Collaboration Is The Key to Successful Photography
As we start a new year, we look to new paths, new challenges and new goals to kick the year off right. And, what if this year we decided it was time to bring others in to face these paths, challenges and goals alongside of ourselves? What if this year became more about looking beyond?
Whether you are new to styling or have a thousand styled shoots under your belt collaboration is the key to taking your game up a notch. I cannot push my stance on this enough! Having other inspiring and creative people around you will bring forth a whole new game. It gives you an excuse to share your ideas while giving you space to bounce ideas around. In addition, collaborating with other artists means your ideas can be elaborated on, taking them to a whole new level you would not have come up with on your own. Collaborators can be stylists, hair & make-up artists, other photographers, clothing stores/lines or even a crafty friend. Creating more resources to pull from and collaborating with other experts in other fields will make the styling & creation of a shoot living in your head come to live in its best form.
And, as your craft grows so will your vision. As you can do more, you will want more. Those who see their weaknesses and collaborate with others for help will prevail over those that neglect their weakness. Once you recognize and understand your limitation you can work with them instead of against them.
I want you to find someone to collaborate with on a shoot.
Again, this can be a stylist or photographer that is there to help you come up with the game plan from the start or a hair or make-up artist that helps you bring your vision to light or even a crafty friend that can provide you with props. However you can find a way to do something in a session you could not do alone (or could not do as well), DO IT!
Pull out your inspiration folders and make a list of the ideas that you feel are out of your reach. Do you know someone that could do what you cannot? That is a great place to start.
Don’t forget to look at mentors as collaborators as well. Mentors and people who are living the life that you want to live are the people that have succeeded in what you are passionate about. They can help you avoid pitfalls and best understand the importance of what you are doing.
Working with others can help you in a plethora of ways…
- It frees you and your work from ego. You create something greater than the sum of the individual talents. It becomes a team effort.
- It broadens your horizons (and your comfort zone). You can go places you aren’t willing or able to go on your own.
- It can help make a dream of yours a reality (working with others expands your resources and your audience).
- It can help you use your gifts & weaknesses and make them both beneficial (you can be exceptional at your gifts while letting someone else be exceptional where you are weak).
“Competition among creatives is cannibalistic; it feeds on the soul & excretes arrogance…” –David duChemin in 3 Ideas
It is important to be aware and acknowledge that there are people that can help you fulfill your dreams. Being in the same field does not mean that you are automatically in competition with one another. Relationships are your ticket to success. Foster them. If you treat the people you work alongside with with respect and genuine care, it will come back to you ten fold. Take time to comment on a blog if it touches you. Reciprocate praise when it is given. Support local photographers and your photography community. These types of collaborations gives you accountability and camaraderie.
This is the year! Ask for assistance, recognize your weakness and know it can be overcome.
The secret to your success might just be someone else.
This post was written by Shannon Sewell. Shannon is a children’s commercial photographer. Shannon is currently teaching a class called Inspired Child at The Define School. Registration for her next class opens January 21st. Click here for more info.
Ideas for collaboration with other photographers.