Networking is a powerful tool for photographers. You never know who you might meet, which may lead you to someone else, that may lead you to another person who offers you a dream job. So much of getting new photography clients is based on who you know or someone you met and began building a relationship with. Networking is no longer going to a snooze-worthy, industry event where people frenetically pass out business cards like those people on the street corner in Vegas. Modern networking is built on relationships and on helping people.
The power of networking became more evident to photographer Antti Karppinen after an experience which connected him to one person, then to another, until eventually he found himself photographing Jamie Baulch, a British sprint athlete and Olympic silver medalist. In an effort to meet more people after moving to Cardiff, Wales, Antti actively sought to meet new people by visiting different networking events and trying to contact people from advertising agencies. Knowing the importance of networking, Antti was still pleasantly surprised when the fruits of his networking and two seemingly random paths led him to Jamie Baulch.
While he was contacting one of the ad agencies, he began chatting with an executive at a media company. The executive connected Antti to his wife who worked at the University of South Wales. She invited Antti to speak in one of their art classes. While at that class, a student named Jay took interest and after class began chatting with Antti about networking and marketing in the business world.
A few weeks later, Antti was invited by the principal of an elementary school to photograph a sporting event that was being held on campus. Unbeknownst to Antti, the event was sponsored by Jamie Baulch, whose son Jay Baulch was also in attendance at the event. Jay, who had told his father all about Antti and his lecture, introduced Jamie to Antti. Throughout the course of the day, Antti was able to chat with Jamie and show him his portfolio.
Through that encounter, Antti eventually found himself at Celtic Manor Hunters Lodge photographing Jamie and the brands he represents: Jaguar, Under Armour, Oliver Sweeny, Watches of Wales and the Celtic Manor. Jamie owned a PR agency and needed a photographer to create some images for his company.
Inside the lodge, Jamie modeled the Oliver Sweeny outfit and Watches of Wales watch. Using 2 Godox Flashes – one as a main light and one as a kicker – Antti worked to get some flares to add interest in some of the images.
For the last scene, the pair went outside to photograph Jamie and the Jaguar F-Type. Antti used only one bare bulb flash to kick a bit of light onto Jamie. Antti is a big movie poster fan (see his other articles here), and so he worked with his angles and composition inspired by the movie “Transporter.”
Never underestimate the power of networking and building relationships. You never know what might happen, who you might meet and what opportunities might present themselves when you put yourself out there and meet people!
Antti had this to share about the shoot: “I have to say that it has been really cool to backtrack the events that led to this photo shoot and getting a good friend out of Jamie. You will never know what might happen if you just get up and contact people, go to different places and show your work. I definitely urge you to carry your printed portfolio everywhere you go. Life changing events are waiting to happen if you just contact and help people. I will continue on this path of #sharingiscaring and it will bring me many more adventures I’m sure.
So be kind, help people, network and share. That is my recipe for success stories.”
See more of Antti’s work here.