If you had told me when I first started out to network with local photographers I would have thought you were crazy! Make friends with my competition seriously? It all started when I went to a Jasmine Star workshop in La and she told us to network and create a google calendar with other photographers. This will benefit you in a huge way because it gives you the opportunity to refer a bride to another local photographer if you are already booked on the same day. And you know if you refer to someone else they will refer back to you as well! I met my AMAZING second shooter at the Jasmine Star workshop and love her to pieces! This girl is in her first full year (after second shooting for me last year) and has 10 weddings booked, I have to say I helped a little with that hehe. I have also met some inspiring photographers through my group on facebook that runs the software behind my website…Showit. This year I became active with the Showit Community and attended United in Santa Barbara where I was finally able to meet some of these people in person and learn from all of them! A few weeks after United I was off to WPPI for my first time and I was so excited to be walking the halls the first day and running into fellow “showiteers” as we call ourselves and saying hello. I seriously felt like someone huge in the photographer community when people came up to me and said hello because they recoginized me from my posts in the group or from United. During WPPI all of us got together for dinner and drinks at Cabo Wabo and talk about what we had changed or learned from United. It is seriously an amazing thing to connect with someone who has the same passion as you and wants you to grow just as much as you want yourself to grow. This July I will be having a showiteer from Lousiana, and one from Canada flying down to stay with me for the weekend and help second shoot my weddings. And in October I have a showiteer from Idaho flying out and of course I am taking her to Disneyland hehehe. So find photography groups on facebook, or meet up groups. Just connect with local photographers. Even someone you admire like I cannot even imagine I rubbed elbows multiple times with my idol Katelyn James. I remember her saying hello to me at her workshop and giving me a hug like we were old friends I felt so special (she is also just that awesome anyways) I have only one word of advice some groups on facebook or some photographers do not understand the importance of networking so they may not be the nicest people if that happens just walk away and try again trust me their are nice people out there! I am always here to help you with anything you need and always looking for interns to help with my shoots and weddings! Here are some photos of my amazing photographer friends from WPPI this year!
P.S. Turns out two of the photographers I met in Santa Barbara live right here in Long Beach, in fact one walks her dog past my house all the time. Kristina with Kristina Lee photography is so sweet and took time out of her weekend too take new photos of me for my website… that is a true friend in the biz!