The Power of Networking with Other Female Photographers
Female photographers are the minority in the field of photography. While it can still be useful to network with male photographers, there are many benefits that come from mingling with other women who love photography. Learning from, and building relationships with, these women can help you to advance your own career and make you a better photographer yourself.
Being a female photographer can feel lonely sometimes, especially if you mostly just work with and create alongside other men. You may desire to meet other women who share your passion. When you network with these women, however, you have the opportunity to lose that sense of isolation. You get to exchange ideas with women who share the same interest and skills as you do, and you have the chance to form lasting friendships with them. My own best friend is someone I met at a conference just for women who were making a career out of photography.
In addition to alleviating a sense of isolation in your field, networking with other female photographers exposes you to potential future employers. Any male photographers you meet may also end up becoming a source for jobs or internships, but other women can be particularly sympathetic employers. As a result, if you wish to work with other women, networking with them can help you to find the perfect employer for your next job.
In addition, networking with other female photographers can provide you with inspiration. The process of mingling with other women photographers will expose you to their unique ideas and work. Their creativity will be different from that of their male counterparts and, therefore, will offer you a new source from which to draw inspiration. For instance, it was the approach to taking maternity photos that I learned about from a colleague at a conference that has influenced the way I take my own photos ever since.
When you meet and befriend other females with the same interests as you, you also find a source of sympathetic friendship. This friendship differs from those you can form with male colleagues, because it includes a mutual understanding of what it is like to be a woman in the picture taking field, an understanding of what it feels like, what challenges it presents, and what satisfaction it gives. This friendship can give rise to powerfully creative partnerships and collaborations that can improve your work and more powerfully impact the people who view it.
There are several opportunities to network with other female photographers and therefore to reap the many benefits of doing so. Many of these options are online communities. In these communities through places like Flickstr, you will have the opportunity to post your work, discuss questions, and connect with other women. You may also attend conferences just for women, or keep an eye out for women at co-ed get togethers. Regardless of how you choose to network, by building relationships with other women can make you a stronger, wiser, and more effective photographer yourself.