The growth in the photography industry seems to me to reside with those who sell services to photographers, i.e. list services, sourcebooks, consultants, equipment dealers, etc. Don't get me wrong, they're important and I use them all, but the only real success I have had in this business has come from a handful (yes, handful) of extraordinary business relationships. I have always wanted to give those on this short list a trophy or a puppy, or some other token of appreciation because it out of these relationships that most of my other work has been made possible. For example, if you want an electrician what do you do? While some of us will Google "electrician" and our zip code, likely more of us will go and ask a friend "who do you use?" I am nothing but an overeducated, specialized electrician.
Google Plus, for what it's worth, set it up correctly. We all have various circles from which a 2nd tier of relationships form. I have circles of clients, vendors, friends and colleagues. Interesting things happen in the intersections, through referrals and recommendations.
I'll give you an example: I live in a funky little town outside of NYC that is home to a lot of creative people (I have always called it Brooklyn West). It consistently amazes me that so many of the people I meet here are in artistic fields. A few years ago I was introduced to an illustrator who often worked with a photographer friend of mine, Jim Bastardo. We ran into each other here and there and one day our friend couldn't help him with a shoot due to a scheduling conflict so he asked me instead. I can only hope Felix Sockwell is as happy with the photo I took of him for his promotional material as I am of the new logo he designed for me. I love it. I have since had occasion to work with him on other jobs, and we've gone out to sit and chat over coffee, discussing all sorts of things from the business to all of the daughters we have (he has 3, I have 2). The main point is this: Felix and I have gone from being colleagues and neighbors to good friends who sometimes work together. And that to me is success.
|Mr Felix Sockwell, check him out!|
|Vertical logo for my JamesWorrell.net splash page|
|Horizontal version for my site and other parts of my identity|
|Felix is constantly drawing in his sketch book, he emailed me this the other day...|