003 - Networking
Shot on Canon 6D & 24-105mm
This past week was my first official week of being a freelance photographer. It was a weird week. It definitely had its pros of being able to sleep in if I wanted to, I was able to go to the gym every morning and work out of coffee shops, but by and large it was strange to have such an unstructured week for the first time in years. (I'm very much a creature of habit, you see.)
Luckily I'm surrounded by encouraging and talented friends who are also in the same industry to keep me positive and motivated. I met up with Cibelle Levi and Melly Lee this week, two female photographers in LA that I really respect and love their work. Cibelle and I swapped fashion week stories and laughed about being the only females amongst the paparazzi. Melly showed me an SD card reader to send photos directly from my SD card to my iphone (!!!) and I watched her catch a Cubone in the coffee shop.
This week I learned not just the importance of networking, but friendship. I think the most detrimental mentality to adopt is exclusivity and selectivity when it comes to collaborations and reaching out to people. My long time photographer friend John Garduno and I went to school together and every time we meet up he teaches me something new. I love the idea of a collaborative workforce rather than a me vs you mentality. I'm really thankful that I can have these conversations with like-minded people in the industry where we can grow each other and create meaningful work.
I'm writing this post to remind myself that I am not alone in this process, and neither are you. This week I learned that our most important network is the people that are already there in our lives. It just takes a mindfulness to nurture and foster these friendships so that we can lift each other up.