How often do you get together with other photographers or even other artists? Spending time with those who share our passions can be helpful in several ways.
Be inspired or inspire someone
Everyone is at a different point on their path. Spending time with someone who is further down the path is a great way to learn about what you want to do or learn and it can also help you to figure out what you don’t want to do. Ask questions, ask for help with what you’re struggling with. Most photographers are more than willing to help.
The same holds true for those not at the same point in the path as you are. Help them along, share your own trials and tribulations, what worked, what didn’t. Teaching is one of the best ways to learn. Remember we were all beginners once.
Get out of a rut
Getting out with other artists can help you to see from other viewpoints. If you’re out on a photowalk with other photographers put your camera down for a bit. Take some time to observe, watch how and what the other photographers shoot and see. One of my favorite things about going on photowalks is sharing the images afterward. It is amazing how we can all be in the same place and still see so many different things.
Have you been thinking of a business idea? Do you have an idea for a photoshoot? Spending time with other creatives is an easy way to get input and feedback. It doesn’t always have to be about taking photos or even photography. Get together a group for lunch, drinks, dinner and just talk about art, life and what’s going on in your lives. By sharing, relaxing and socializing you’ll find that some random topic may spark the solution to what you have been struggling with.
This is one of the most important things to do. Honestly, if you’re not having fun, why do it? As photographers we tend to always want to create that masterpiece, get all caught up in the technicality of the image, the time of the exact sunrise or sunset, and we don’t always just go out taking images for fun. Socialize, hang out with like-minded people, and just enjoy the process of being out and taking photos.
You may not even keep any images at the end of the day, but you will have created connections, made friends and probably even learned a thing or two just by being out shooting with other photographers.
Watch out for this
Keep in mind that we all do things differently, we’re all passionate about photography but some of us are all about the technical aspect and others of us are all about the artistic side of things. Do your best to not compare yourself, your work and how you do things to someone else. It can be intimidating and if you allow it you can get down on yourself for not thinking like or creating like someone who you feel is more experienced or ‘better’ than you. This is not always easy but a really good thing to be aware of.
Can’t spend time together in person?
There are plenty of photography and art groups online, like the Photofocus Community. From support, technical help and mentoring groups to photo sharing platforms and privately run photography event groups. I would not be where I am today in my work if it had not been for these platforms and the support and encouragement from my fellow photographers.