I love teaching other photographers. There is so much joy in helping someone, collaborating with someone, or just building them up and giving them encouragement. When it comes to running your own business, we need these people in our lives. And because we need these people, I have chosen to also be one.
It is easy to tell an industry what it "needs" to look like. Or that people "need" to be kind, stop competing, and work together. It's another thing to live it.
When I first started out in this industry over 10 years ago, it was hard. I'll be honest. I am very much self taught. I studied a lot. Joined professional photography forums to learn all that I could. And read a LOT of book. A lot of my so called "successes" are from learning experiences. Looking back at sessions and saying, "I would do this different next time."
I have tried to live my entire journey as a photographer open handed. If asked a question on how to do something, I would answer honestly. If a photographer emailed because they were struggling, I would encourage and help them as much as I knew I could.
When I chose to begin teaching newborn workshops I also chose to not include a radius in which those around in my area could not learn. I.e. I chose to teach those even living within my same target market. Why? Because ultimately it doesn't matter. People shop, they choose photographers based on style, personality, word of mouth etc. So to be "worried" that someone could take "my" client (as if I own people within a certain radius of me) is straight up ridiculous.
I love teaching. And if I can help a fellow entrepreneur be even that more successful, confident, ready, and inspired to keep growing that craft, then I have done my job. Not to mention, it is absolutely humbling when I am approached by a fellow photographer within my field to coach them in an area they want to grow.
I had the awesome opportunity to work with Arlene Chambers for a 1:1 Newborn Mentoring session. She is both gorgeous on the inside and outside and is a talented professional photographer who shoots all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
Being a professional photographer is tough. Owning and running your own business is even harder. Supporting each other, building one another up and helping each other grow is what it is all about. That, to me, is what it's all about.