Saturday, June 13, 2009

Professional Networking

Every photographer needs to continually grow - socially, professionally and technically. One good way to grow your skills, techniques and business savvy is to network with other photographers.

I belong to three professional photographer groups:

Professional Photographers of America (PPA) - very good professional communications, studio management and outstanding annual convention. They also handle professional photographer certification. They offer a two year "aspiring" membership at half price. Their monthly magazine is top notch.

Society of Sport and Event Photographers (SEP) - Geared toward people who shoot events - sports, school, church, etc. It's affiliated with PPA.

Digital Wedding Forum - An online forum dedicated primarily to wedding photographers, but also branching out into portrait and other areas. It has many forum discussion areas, and now has a new blog, which is excellent. I believe you can follow the blog without being a member. They also have a "student" membership which is no cost, but only allows access to some of the resources.

I also belong to the local chamber of commerce, for local business networking.

Each of these provides learning and networking opportunities which allow me to grow technically, professionally and as a businessman.

So where should you start? I recommend Digital Wedding Forum "student" member first. Lurk and participate with other beginners, and then decide if you want to take the $100/yr plunge to become a full member.

Then check out PPA as an aspiring member. That will let you go to the PPA convention, which in 2010 will be in Nashville!

Don't just sit!

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