Something that isn't often discussed, but plays a big role is community. If you're a photographer, new or experienced, you'll benefit from getting involved in a community. Let's dive deeper.
1. Your Local Community
It's generally good to be involved in your local community, but how exactly does it benefit you as a photographer? Well, it gets your name out there, for one. It also shows the people in your area what kind of person you are. Are you present? What kind of personality do you actually have? Do you give back or volunteer? A few summers back I reached out to a local animal shelter and offered my services free of charge. We worked together and cranked out an adorable calendar for a fundraiser. Not only was it fun, but it got my name out there, allowed me to volunteer my time and services for good, and helped me make connections in my community. There was a time I also volunteered as a photographer for Halos. They provide support for families during the loss of a child. That opportunity was by far the most humbling and heartbreaking. But I was incredibly grateful to be able to use my gift in a way that helped others. I'm a firm believer that each person is given a gift or trait and it's up to us to figure out how to use that gift to give glory to God and support the people in our community. I highly recommend you check out Halos by the way, they are a wonderful organization. But, I'm getting slightly off topic. To summarize, getting involved in your community is good for your business, good for your soul and good for the people in your community. Try looking for volunteer opportunities, local events or even your local chamber of commerce.
2. The Online Community
This one requires a little less effort to get involved in. When I say the online community, I mean Facebook groups primarily. I'm a strong advocate for this because I've personally experienced so many benefits of being involved in these groups. Anytime you're looking for advice, support or just general opinion, you can find what you're looking for in these groups. It's up to you which ones to join, there are many. To name a few, these are some that I'm in; Cassidy Lynn Education (She is an awesome photographer and a wonderful educator. Check out her Insta as well as the courses and podcasts she offers), The LawTog, Photography Swap Around The World, and Styled Shoots In Minnesota & Wisconsin. I'd also recommend getting into some of the local mom's groups,city word of mouth pages and some second shooter groups (good for finding work as a second shooter or to hire a second shooter.) Try it out and you'll see the benefits in no time!
3. The Photographer Community, Specifically
Best for last. Get to know some other photographers either online or locally (local is best). If you can form friendships with local 'togs you'll always have someone to discuss business with, hang out with, go on photographer retreats with and even second shoot with. By knowing other photographers in your area you can also compare what you're seeing out there... "Is it just me, or has it been a super slow year for bookings??". Oh yeah, you also have someone to vent with, someone who 100% gets your frustrations on that guy that had his phone out the entire wedding ceremony, or the family member that followed you around with their phone taking pictures behind you all day. Trust me when I say photographer friends are a blessing.
Community is a wonder. If you want to better yourself and better your business, join a community or two.