Friday, March 11, 2011

Your Network

Something many of us photographers don't take advantage of enough is to have a network, or a group of photographer friends for when you need them.  Have you ever received a phone call or email about a date that you are unavailable?  Wouldn't it be nice to be able to send the referral to a friend?  This concept works both ways.  If you have a close-knit group of friends who can send us potential jobs, and vice versa- it's a win/win situation.  I have had numerous opportunities brought to me due to the fact that someone in my group was already booked.  Another example which I have experienced as well, is when you need a second shooter or assistant.   Some use a second shooter every wedding, some are always solo.  I try and have my assistant with my for every wedding, but when something comes up (sickness, emergency, or you just can't get anyone for that day), it's much easier (and less stressful) to give a friend a call, then to run in circles desperately searching for help.
    When it comes to getting a group together, try and keep it small- around 4 people- give or take.  If the group is too large it can become unmanageable and complete chaos.  Their needs to be trust; you don't want to send clients someone's way if they'll never give you anything in return.  I know some photographers who will have a contract, stating who pays whom what.  In my opinion that's up to you.  The most important aspect besides the trust, is to lay out a mutual agreement, on who gets which job.  You can try just going in rotation, or keeping track on who received what. 
    So what are you waiting for?  Do you have your network?

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