Funny thing I’ve found out about photography and photographers over the past couple years is that while there is a level of ‘competition’ amongst the artists who are targeting the same audience… there is a LOT of collaboration, sharing of knowledge, help and encouragement for those who want it. I’ve spent the last year attending monthly meetings with other local photographers who have a variety of interests, skills and talents. In doing so, it’s allowed me to try new techniques I’m not typically inclined to do, as well as share some of my techniques with others. It’s an amazing way to ‘take off the blinders’ of what you know how to do, and push yourself to try new things.
In doing this, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work with some truly inspirational photographers (Scott Jarvie, for example), listen to speakers (like Zach Prez – SEO/Web Marketing Guru) who are well-known for their area of expertise, and I like to think that I’ve been able to influence the development and growth of a few other photographers along the way.
Some examples of this,…
Tim Engle is a Sacramento fashion photographer who is VERY well known for his creative use of high-powered LED flashlights to provide unique, focused lighting on his subjects. He combines this with a slightly twisted and dark imagination to create jaw-dropping images that hardly require any post-processing. I’ve had the chance to see Tim in action, play around in his studio, and sit down one-on-one for coffee.. the guy is a true artist.. his passion for creating amazing images and pushing his own boundaries is inspiring. Check Tim out on Facebook
Jim Purdue is an interesting guy… while I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting him (yet).. I’ve been inspired by his creative photography work with his iPhone .. YES… his iPhone!! As with any true artist, his work is not limited by the equipment he uses.. instead, he finds a way to make his work BETTER by capitalizing on the unique qualities of the equipment. He’s learned the unique characteristics of the iPhone camera, as well as the multitude of photo-editing apps that are available for it, and is able to create amazing images without ever having to go to his computer. Check Jim out on Facebook.
Patricia at PhotosbyPab / Eccentric Aesthetics has a dark and slightly creepy feel to her work.. but very interesting in a cool, gritty way. She’s not only a photographer, but she works in mixed media, and seems to have a strange draw to mannequins and old dolls…. creepy, but cool.. check her out on Facebook.
Monica at StudioKYK.com is a very talented portrait/family photographer who has been organizing the monthly photography get-togethers I’ve been attending, and has been one of the many photographers who have encouraged me to push myself and try shooting different things (people, specifically!). Check Monica out on Facebook.
Then there’s the list of my other shooting buddies – Coree from Candids by Coree, Byron from Bycane.com, Greg from Photoload Fotos, Katie from KTMoffitt Photography, Donna from DonnaBeckPhotography.com, Tom from TomMillsPhotos.com, Lisa from El Dorado Dog Photography, and Linda Holder. I’ve learned a ton just from hanging out with and shooting with these other photographers who have different skills, styles, tastes and methods than me… it’s been GREAT!
So, while my ‘niche’ (and passion) is automotive photography – portrait, landscape and architectural photography are also things I do.. and I do them BETTER because I surround myself by others who do these things really well.
Find a local (insert your own interest here) group on a site like www.meetup.com and go hang out with some folks.. you never know what you might learn!!
And as always – feel free to check me out on Facebook as well!!