How to be Friends With Other Photographers | Business
Andrew and I LOVE our relationships with fellow photographers. Honestly, I am not sure where we would be if it weren’t for the friendships we have found in the industry. It saddens us to hear of photographers being rude to each other. There is so much benefit in overlooking your differences and building a relationship instead. We wanted to share with you what we feel makes a great fellow photography friend!
- DON’T COMPARE – Comparison is a thief. It’s causes jealousy and bitterness. When trying to build a relationship with another photographer, this one thing can ruin any chance of a healthy relationship. Comparison tells you that they are better than you or tells you that they aren’t good at all.. it’s both. Comparison can cause arrogance and it can cause severe insecurities. The root of unhealthy comparison is insecurity. When trying to be friends with another creative in your field, just remember that no one else is you and no one else can be them. By staying true to who you are as an artist you will always attract people who love and appreciate you and your work. If you fall into the comparison trap and do things because someone else is doing them, you’ll never get clients you love and you’ll never feel satisfied. So let go, be who you were meant to be, and never hesitate to encourage their fire. They may do things different or have different opinions about photography, but let them be who they are and encourage them in that.
- BE A LIGHT- Again, encourage! It is so refreshing when you actually find someone in the same profession that is willing to push and encourage you. We have photographer friends who changed everything for us by being an encouragement. When we started off we got bashed and made fun of all the time by other photographers. When we finally met someone who leaned in to help instead of push us away, it was life changing. I promise it is so much more rewarding knowing you helped someone along with nothing expected in return rather than bashing and disregarding someone. The reward is so much more. Also, a great benefit is that you usually end up being so close that you take joy in referring clients to each other. I love that I can excitedly tell my clients about another photographer!
- SHARE – Don’t feel like if you share your “tricks” that they will take your business or be a threat to you. I know so many photographers who feel they have to hold on to some of their knowledge because it’s what they think sets them a part. The truth is there is not a trick in the book that “you” have created. Sure you might have worked really hard to gain the knowledge and wisdom you have, but it can be learned again and again. Being a friend means your willing to give without return. It means you’ll be there for them and not put them down. I’m not saying to sell yourself short. There always needs to be a healthy line drawn but my true friends that are photographers never hesitate to answer questions for me or give me advice. The benefit of having someone to talk to and walk through challenges is amazing. Be that to someone and I know they will be that for you too. And side note: if you are the one always asking questions and needing help, make sure you don’t contact them only when you need help. Be intentional to not always take, but give as well.
- TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE – It can be so hard to get together with a photographer friend and NOT talk about photography! It consumes our minds and we know it’s easy to talk about. Take the extra step and get to know the person outside of their business and skills. Make them feel like THEY are important and not defined by their work or what they do. This is something we creatives struggle with. Many of my photog friends share a similar faith or are married, have kids etc. Find some other common ground to stand on and show them who you are too. Go out and do something unrelated to business!
- BE YOU – Lastly and most importantly: Don’t feel like you need to impress them. Let go of all the fears and traps and just be you. No one else can be you and authenticity is the only way to build a true friendship. Befriending other creatives can make you feel vulnerable and that’s ok. Symptoms of this can be talking a lot, defending yourself or your work, feeling judged, or making assumptions about how they feel about you, etc. Get out from behind the desk, put on your real and best you, and go into your time together asking, “What can I do for them?” rather than thinking about yourself! You’ll be golden!
Sharing, serving, and celebrating,
Andrew + Chrissy