Whether you develop your own film in the scarlet light or take your iPhone to task, photography is for everyone. Challenging one another in an online community celebrates art, the art form, and the artist.
As a professional photographer, creating an online community on your website can boost your brand awareness. Amateur, freelance and professional photographers meet and collaborate online. Host events for viewing work, exchanging ideas, discussing capture techniques, and equipment tips. Heck! You can even host a swip-swap for equipment.
Photography Is Community Building
Photography is so personal. It captures a moment in time that can never be completely duplicated. Native tribes in North America have a belief that photography steals your soul. In some ways, portrait photography reveals your soul – emotions, lines on your face, expressions, posture.
When you begin to collaborate, however, you’re bound to change your perspective. There is a magic when two artists collaborate be it paint media, musicians, writers, or photographers. Many photographers travel. Be open about your plans. Use social media to create invitations.
“You learn to look at composition from a new standpoint and you get to understand another person’s workflow. Which in turn can show your flaws or efficiencies in your own methods. You learn together and ultimately everyone brings something unique to the table that could teach you something.”Chris Ramsey Jr.
Photography is its own Language
I came across this article called “Capturing Souls” on Reuters during my research. I had to fight back the tears. We forget the power of photography to impact a culture in a positive way.
Photographs are for everyone. Language is not required. Literacy is not required. Translation is not required. The only requirement is vision. We can tell stories through our photography to help aid communities the way Ricard Moraes did. Photography not only builds community — photography can save it.
“My surprise was to learn of the medium that in the end helped convince the Kayapos to accept the mission – photographs. The nurse who headed the meetings used photographs of previous expeditions, of other natives who had been operated on, to gain their trust.”Ricardo Moraes
Photography Communities are Historians
Communities that encourage artists to develop skills are just as important as physical libraries. We are documenting history every time we snap. We’re living in a time where photographs originate digitally. And yet, even I have rolls of undeveloped film.
Sometimes film is never developed before the photographer passes on. The Rescued Film Project is one such effort. Our selfie culture has changed how we feel about photography in some ways. We look down on photos during events as if we’re not enjoying the moment. Photographers aren’t disruptors of live events. They are capturing it, protecting it, preserving it.
“The Rescued Film Project recovered 66 bundles of film, shot by the same photographer in the 1950s, and never processed.”
Online Photography Challenges
The Tech Guy Leo Laporte is frequently joined by photographer Chris Marquardt. Not only do they talk about photog tips, but they have challenges. Every week they have a photography challenge hosted on Flickr. Members join the Flickr group and take a new photograph to expand their experiences.
Photographers learn from one another with regard to light, composition, and technique. This type of online project serves as a platform to look at life a bit differently. You also deepen personal and professional connections with your peers.
Organize Community Photo Walks
Photo walks are an excellent opportunity to get to know each other as humans, explore our community, and go beyond our digital walls. One of the community members in the town just south of me used to host them. I really enjoyed the one I went on. (That reminds me, I should go on another.)
“Even though they’ve been doing it virtually, the pleasure of providing them an opportunity to do it in real time and real space is, I think, the type of thing that can reinforce the connection to the community and to National Geographic.”Keith Jenkins about Your Shot
How Will You Differentiate Your Photography Website?
As a professional photographer, hosting an online community is a great way to give back to your industry. It’s your community, your way with PeepSo. You have all the tools you need to engage your community. Create your community your way. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t start today.