A little while back, I encouraged you to share your photography skills, knowledge, and passion with the world.
Each of us, regardless of skill level, can derive tremendous benefits both personally and professionally from sharing our talents with the photographic community. I hope my article inspired you to take the leap and start sharing more.
Perhaps, however, you were inspired but are unsure of where to begin. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Share with those around you
There are often many opportunities to share what you know that are literally right in front of you. I’d be willing to bet you have been asked questions about your camera or your photography. Being open to answering these questions and offering advice or help is not always easy because our insecurities can get in the way. But, like all things, with practice that can change.
As you go through your day, look for opportunities to talk about what you love. Answer questions when asked. Over the years, I have received Facebook messages and emails from other photographs, most just starting out, about everything from processing tips to lens preferences. I am always flattered and respond promptly with the best information I have to offer.
Your camera is a great conversation starter when you are out and about. If someone asks you about it, take the time not only to answer their questions, but to ask them about their photography experience. And don’t just wait for people to ask you questions. Offer your thoughts and ideas when you can. For example, when on sessions, I often give tips to parents on how to get their kids interested in photographs or where to find good light in their home (or garage!).
2. Share on social media
This one is easy. Everyone is on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. If you’re not, then your first step is easy. Pick one and set up an account. Most likely, however, you are already sharing your images on at least one of these formats. That’s great but consider taking it up a notch and posting a little information along with your photo.
What lens did you use? What was the location like? Do you have a pull-back to show your audience (I personally love to see others’ pull-backs), or perhaps a before and after of your processing or black and white conversion. Is there any special technique or composition choice you made that is demonstrated in the image? Do you have any tips that to share that the image would highlight? Talking about your process with a single image in mind is a quick and easy way to instruct and inspire others.
Keep in mind that we can share through others accounts, too. Don’t just like a photo, take the time to leave a note to talk about what it is that you like about a photo. Is someone seeking critique? Take a moment to offer thoughtful critique that highlights what they did well and what they might consider doing differently to improve upon their image. Your kind and thoughtful critique will always be appreciated as long as it was asked for.
3. Organize a group of photographers
You can organize a group of photographers either locally or online. Early in my journey, I was privileged to be part of a small Facebook group of several women learning photography and I am forever thankful to the woman who organized the group. As a group, we worked our way through our first 365 project together and continue to support each others goals and share in each others success. I’m certain each of us would agree that our participating provided the perfect opportunity to both share of ourselves and benefit from the each others generosity. The Clickin Moms forum is a fantastic place to find like-minded women who would be interested in collaborating with you in an information sharing group.
In-person relationships are also incredibly valuable. Seek out other photographers in your area who would be interested in forming a supportive group, however formal or informal. I have formed a wonderful friendship with a local photographer who introduced herself to me at the gym. We now get together regularly for coffee to share our experiences and seek out or offer our advice. I have benefited both from her suggestions as well as thinking through my advice for situations she has encountered.
This is an obvious but often overlooked opportunity to share your knowledge. Make a list of topics that might interest your audience and commit to regularly scheduled posts (i.e. “Tips Tuesday”). For many of us, these tips would appeal to clients who might want to learn a little more about how to take better photographs of their families, but they can truly be about anything that interests you.
If you’re not sure what to post, think about your last (photography related) Google search. Write about what you were curious about and what you learned. Remember, you don’t need to be revolutionary. There really is nothing new under the sun, so don’t fret about being novel. Just think about being you and include your personal style. Don’t forget to seek out opportunities to write for other blogs, including the Clickin Moms blog. And wherever you blog, remember to ask questions of your audience and solicit comments to start a conversation. Take the time to read and respond authentically.
5. Teach a workshop
Consider offering a photography workshop focusing on what you would like to teach. You can offer a short program that teaches moms how to take a quick portrait with window light in their homes in less than an hour or teach a six week workshop on how to use a DSLR. Perhaps you have a particular passion for landscape photography or a more advanced skill. There are always other photographers looking to benefit from your expertise. If it’s too scary to go it alone, collaborate with another photographer. Finally, consider teaching children. There are many opportunities through scouting, school, and community organizations to pass this invaluable skill along to the next generation.