My friend Christy Swanberg runs Thursday Therapy in Calgary for industry professionals. One Thursday each month photographers, planners, and other wedding experts get together and go do fun activities such as drinking. It’s a great way to meet other people and start building those relationships.
If you ask around on Facebook groups I’m sure you’ll find a similar meetup that you can attend, but if you don’t, then take matters into your own hands and organize a party of your own.
When you’re the person that’s organizing the event EVERYONE will come and talk to you.
It’s possibly the easiest way to meet other wedding vendors and it doesn’t have to cost you a dime.
In Vancouver they have the Vancouver Wedding Industry Meetup that occurs twice a year. I went to one a few years ago and there had to be over 100 people there and every one of them has the ability to connect you with more clients.
On Sunday mornings, my friends, Abby & Dave host what they call Wedding Hangovers. They just post on Facebook where they’re going for brunch and see who wants to join them. They usually get a head count of about 5-10 people that meet up and chat about their weddings from the night before. Not only is this a great way to build friendships and meet new people in a casual environment but ultimately it leads to my favourite source of new business…referrals.
My friend Jennifer Moher seems to know every photographer who walks the earth. This isn’t by mistake, she makes an effort to meet people. She also runs a Facebook group called Mentor Me that I suggest you check out. If you were as connected as she is, you could, very easily, fill your entire calendar through recommendations from other photographers.
My point is that the more friendships you build in this community, consequently, the more referrals that you can expect will come your way.
The benefit of having these friendships goes beyond just referrals. You’ll often pick up little tricks about editing or photography techniques just over casual chat. It’s been twelve years now since I first picked up photography and I don’t think I’ve ever had a time where I was chatting with another photographer (experienced or newbie) where I haven’t walked away with an awesome little tidbit that’s helped me out.
Do you know how long it took me to learn that the inside of camera bags make perfect grey cards? Or, you might need to borrow a lens from someone because yours fell into a lake at an engagement session. There are countless reasons for why you
should need to make an effort to meet other photographers.