For the longest time, I felt photography was a lonely job.
I remember when I was 14 and had made the decision to become a photographer, and I was so excited! What a cool job, traveling and exploring and meeting people; right? And then slowly, as I reached out to those in my area that I looked up to and that inspired me, I realized that it didn't seem like this was a job where I would be able to have "coworkers" or any sort of support. And my heart sank, thinking that this was something I'd have to go at on my own. Was this what I really wanted?
Then, I became part of a photography team called Bella Baby this last summer, and it completely changed my world. Suddenly I had other photographers I worked with, our "team meetings" were bonding sessions, and we all shared that common ground. It was so much fun! I started seeing that maybe, this wasn't something I had to go at alone.
I became part of a facebook group led by one of my favorite photographer's Ben Sasso after I went to a workshop in October, and it changed my life. I saw that there ARE photographers out there who want community over competition! Who want to answer as many questions as you have and aren't even afraid to share their workflow and editing tips. In the blink of an eye, I was apart of dozens of photo groups, national and local, and I was surrounded by thousands of photographers just like me, who want to just be better at what they do and encourage one another.
Since October, I've had other photographers from all around reach out and we've done meet ups. I went to the OWN IT workshop in January, I've had people from other parts of the world stop in Boise and reach out to me; from Canada to Nebraska, from Virginia to Michigan to Arkansas to all over Idaho, I have met dozens of photographers and spent days drinking coffee with them and sharing in our passions together.
So, a couple weeks ago, my coworker Maggie and I decided it was about darn time we go see a longtime Facebook photographer friend of ours, Brie! We picked a day, Maggie and I grabbed some Guru Donuts, and we drove an hour away to Mountain Home to go visit Brie and her amazing coffee shop, and hang out at the sand dunes and play.
There really is no better feeling than being able to do what you love, and connect with others who share the same love. I'm sure you've been to a concert and you know that feeling- you have no idea who these hundreds of strangers are around you, but you feel like you could just instantly be best friends because here you are, in this place, singing this song together and sharing in this love for this band or artist. Being a photographer is no different, and I couldn't imagine trying to go at this job alone. We are artists, we are storytellers, we all have different vision and different business approaches, and no matter how many of us are out there, there are enough clients to go around! So why isolate yourself? My goal as an artist is to not only connect with my clients in a personal way, but to reach out and connect with fellow artists as well. Whether they are more experienced as me, on the same level, or just getting started and have no idea what steps to take... I hope I can be like so many of the photographers that have poured into me, and give everyone around me education and encouragement to grow in their passions.