Sunday, January 11, 2009

Growing Pains: A Photographer Pool

My instructor and colleague Efrain Cruz, director of Illuminate Workshops, has come up with a great idea helping photographers land paying gigs. If you remember, Efrain's kindness and sincere interest in helping his students succeed is what not only convinced me to continue pursuing photography but was also the reason why I got my first paid assignment. He sent out an email to his students letting them know that an opportunity existed that he couldn't shoot, and that he had referred our names to the contact instead. I was the only one reached out to the contact and thus, I got the job, which led to another job and another and another....well, I think you get it! :)

Now Efrain has developed a structured way to refer students and upcoming professionals who may be available to shoot a special event. He has created a web form for collecting names, experience level and interest of photographers who would like to know of such opportunities.

If you would like to be included, please fill out the form here at Efrain's Illuminate Workshops site. I have filled out the form, expressing my specialization in portraiture. Good luck!

Meanwhile, fellow photog and business management specialist Jim Turley wants to form a network of photographers who will refer business to each other, giving the referring photog a 10% commission. So far, he has five people in mind each with a little different set of skills/experience. He believes my portrait work sets me apart and has asked me to join. First off, I am honored Jim even thought to include me and very pleased that he believes I have the skills to make his idea a reality.

I want to thank Efrain and Jim for their continued support in my photographic efforts. Having and maintaining relationships like these are the bread and butter of any successful business. But I'm glad to know too that both of these talented men are also good friends, and I know that my progress and happiness is important to them, so it makes it easy to trust them and want to do your best for them as well.


Mark Hayes said...

Networking for referrals is probably just as important as having a web site that people can find.

A local source is:
Nice mix of wedding and portrait shooters.

For more wedding specific people Becker's is great. There's a Denver club in there.

I guess the paid referral is an ok thing if it's linking together a bunch of photographers who don't know each other. Probably works well with a mix of differing types of photography.

Most the time when I'm dealing with referrals it's a wedding and either, I'm booked that day, or I'm out of their price range. In this case I have a list of photographers I know that I suggest to them. So if I can't shoot the wedding for one of those reasons I want to see if I can help someone I know can handle the job gets it. Hopefully at somepoint they'll return the favor. Nice thing about wedding photography is you can only shoot one a day (usually) so it's seldom like you're sending away clients that could be paying you instead.

Sheba Wheeler said...

these are great resources. thank you buddy!

Sheba Wheeler said...

Also, I've been told that it's a great idea to have your own working referral list for the same reason you mentioned: so you can always be remembered as the resource that helped a client find the best photographer for them.

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