Photography, like any form of art, can feel like a lonely process. However, you do not have to isolate yourself. You can engage in a community. You can network. You can meet other people with similar interests and learn something new from them.
Whether you are only starting out in the photography sphere or have been taking pictures for years, you could benefit from reaching out to other professionals. Here is how to build your portfolio with the photo community:
Start out by searching through online forums and photography communities for likeminded individuals. Photography encapsulates a broad range of subjects, so try to get as specific as possible when it comes to your search terms.
Is your primary interest in wedding photography? Nature photography? Landscape photography? Pick the area you are most passionate about pursuing and look for others in the same field.
You can join Facebook groups. You can DM other photographers on Instagram. You can attend photography conferences and workshops.
Once you meet other photographers who have a similar vision as you, you can brainstorm projects together. You can toss ideas back and forth. You can even choose to collaborate.
You can send and receive referrals to clients. You can pose for each other. You can create a single photograph together. Or, at the very least, you can hype each other up on social media so your followers cross over. You can post each other’s pictures or provide links in order to show your shared audience what they are missing out on.
Unless you happen to come across another photographer in the wild, in order to meet more people in your field, you have to be as active on social media as possible. Like photographs you admire. Comment underneath saying how much you love the technique they used or asking what type of equipment was used. Follow their account. Follow their other social media accounts.
When you post your own pictures, make sure you include thirty relevant hashtags and ask a question in your caption to increase engagement. If anyone reaches out to compliment you, do not say thank you and let the conversation die. Try to build a relationship with them. Start a discussion.
In order to meet people in your community and showcase your work at the same time, you should also consider creating a Facebook page dedicated to your craft. When you start gaining followers, post frequently. Engage with your audience. Answer their questions in a timely fashion. You can also invite anyone else who partakes in photography to send you their work and agree to feature them.
Even though you might be an introvert who enjoys working alone, communicating with other people will help you grow. When you befriend fellow photographers, you will have someone to answer your technical questions. You will have someone to give you tips on their favorite techniques. You will have someone to motivate you when you lack inspiration. You will have someone who knows what they are talking about critique your work.
You will be able to look at other photographers as a mentor — and they will be able to look at you the same way. You can teach each other new ways to view the world and the art of photography. You will both gain something irreplaceable from your relationship.
If you want to build your portfolio, then you should network with other members of the photo community. Stop thinking them as your competition and start thinking of them as collaborators. Together, you can learn and grow. Together, you can enhance your artistic skills and further develop your brands.