Being in the photography industry can sometimes be a little…competitive (to say the least). It feels discouraging some days when all you need is to talk to someone about editing, shooting, or what have you, and they’re states away online. Often times we hear these words “Community over Competition” being thrown out, but it can be difficult to follow if you’re having a hard time booking clients, see another photographer succeed when you are struggling, or a number of other reasons. Sometimes it is just really hard to put yourself into “check”.
However, I have found my little family, I think. I have one girl I went to high school with in Paulding County, and I adore her. We talk nearly daily, and her work is amazing. We work together often on weddings. Our children are the same age. I always recommend clients to her for boudoir. Andrea Schlueter and I often call each other “tog wives” – so obviously, I’m going to give her a shout out.
Another couple of ladies I’ve grown a little closer with in the last few months are Caitlin Zemlanski and Kambria Massie. We have children the same age, we’re photographers in the area, and we all love to help other small business succeed. So we went on this journey of planning a large group shoot with our girls (and I guess we’re doing it again – this time we will need a wine date after). But we’ve also created something else – we’ve created a space we can talk about business with each other. We can get and give advice. We can talk about mom things and business things in the same breath, and it’s really refreshing.
But, do you know what else I’m super excited about creating? An example. Not only for other area people in the same boat, but for my child. I’m so proud and excited that I can show her that women can be strong business owners, but I’m also super proud that I can show her that we can support and lift each other up – even if we are running the same type of business and may be “competition”. In the end, building a community that supports one another is way more important and good for the soul than being petty, dismissive, and passive to each other. We each have our own niche and we can shine and lift each other up.
I really am grateful for these women – Andrea, Caitlin, and Kambria. I’m not trying to be super mushy or anything – I’m just overjoyed that I’ve found my person(s).