Usually during this season, pro photographers would be gathering together at multiple photography conventions to rub shoulders with industry leaders, immerse themselves in educational classes, brush up on photography techniques, and engage in business conversations after hours over dinner.
This year, while the conferences are either postponed or virtual, continuing your education in photo skills or business may seem a little more difficult. While we all miss the camaraderie of being together, you can still network with your photo friends, or find an abundance of virtual educational resources.
From museums to your favorite photographer, there is a plethora of virtual learning experiences to be had in any genre. Some of these opportunities are free short classes, and some of them are longer, structured courses and inspirational content for a subscription. We chatted with the pros and compiled a list of some of the most recommended sources of inspiration and photography education.
For many photographers, learning is best achieved in person or in a social setting, chatting with their friends about new ideas for getting clients, or discussing the newest cameras and equipment. Even though our world looks a bit different these days, you can still connect with friends in the business to help each other.
Social media can play a big part in connection. Facebook groups are available in every genre of photography from portraits to landscapes. Facebook groups in a specific area will allow you to hone in on who the experts are and also have a safe space to chat about client issues or marketing and branding techniques you’d like to try.
The new Clubhouse app is a drop in chatroom platform currently available for Iphone users only. You can create rooms on any topic and start a chat, or follow experts and listen to their expertise in a real-time interactive podcast format.
Finding a mentor and investing in a one-on-one class with a photographer you admire is another way to gain knowledge from someone you see as an expert. Many industry leaders offer mentoring but even if they don’t have it listed as a service, reach out to someone who inspires and inquire if they may be open to the idea. Never hurts to ask!
Taking a covid-safe photo walk around your city with a fellow photographer can help you see your own area in new ways. No two people see things exactly the same, so photographing with a friend can give you a new perspective. You can also brainstorm together on new ways to move forward in your businesses.
There’s a saying that goes “While you are in your setback, life is preparing your comeback.” Even though the ways of traditional education and inspiration have changed a bit this year, now is the time to hustle in the dark and prepare yourself and your business to come back full force, stronger and more prepared and inspired.