Finally a sunny and not too cold morning, a group of us met at Midi 6 resto in Montreal to reconnect, share and gain insights into networking for photographers. With special guest Jean-Francois Seguin we covered a lot of bases and got the inside scoop on the best tactics for networking as a photographer in the digital age.
The top 10 highlights:
- Enter Photography contests. You never know if you will win and the exposure helps to build your credibility. “If you win one contest, chances are you may win two or more” says Jean-Francois.
- Focus on the main industry contests such as Communication Arts or Applied Arts, it’s where the agencies, buyers, and art directors look for talent.
- Maybe it’s a quote from Woody Allan but Seguin stresses that “Showing up is 70% of success.” So keep at it.
- “There are two things that make a photographer successful;
- you have good quality pictures, and
- you are likeable and people want to work with you.
- Avoid working for free. At least cover your costs or travel time.
- Have a social media platform for your work and start now. When people mention your name the first thing they will do is look online to see your work. Have a website, facebook, instagram. “All platforms are equally important.” It’s like having multiple doors into a restaurant.
- Post on your sites regularly. People only know you through your website or facebook page and regular activity indicates that you are still in business.
- Ad agencies and art directors want to see your personal projects because commercial jobs look very similar and don’t show your style. Your personal projects may be the defining factor to get you that job.
- We’ll see in the next 5- 10 years the landscape of digital photography changing with more women and a break from traditional concepts of photography.
- Building your network and reputation takes time and you need to keep working on your connections and believe in yourself.
Thank you to Jean-Francois Seguin who generously offered his insights.
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