is probably the single greatest collection of professional wedding photographers in the world. There you will find some of the greatest wedding shooters on the planet, all offering their insight and advice on a daily basis. It’s not free, but in my opinion, it’s worth every penny. They also have a great forum for beginners called DWF Start, which is the perfect place for someone who is just starting to get into wedding photography. I highly recommend it! Open Source Photo is another great forum with lots of successful professionals, and it’s free which is always good. For those of you in Texas, I recommend Texas Photo Forum, which can be very helpful for networking with your neighbors.

If you’re not already networking with other photographers, either online or in your community, you’re missing out on a very valuable resource of both information and friends. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and network! :)


  1. rachel said . . .

    I appreciate photographers like you who ARE willing to network and share your work and insights. I’ve learned so much online just from reading blogs like yours!

    Posted October 14, 2008 at 10:58 am | Permalink
  2. Rachel Absher said . . .

    Right on, Stacy. I totally agree. And a big thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge.

    Posted October 14, 2008 at 11:15 am | Permalink
  3. ChristanP said . . .

    I agree. I’ve learned so much from other photographers like yourself who are willing to share their successes.

    Thanks for starting these posts!

    Posted October 14, 2008 at 1:24 pm | Permalink
  4. Terri Campbell said . . .

    I appreciate all that you share and I am a regular stacyreeves.com stalker! LOL!!!
    I have joined a FREE forum of photographers, all types of photography and covers everyone
    from the hobbyist to the professional. Check them out…www.digitalphotopros.com and let
    them know that Terri Campbell referred you!

    Posted October 14, 2008 at 9:40 pm | Permalink
  5. Ben Q said . . .

    Hey Stacy, That’s awesome fabulous tips. WOOO HOOO!

    Posted October 15, 2008 at 9:23 pm | Permalink
  6. Anthony Quintano said . . .

    Yes Thank you stacy for sharing your advice with us…Its very valuabe. Your work is amazing and I hope to take beautiful pictures like yours one day. Im getting the Canon EOS 5d Mark II the second it comes out.
    This is a big step coming from a former nikon user.

    Posted October 16, 2008 at 8:26 am | Permalink
  7. Bill Millios said . . .

    Some great books on networking:

    Bob Burg, “Endless Referrals”
    Susan Roane, “How to work a room” (targeted at women, but a great read for either gender)

    Also, don’t forget your local Chamber of Commerce, and Business Networks International (http://www.bni.com)

    Posted October 16, 2008 at 2:17 pm | Permalink
  8. Your photography is awsome.

    Posted October 31, 2008 at 8:27 pm | Permalink
  9. Evie Curley said . . .

    This post really spoke to me. I am really big on sharing, not that I’m Ansel Adams or anything but, if someone asks me a question, I am going to give them a straight answer. I have been trying so hard to network with local photogs and one in particular has been as you described; secretive, hoarding, and she will ask questions of me expecting answers but refuses to return the favor. It is very, very frustrating. I wish everyone had the mindset that sharing and befriending one another can be a good thing! Your website is fantastic and I have gotten so much information in the few minutes that I’ve been here. Thanks for writing this post and everything else, too! :)

    Posted April 5, 2009 at 9:46 pm | Permalink
  10. You are so sweet to share you wealth of knowledge…I am so grateful! =)

    Posted August 14, 2009 at 1:44 am | Permalink

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