We live in a very social world, we always have. Long before social media, we as a society loved to go to cookouts and house parties. This is was how we interacted with friends, family, and met new people. Over the last ten years, thanks to social media, social gatherings have been replaced by keyboards and touch screens. Now, if you want to know what someone is up to, you simply jump on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. The truth is though, that even with the change from social interaction to digital interaction, we as people want to know about your story, your life, and your passions. It’s just human nature.
Photography is no different, but for some odd reason, so many photographers don’t want to let the outside world into their personal world. Personally, I honestly think that not sharing your life and passion outside of photography is probably one of the biggest mistakes you can make for yourself and your brand.
In the video below from CreativeLive, highly respected commercial photographer Jeremy Cowart, sums up just about everything I believe in when it comes to why it’s important to share more then just your images with people.
The short story Jeremy shares in the video is about a meeting with one of the biggest art directors in the industry and sums up why you need to share more. Here, Jeremy was meeting with one of the biggest fish in the industry and was told his images are good, but clearly did not blow away the art director. Jeremy asked to show more of his personal work, share his story about his family, and other passionate photography projects he’s done.
All of a sudden this art director was all in, so much so he grabbed the rest of the staff that was in the office, introduced them to Jeremy and ultimately said he wanted to work with Jeremy. All because Jeremy opened up, he shared some of his personal life, his passion, what drives him to do what he does, and ultimately connected with the art director on a more personal level – the “human” level.
This video really connected with me because I, too, believe that to be a successful photographer in the modern age, you need to share who you are outside of the photography realm. The key to booking more work, and working with the right people is to connect with everyone from clients to fans on a personal level. Over the last three months, I myself have opened up more on social media, and my blog, and it’s paying dividends. I’ve connected with more clients, and fans (I never thought I would have “fans,” but due to my work here on SLR Lounge and 35to220 other photographers reach out to me for advice. That’s a huge honor and humbling all at the same time). More and more people who contact me say they feel like they know me, love my personality, want to work with me, and they have not even met me in person yet.
My end point here is this, open up. I know it’s not easy, but people love to know about you, more than they care about your great images. They can see you do great work, but they want to know who you are, why you do what you do, and make a more personal connection with you before they book you or get involved in a project with you. Trust me, it will help your business and personal projects in the long run.
Images captured via screen grab.