Networking is an important portion of marketing, and can be challenging. Making great images is part of the equation, but letting others know that your great images are out there is equally important.
Meetups for photographers can be intimidating or even frustrating for those new to the scene. Meetups that promise the opportunity for photographing models can be very effective if the number of models remains about 1:3 ratio to photographers, or if photographers rotate efficiently through various 'sets'. Some meetups have lights and backgrounds available and guidance from the organizers. Other meetups are loosely organized and participants bring their own lighting, backgrounds, and discuss shooting with models on an as available basis.
Some tips for navigating meetups include:
- Do a little homework- what does the organizer provide; what do you need to bring?
- Arrive early- Find an ideal spot to photograph by scouting out the location.
- Bring a variety of lenses - zoom lenses with medium to long focal lengths work well.
- Models often arrive sporadically throughout the event- look for new faces.
- Introduce yourself to other photographers- a meetup is also great for developing contacts in the industry.
- Be courteous - Try not to crowd other photographers or move into the shooting frame of an active set.
- If the coordinator has guidelines follow them- you will make live easier for yourself and those around you
- Bring business cards (or be prepared to give your contact information) and consider model releases if you intend to publish images.
- If the meetup is a 'trade for.." shoot, honor your commitment to the models within a reasonable amount of time.