One of my clients recently won a grant to attend a New York workshop with one of her heroes. After announcing her dates in my programme community group, some of my New York clients rallied together and just this week hosted a meet-up with her in a Brooklyn studio. Imagine landing in a foreign city from a tiny location at the bottom of the world and being welcomed by local photographers you already feel like you know. Damn brilliant.
The gathering of my community worldwide never ceases to warm the cockles of my heart. In the next month there will have been meets-ups in Melbourne, Sydney and New York and most of these photographers met whilst doing my programme. At Christmas my Auckland clients descended on a divine restaurant on the Island of Waiheke in the Hauraki Gulf. (Shots from that expedition are currently being shared by Scott McAulay on his Instagram feed here)
As an agent I was constantly connecting my photographers to my clients, especially those I thought would hit it off. Whatever the topic of conversation, these ‘contrived’ meetings always resulted in work for the respective photographer because the relationship was established, and of course it was so much more than photography. The client knew they would be able to work (and maybe even travel) for a day, week or month with this person, and were assured they’d have decent conversations and a good time whilst making great imagery.
Connecting people makes me feel good. Helping people find their commonalities is easy for me. Knowing that photographers can lead quite lonely lives, it’s been a no-brainer to create a community for photographers who are equally as committed to following their passion and are on the same path- that of my programme.
I don’t think I could have imagined how tremendous the connections would become however.
During my last programme round, three photographers at a similar stage in their careers and with a similar approach created their own accountability Skype group. One is based in Melbourne, one in Auckland and one in Portland. I see them regularly offering each other help and sharing ideas online.
But a post in the group this morning really made me so happy. An Auckland based photographer shared the dates of her New York Exhibition, one she cannot attend. ‘Righto’, chirped some of the New Yorkers. ‘Let’s go then!’ They’re arranging a group expedition as I write.
What makes YOU happy? What do you do to make others lives better without even thinking? If it’s your photography, what aspect of it makes you glow inside and out? Why do you do it? Knowing your purpose can REALLY help you head in the right direction with your photography, your online profile and your target clients.
There’s no doubt that connecting people is a crucial part of my ‘why’. I can’t help myself. I know also I couldn’t ask for a better quality of clients, because they flourish when I do what I do best.