The Politics of Fashion Photography Part 25,
The importance of Networking in the Fashion Photography Business
In this constantly evolving fashion industry and fashion photography business like so many out there, things change so rapidly that if you are not on the train, you won’t get on the train unless you have to literally stop it in its’ tracks.
The train that I am referring to is the social networking train. To survive in the fashion photography business, you literally have to eat and breath it and more often than not sleep with it as well.
Networking is not what most of you think it is. In my book, networking is more of a viral marketing approach that is an all encompassing and very complex affair. I would suggest that to really understand the complexities, you might consider studying Political Science, Sociology, Psychology, Zen Buddhism mixed with a little bit of Yiddish Chutzpah.
Just getting on the phone and saying: “Hi can we do something?” or e-mailing the same won’t really do the trick in my opinion. You have to be a master at creating a reason d’être for anyone in the higher echelons of the business to even notice you. Or better yet discover you. That is always WAY BETTER. Getting discovered takes a lot of courage, patience and stamina and if you are gainfully employed elsewhere, don’t give up your day job until the ball really gets rolling.
I know I am mincing with words, but as I haven’t any really fixed formula for creating the kind of environment for getting discovered other than perhaps taking on the Abraham-Hicks philosophy of approaching life, I will only set a framework at this juncture in time.
I will say that in my own roller coaster ride of a fashion photographer career that, I have always been in a much better position when approached than approaching. I will also say that until you understand the importance of networking (even if you have a photographer agent) you will not allow doors to open that you may have not even have known were there.
Networking is also different for everyone. There is no one type of networking, as you will be drawn to certain aspects of other individuals than the next person and that is a GOOD thing. Don’t expect to do it all. In fact, if you did it all, it would say to the world that you are so homogenized and mundane that people would ask “why would anyone want to work with such common pedestrian bore in the first place”. So be selective and set your focus and goals with razor sharp precision.
I will leave you with this thought and try to pick it up from here when I feel the time is right to do so and I have something pertinent to say.