The Benefits of Community Building with Other Professional Photographers

Posted by Eugene Nagawiecki

 

The Benefits of Community Building with Other Professional Photographers

Has it ever happened to you:

The light bulb goes off. You’re sure the idea is brilliant. You want to share it with the world; shout it from the rooftops; tell all of your friends!

The only thing is you’re all alone.

Then as time goes on the idea that once seemed so immaculate; so flawless – game-changing! – is slowly chipped away by the doubting mind.

With nowhere to turn to share it, the idea sits in your mind demanding attention to which it gets too much and suddenly your mind starts to tear it apart to the point you utter aloud: “Maybe this isn’t such a great idea after all.”

If only there were a group – say network – of peers like-minded, in the same boat – to which you could appropriately pluck and share your idea before it’s left to over-ripen and likely spoil still on the vine.

This, my dear readers, is just one of the many cases in which networking and having a quality network, pays dividends.

The Benefits of Community Building with Other Professional Photographers

In fact, co-founder of IPS Mastermind and exceptional newborn photographer, Dorie Howell declares networking “a great, great resource for any person in business.” Then driving home the ideology is her co-founding colleague, and masterful wedding photographer Rachael Boer stating “if you’re just ‘a lone wolf’ you really limit yourself in terms of possibilities for growth.”

But networking shows itself in many ways. You can network in general – and the benefits of that are equally as profound – and then you can network with peers in the same field.

While some might feel “a little cagey,” in the words of Rachael talking with other pros as they might feel it’s their competition, it’s better instead to – as Mrs. Boer concludes – strive to create a “community that supports each other and grows and helps each other.”

Furthermore, for those pros out there who feel like spending time with other photographers would just be redundant, consider these words from Dorie:

having that community [of other professional photographers]...is so great because I can say ‘you know I had a client and this issue came up,’ or ‘I’m having an issue with this particular product that I’m trying to offer,’ or ‘I want to do a special,’ or something like that, and by having such a large community to bounce ideas off it gives validation to what I’m doing, [and] makes me feel not so alone....”

In fact, Dorie and Rachael’s creation and platform, IPS Mastermind – with its Facebook community of over 60,000 members of photographers (and growing) from all over the world is part validation that photographers appreciate a place to “talk shop,” as Dorie says.

So you’ve now since resurrected that once wonderful idea to it’s formal golden glory. It’s bouncing around more anxiously than a toddler on a sweets diet; and you know that now it is important and healthy to let it out as opposed to keeping it bottled up to rot.

You also know that places exist to talk amongst peers, but still the question remains:

Where exactly to go to share your photography; your business revelation?

The Benefits of Community Building with Other Professional Photographers

There are no two better places to look than the aforementioned IPS Mastermind and the bi-annual Way Up North Convention.

IPS Mastermind is a collection of the most serious photographers from all over the world who have a common space on Facebook to share ideas, business experience, and learn from the incredible resources and educators the IPS brand provides. Their Facebook group has reached over 60,000 members and focuses on educating photographers in the art of in-person sales to elevate their business and never fail to reach a profit goal.

Way Up North, on the other hand, is a group dedicated to the brightest and most devoted professional wedding photographers and photography minds from all over the world.

What is exceptionally great about Way Up North is, despite them having an online community as well, the experience they provide a professional wedding photographer is unmatched.

In fact, twice a year the group holds its hallmark convention in a pre-selected, picturesque European city and venue that leaves even the most creatively-blocked photographer flooded with proactive inspiration. For instance this September will see an already sold-out event at the Astor Film Lounge in Cologne; but worry not following will be a soothing spring show in Nice, France April 2-3. Oo la la ;)

[Tickets are now on sale for a 35% discount; get them while you still can.]

Yet, despite their idyllic locations it’s hardly the city and physical venue that leaves photographers acclaiming it as “Epic” and wanting more upon conclusion.

Rather, the experience is also known for attracting some of the most notable names in their respective industry to help educate, inspire, and promote the professional photographer audience.

The Benefits of Community Building with Other Professional Photographers

That is worded properly as the event bill always goes beyond the industry of professional photography to ensure a complete and comprehensive experience of value for its attendants.

At the most recent installment of Way Up North in Stockholm, Sweden, for instance, the cast of presenters included not only renowned photographers Lindsay Adler, Andria Lindquist, and Anna Kuperberg (among others), but also Jacey Lamberton, Erin Bishop, and Karin Hägglund – a marketing specialist, wedding planner, and motivational speaker respectively.

For their Cologne and Nice events the line-up promises to be no less diverse and distinguished.

I close by addressing my change of word choice for Way Up North going from referencing it as a ‘conference’ to rather an ‘event.’ This was intentional, as in the words of the event’s manager (and that tremendous wedding planner) Erin Bishop, it’s “a conference on paper, but that’s not really the word for what it is….,”

I honored the formal term ‘conference’ and then chose to use ‘event’ reason being as an attendee in Stockholm it truly is a combination of invaluable experiences extending two days always in a fantastic location – similar to an event such as a music festival, or sports tournament.

Erin, however, chooses a better term to summarize Way Up North. Rather than ‘conference’ it is “community.” She specifically uses this word as the show is nothing short of “a bonding experience,”

one that “thrives beyond the two days of the show and spans continents and hops oceans afterwards.”

So there you have it; two incredible places to explore to improve yourself, your craft, and your business.

Has it ever happened to you: You have an incredible idea that your community confirms is great and it ends up changing your life forever?

With IPS Mastermind, Way Up North, and intra-industry networking get used to such a happenstance.