Networking, a part of the Route to Success

As you probably already know, politics play a very important role in any profession. But as I am a Fashion Photographer, I thought I would discuss some of my observations in this arena.

Unisex © Benjamin Kanarek

Unisex © Benjamin Kanarek

There is a point in a fashion photographers growth as an artist where their capacity to produce outstanding imagery becomes irrelevant and the Art of Politics comes in to play as the next important stepping stone to the top of the pyramid.

Why do so many incredibly talented photographers never experience the euphoria of shooting for a major publication or get “THAT” Ad Campaign. Well there are many reasons and one of the more banal is space. There is only so much space available on that plateau on top of the mountain. You might be thinking and wanting to ask, “well, who gets there and why?”

I will not be able to answer that question. I will however try to describe what does happen and some of the circumstances that may give you a reasonable shot at the top. I have climbed to the top on a few occasions and on my trip, I learned some valuable lessons.

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned is the following; there are some people who will NEVER work with you if you ask them to work with YOU! “Well, how can I work with them if I don’t ask?” you are asking. They will have to discover you via other means. How can you do that? Networking is a very important part of the route to success. An example would be, someone who knows THAT someone loves what you do and just happens to talk about you over lunch and says, “Hey, I just saw this girls work on her blog and it is so different than anything I have seen and would be perfect for the theme of your next issue, or for the new direction your brand is taking”.

Now, most of you already know this, but how does one make this happen with secondary sources? It is your job to know with whom those who are in THAT position are associated with and those who might discuss what you are doing with them in THAT powerful place. That is where networking comes in to play and there are no set rules to how to play this game.

You must start YESTERDAY to do your research. Calling up VOGUE and saying I want to speak to Anna Wintour the Editor in Chief, will generally get you nowhere. You might get her secretary if you are very lucky, but I strongly recommend you NOT do this, as they get solicited ad infinitum and if they don’t know your name, the gig is up. She will remember you the next time you call and it usually goes down hill from there.

Part of networking is how do I get the “Me, Me, Me, Pick Me!!!” Out there and still give off the aura of, “I am Me and what I do is Unique and I Don’t Need You” vibe across. How does one make themselves desirable?

To Be Continued in Part 2

About Benjamin Kanarek
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Fashion and Beauty Photographer. Some of the magazines I have shot for include: VOGUE (China, Portugal, Brazil, Italia, Paris and South America & Mexico editions), RG VOGUE Brazil, Harper’s BAZAAR (China, en Español & Latin America, Hong Kong, Italy editions), L’Officiel Paris, ELLE (Spain, Portugal and Greece editions), Madame Figaro (France), Cosmopolitan (France and Italy editions), Glamour (France), Votre Beauté, Jardin des Modes, Dépêche Mode, New York Daily News, Fashion District News, New York Times Magazine, W (British edition), WWD, Fashion Magazine (Canada), Flare (Canada), Oyster, Tank, WestEast…
  • Kar Le

    eclectic stepping stone… mixing communities for inspiration.

  • @: You can’t sell yourself in this business, you need other people to do it for you. It’s very bad form to toot your own horn, that’s why everyone needs an agent.

  • Could you link the bottom of Part 1 to Part 2, and Part 2 to Part 3, etc…

  • Benjamin Kanarek

    @: NO! 😉

  • I agree in the thrill of being discovered because it is so much easier to flow in this direction. In the meantime just keep doing what we love, networking with the infinite tools and have fun all along the way. We may or may not be discovered but aren’t we doing our trade for the love of it in the first place instead of the fame?

  • Desiree Masiela

    i have had my fair share of people who approach me or otherwise publications i work for asking for their work to be published. It’s more exciting to discover new talent than for it to be the other way around. People respect you more in that sense.. As the viewer of your work like what they see and your not forcing your wants on them i guess its common sense.