June 10, 2010
|  filed under: Business, Friends, Photography, Thoughts, Tips

Something caught my eye while reading an interview over at Nick Onken’s blog with Katie Noble, the photo editor at the Improper Bostonian.

When Nick asked, “What advice do you have for photographers getting into the game?” one of the responses Katie gave was,

“It’s also really important to have friends who’re in the visual business. Since photography is an individual field (you don’t meet other photographers on a shoot), I think it can help with technical questions, borrowing/sharing gear and making connections with potential clients. And it’s also nice to grab a beer with someone who you admire or can understand your situation.”

I’ve found this to be so true…and it’s one of my sneaky ways of learning new tricks. :)

In all seriousness, a lot of photographers are rockstars…we are ego-driven…and with that territory, comes ridiculous attitudes and notions that we are “the shit.” Sometimes, that’s true…but can’t we all be the shit? Why yes, I think we can.

Which is why I try and surround myself with people like this: people that are obviously creative and good at what they do, but without the ego.

Over the past several months, I’ve worked with several talented photographers. It’s rare, but undeniably fun, to get a couple rockstar photographers together…a few gorgeous models together…and just have fun taking pictures. No assignments. No egos. No deadlines. Just good old-fashioned picture taking madness.

What’s cool about it, for starters, is the networking. We all know people…and it’s always good to know more people who are like-minded and creative.

Secondly, the friendly competition pushes us to be better. Rather than going into a shoot ready to do the same old thing, the competitive nature pushes us to try new things…

And on the other end, to learn new things. No matter what level we happen to be at, we all do things differently. There have been instances where my assistants have taught me something new. We’ll be packing up equipment or decompressing at the end of the shoot and talking about photography and they’ll bring up something I had never thought of before. We all bring something new and fresh to the table…and you’d be surprised what you can learn from just shooting the shizzle with another creative photographer.

I encourage collaborations on projects with photographer friends…someone you know and trust, and someone you admire. Make some pretty pictures and learn some new things. If you’re an ego-driven photographer…get over yourself. Just kidding…sort of. But seriously, it’s cool to have friends in the biz who you can shoot ideas off of, borrow gear from, share critiques with, and get advice from. You can never have too many talented friends.