When should you be networking? The answer is ALWAYS.

So last month was my annual trip to Adepticon, one of the largest gaming conventions in the country.  How is this related to having a photography blog you ask?  I will tell you.  One of the largest parts of these events is the sales and vending area.  Everything from Major Companies like Games Workshop to tiny Mom and Pops like Death Ray Designs are there.  You know the one thing they all have in common?  They need photography.  While the large companies have major add firms handling things for them, many of the mom and Pops don’t.  I get business cards from all of them and spend that evening looking up their sites, if they even have a web presence.  One common thread in all of them, bad product photography.  I have actually found work through this process, simply by contacting them and showing them what I can do for them.

A couple days ago, in my photography studio class, we had Marc Andrus come and speak to us about the business side of photography.  Marc is a graduate of GVSU and manages a major studio in Grand Rapids doing national level advertising campaigns.  Marc also owns and manages his own trans-disiplinary art studio called The Moon.  One of his most important quotes of the day was, “Photography jobs aren’t just waiting for you, most of them you have to manufacture for yourself.”  This is what my entire process above was about.  He explained how most of the work you will find comes from connections that come out of the work you’re doing.

At Adepticon I also got to sit and chat, over beers, with guys from the marketing department of some of the larger game companies and was able to quiz them on how the select photographers.  This gives you invaluable insight into the creative landscape.  I was shocked to find out one of the companies has an in-house team of photographers, something rare in the industry now.

Last I got to visit with fellow retired Marine buddy I have known for more that 20 years.  He is one of the partners in Fox-3 Photography, Doug Glover.  Doug also gave some golden insight into the landscape of photography, from a completely different angle.  Him and his partner both produce and take incredible aviation images but the also run workshops, teaching the skills to others.  We had a great conversation about what goes into teaching, licensing images and just technical shooting.

So the point is, even when surrounded by a sea of nerdum, of which I am a proud member, you can still be working on your brand, personal education and making connections.  doug

Citation:  All photos are original works produced by Christopher Bergeron.

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