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Archive 2012 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?
  
 
tobicus
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p.1 #1 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


How close are you to other wedding photographers in your community, in terms of building relationships with them, making friendships, giving and receiving referrals, or even knowing who else is gunning for the same kinds of clients you are?

We're just getting to know the Chicago scene, and would like to make friends, but are also interested in learning how other folks around the country (and globe) interact with other photographers whom they consider peers.

To get a bit more abstract, do you think it's important to have knowledge of or relationships with other photographers in your region, or do you identify more with photographers who shoot far away from you, but shoot similarly or have similar pricings and aesthetics?

There are a lot of musings in this thread, but I'm thinking aloud and hoping it leads to some good discussion.



Jun 21, 2012 at 01:21 AM
canerino
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p.1 #2 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


I don't really network locally (due to lack of time), but i consider the guys I do know in my market to be friends (Jason prez, Tony, Pat Furey, Katie merkle) and close associates (rich lav, inku, Miguel, Scott V, chris livlif). I feel like I can call anyone of them with any question/request and have it fulfilled (directly or indirectly). Additionally, I've become very friendly with many guys in other states. I find all of this pretty invaluable.

To answer your questions, I don't feel like anything is forced. I genuinely like these people for who they are, not what they know. Hell, Jason just picked up some stuff from ikea for me. I thunk if your friendship originates organically you can ask these photographers just about anything.

Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but it's what I do and it helps me tremendously!

Edited on Jun 21, 2012 at 12:31 PM · View previous versions



Jun 21, 2012 at 01:54 AM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #3 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


I'm friends with a few locals and we second shoot for each other sometimes and meet up for lunch etc occasionally. We do send referrals to one another when possible.


Jun 21, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Tony Hoffer
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p.1 #4 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


We have a bunch of close friends locally and through our workshops have developed some truly awesome relationships across the US and abroad. However I wouldn't say that we ever "network" per se. We mostly just make friends with people we like without much regard to if it helps or hurts the business.


Jun 21, 2012 at 02:01 AM
KibblesNbitz
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p.1 #5 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


I just started, so I don't know anybody...except for knowing of the people that post on here in the NJ area...

Anybody want to be my friend?



Jun 21, 2012 at 02:10 AM
lisy78
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p.1 #6 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


I've made friends at workshops, at WPPI, on here...

it's been awesome.. I have actual friends, meaning that sometime we chat on the phone, or fb, or whatever all over the country. I've stayed at a few of their homes and had a couple stay in my home. It's great.

As to locals I also network, and by network I mean hang out... with locals... I have a few that I'm closer to and who have really helped out and it's really awesome to be a part of both a global and a local community of peeps who do the same thing.

Strangely enough I don't view the locals I know as "competitors" in an adversarial kind of way... I guess the deluge of craigslisters, uncle bobs, out of towners falling over each other to come shoot in Miami have set themselves up as the "target" of our collective "animosity" in a sense... so yeah I don't give a crap if I lose a booking to someone local I know.



Jun 21, 2012 at 02:18 AM
ckhagen
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p.1 #7 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


We are insanely close here locally. Hardly a week goes by that many of us don't have lunch, dinner, drinks after weddings on Saturday night, etc... We routinely lend and borrow gear, cover sick friends, always refer each other, and second shoot constantly. I laughed this morning because I met with a bride and the photographer they met with before me and the one coming in after me are both some of my closest friends. We babysit for each other, heck one of my photographer girl friends called me when she was in labor and had me come to the hospital with her and her hubby to support her, so yeah I was there when she popped out the little guy. We are all really THAT close and it's fantastic. There's a few people on the fringe that we don't know all that well, but for the most part all of us here are each others best friends.

It's hugely beneficial. There's all these great things that come out of it like the fact that we never undercut each other, we have no problem discussing it when several of us meet with the same person, and usually we end up knowing why we didn't book someone. For example three of us met with the same bride a few months ago and I booked it. The two friends of mine who didn't book it, when we were talking about it over wine a few days later I was able to tell them that the bide told me she didn't like the limited colors they had on their KISS books. I mean, that's good to know. Did they change their offerings after that? No, but it's just good to have that kind of info.

Another's neat little thing that's come from it is the planners all knowing the relationships we have. They always mention to the brides how neat it is and how those of us that shoot solo always have amazing backup to step in for emergencies. Having them stand behind us during that conversation is awesome.

It's helped a few times when we've figured out that brides were messing with us too. No one gets far with telling three people verbatim... "I'm *dying* to have you shoot my wedding, but my fiancÚ won't let me spend this much so can you beat the price of the person he wants?".

It's really just great having friends who are like coworkers who understand this market.



Jun 21, 2012 at 02:26 AM
pinktutu
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p.1 #8 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


We have a very active Facebook group in our area, and we do meet ups every month-ish. In fact,I just met another photographer who is based a few miles from me for some coffee. Saw that she posted that she's kind of new to the area, so I hit her up and we chatted. I like making new friends; I'm just not so great in crowded environments, so networking is so-so for me.


