Oct 31, 2012

The Importance of Being Social

Photo Plus Expo

This past weekend we attended Photo Plus Expo in NYC, and had an amazing time! Last Wednesday we discussed our goals with the Expo and what we hoped to get out of it. Today we take you through the results.

We attended both as the company Phlearn and as photographers, and had goals for each. As a business it was important to meet with other business owners and representatives and develop relationships. As a photographer it was important to learn from other photographers who are doing well.

I cannot recommend going to these types of events enough, they really can shape your career and your life.

Being Social

We are not all social beings, in fact most photographers tend to be more introverted. This is totally ok, and I am right there with you.  I am far from the most extroverted person I know, but after going to events like these I realize just how important getting out is. You never know who you are going to meet, and you don’t have to change your personality a bit to do so.

David Lachapelle is a great example. He is extremely soft spoken and shy, yet he still makes it out to talk with people. You don’t have to be “Mr Salesman” to make an impact in this industry. In fact sometimes it is better that you are not that way.

My challenge to you is to get out more. Make a list of all the events that are occurring around you and just GO. Make a list of people you would like to meet, and get some good face time.

Your Experience

Tell us of a time when meeting someone changed your photographic career.


(will not be published)

  • Sushil

    Hi Aaron,

    I use to be very shy and introvert kind of person but thanks to people around me who helped me and always keep pushing to go out and take photography assignment. During one of them (one of my friend asked me to do wedding candids for free) I meet 3 pro wedding photographer carrying 5Ds, Big expensive lenses and studio lights and I was using Nikon 5100 with one chinese speed light with gels. I was feeling intimidated infornt of them but then I started talking them about there pro gears,experience and tips. They were very open and I got ton of information from them. After the shoot they were showing pictures they took and to my suprise they where not even close to what I have managed to capture with my cropped dslr and tiny lights. They were suprised when I shared my pictures with them and even asked me how I did that. That moment changed my view about photography and meeting new people in general. I never got intimidated from any one after that.

  • Nicolás Belazaras

    I’m pretty new at shooting, but I love it. I was on vacations and the best thing I could do was shoot some circus performances, edit the pictures and then give them to the circus staff as a gift. Not only it was a good place to practice, it was great to see that they loved the photos, invited me to stay in the show and wanted to keep in touch with me. I’m a very introverted person, it’s pretty hard to me to go outside and talk to some people, but I want to change and using photography as an excuse to socialize is perfect! Thanks for doing this kind of videos, you guys are awesome!

  • Cvstodia???????

    Hay que salir. Todo el tiempo. No solo para que lo conozcan a uno y estar al corriente de las cosas que suceden en su técnica sino además, porque al conocer a los grandes se da uno cuenta que también son humanos y las herramientas a veces son mas precarias que las de uno.

    • Nicolás Belazaras

      Jajaj, escuchas los videos en ingles pero respondes en castellano? Que raro :P Es verdad, a mi me cuesta mucho salir y comunicarme, y ahora ando medio solitario por la vida, no aguanto las ganas de conocer gente que comparta gustos conmigo, en este caso, con la fotografía!

  • Cvstodia???????

    Hay que salir. Todo el tiempo. No solo para que lo conozcan a uno y estar al corriente de las cosas que suceden en su técnica sino además, porque al conocer a los grandes se da uno cuenta que también son humanos y las herramientas a veces son mas precarias que las de uno.

  • Imagesbyjk

    Thanks Aaron, I’ve really come to realize in the last couple years how important networking is and how bad I am at it. You’ve definitely reinforced it for me and I’m going to make a more concerted effort to get out there.

  • David D

    I highly agree with what you wrote. I am introverted most of the time in social gatherings. However I took a chance this week when I attended Lindsay Adler workshop while she taught on creativeLIVE. I learned much from her on and off camera, even from the crew and another photographer Sue Bryce. Everyone I talked to taught me many things I would not have learned if I never went. However I find it is incredibly important, as everyone I have ever met doing great things are more than helpful to share what they know and to help and sometimes they share their story which it is equally as helpful, not to mention they’re cool too. It makes me want to travel and connect with others who are active in the community.

  • Mark

    Earlier this year I met and talked to Joel Grimes, Lindsay Adler, Scott Kelby, Vincent Laforte, Syl Arena, Kirk Voclain at a similar 4 day event in Covington, KY.  It was so pleasantly surprising to me that these people actually take the time to chat with you one on one during their busy presentation schedules.As rewarding as those experiences were I really enjoyed meeting other like minded not so famous people and just hanging out for diner and lunch.  Several times we did photo walks in the evenings.
    I will be back early next year to repeat the experience.

  • Randell John Photography

    Hope it all works out for you Aaron, PHLearn is great and you deserve the success.

  • Marie

    I think meeting Annie Leibovitz in NYC last year had the most impact on my photographic life and career. she gave a talk on her latest book Pilgrimage which is basically a collection of her personal photos she took on her travels with her family. she said that after all those years of working as a professional photographer and being given commissions with guidlines she had to stick to, that photography where she wasn’t limited in anything was what she had needed and urged to do. and she eventually did take the time, travel the world, and photographed what she felt. that little story taught me to not produce what people expect and like, and I decided to no longer upload on flickr what isn’t heartfelt and has a meaning to me. it gave me a whole new outlook on photography :)