Some people may look at photography as a wonderful profession to earn a living from, or at least have a second paycheque to supplant their main income. Being able to find veteran lens men from whom you could learn is a big key in advancing your skills with the camera. In her article for the Digital Photography School hobbyist website, Lara White said it takes a lot of effort to build contacts if you ever decide to hit the professional circuit.
The sights of London are already spectacles too hard to miss, even for casual “shooters.” There are many professional studios and even paparazzi whose candid shots would later end up in the gossip papers. If you are parlaying your craft with the camera into a passion worth being paid for while creating new leads, it makes sense to attend networking events in London organized by outfits such as BNI London.
Not like a Sore Thumb
Well-organised London networking events can run a large spectrum of industries and professions, and even in your own profession, there may be small groups whose thrust may or may not be quite up your alley. A networking events specialist can sit down with you and discuss your options. A company like BNI London has events laid down into four classes: a referral-based event, speed networking, specialist events, and the larger, “unstructured” group events.
Developing the Bond
A networking event is a chance to cultivate partnerships with other photographers; at the same time, you can scope out the crowd and determine who may or may not benefit from your business before you make a move. When you find a potential lead, be patient and let them finish talking to the person in front of them before you make your approach. It is also important to know in advance how many photographers are participating so you would have enough time to prepare business cards for a large number of people.
Crafting your leads is about earning the other photographer’s business card, but you also must get to know them personally. Ms. White stresses that if the other person gives you his or her business card, make the extra effort to call the person back no more than a day after the event and, when appropriate, schedule another meet up.
As a photography business survives on securing the best clients and being able to have pictures published in reputable magazines or journals, every lead you can land counts. Make sure, though, that the quality of your shots are sharp and evocative, reflective of a level of skill your photographer-peers themselves can appreciate.
(Source: 4 Reasons Why Networking Is Critical to Going Pro, Digital Photography School)