Jun 21, 2012 at 02:29 AM
lisy78
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p.1 #9 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


pinktutu wrote:
We have a very active Facebook group in our area, and we do meet ups every month-ish. In fact,I just met another photographer who is based a few miles from me for some coffee. Saw that she posted that she's kind of new to the area, so I hit her up and we chatted. I like making new friends; I'm just not so great in crowded environments, so networking is so-so for me.


maybe you should try showing up to networking events wearing your screenname



Jun 21, 2012 at 02:46 AM
friscoron
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p.1 #10 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?



Mike,

Here in the Chicago area, it's a little different than that lovey-dovey hippy peace stuff they got going on in Philly. About once a month or so, I get together as many Chicago wedding photographers as possible. We meet down in the basement area of Al Capone's old hideout in downtown Chicago. I have some of my boys rough 'em up a bit and break a few cameras, crack some glass, that sort of thing. I figure a few more months, I should have this whole Chicagoland area devoid of wedding photographers, except those craigslisters who can have the penny-pinching brides.

I know you and Thorne have been avoiding me, not attending my "meetings" but that's okay, I actually had one of my boys call you this week to set up a wedding consultation. I look forward to meeting you then.



Jun 21, 2012 at 03:31 AM
 

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pinktutu
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p.1 #11 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


lisy78 wrote:
maybe you should try showing up to networking events wearing your screenname


Won't that be awesome if I secretly did
Picturing everyone in their underwear to relieve your anxiety is so 90s.



Jun 21, 2012 at 03:39 AM
bthatton
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p.1 #12 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


I had lunch with a bunch of wedding photogs this afternoon


Jun 21, 2012 at 03:40 AM
DavidWEGS
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p.1 #13 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


I get to hang out with Steve Tinetti on occasion, and have several other locals who GTG for coffee and a chat a few times a year.

Steve and another local couple bailed me out a few weeks ago and I really value having them as friends too. Great group here in CO.



Jun 21, 2012 at 03:50 AM
johnrg
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p.1 #14 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


DavidWEGS wrote:
I get to hang out with Steve Tinetti on occasion, and have several other locals who GTG for coffee and a chat a few times a year.

Steve and another local couple bailed me out a few weeks ago and I really value having them as friends too. Great group here in CO.


Robin Usagani and I met here on FM and have 2nd shot for each other recently. Maybe we need to organize a Colorado FM meetup soon...



Jun 21, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Robin Usagani
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p.1 #15 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


I introduced Steve to Pho' (Vietnamese noodle) a few weeks ago. I just want to make sure he wont ban me if I snap one day on this forum.


Jun 21, 2012 at 03:58 AM
DavidWEGS
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p.1 #16 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


Hi John/Robin. Let's do that. Pho' sounds interesting too.




Jun 21, 2012 at 05:24 AM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #17 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


I am close with a couple togs in my area (well they were in my area until we moved to Cleveland).
I am better networked through FM....
FWIW Jackie and I would not be where we are today without the help of A LOT of people I have met through FM. I have had the chance to shoot all over the country with countless photographers and really value the relationships I have built.
We have also built some pretty great relationships through Genesis and I am extremely happy Jackie and I were able to attend this year. It was very inspiring for me to be around like minded people.

I never really put much effort into building relationships with local photographers because of time and also because the few instances I did try I was not treated well.

Professional networking is great if it can be done right.

I value my friends here on FM WAYYYY more than anyone I know locally (except for my obvious close friends who also happen to be FM'ers).




Jun 21, 2012 at 06:51 AM
RichardLavigne
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p.1 #18 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


bthatton wrote:
I had lunch with a bunch of wedding photogs this afternoon


Indeed... I was craving Udon. That was so good.

I would concur with what Chuck said. I have a group of 7 other photographers that are basically local, NY/NJ tri-state area. I feel comfortable asking them any business question I can come up with and answering their questions just the same.

I'd say I then have a second group of photographers that extends a little broader... Chuck, Tony, Spencer, Josh Gull, Andy Stacey, Doug Treiber. These are guys whose work I highly admire... I've chatted with them on here and on Facebook or even on the phone. I would say that I'm just as friendly with them as the first group, but since we aren't as close in physical distance... we just don't interact as much.

I think it is important to have friends with mutual interests... in all of your life's interests. Speaking specifically about photography.. it is nice to have people to bounce ideas off of and get feedback from, people that are knowledgeable on the demands that are we deal with.



Jun 21, 2012 at 12:20 PM
ted nghiem
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p.1 #19 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


Not entirely close, but then again I am terrible at networking and meeting new people.


mmm...pho...



Jun 21, 2012 at 12:46 PM
tobicus
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p.1 #20 · How close are you to other wedding photographers?


Thanks everyone...it's good to hear different folks' thoughts on this. Friscoron - hah. Very nice.

It sounds like these relationships just grow organically, and for a lot of members here, friendships have come through having a shared network in this forum for trading ideas, referrals, and so on.

I guess I'm in the right place.




Jun 21, 2012 at 05:31 PM
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