The largest piece of the puzzle in the success of any person or business is networking and connecting with other people and businesses. I was fortunate to connect with this group of actors, producers, and writers to the event Team Rise Together at The Attic rooftop bar and lounge in New York City hosted by Marc Chouen and Thomas J. Bellezza. http://www.bbrproductions.com
When you get a bunch of actors together, fun pursues, but there was plenty of introductions and real conversations. I met some great people with some interesting backgrounds and experience.
I am not normally involved with the “talent” portion of advertising or marketing, and honestly I watch very little tv, movies, internet shows, or theatre, so I was a bit concerned to meet people that depend on those venues. I hoped my lack of knowledge of the latest detective police shows or what is currently on Broadway would hinder my connection with this group. Of course I was not quizzed or embarrassed by not recognizing any reference.
It was very interesting mingling and talking about pursuits and experiences. One person asked me what is it that I was looking for and what could they do for me. That was incredibly thought provoking and a topic I need to delve. I have an “end game” in most areas of my life, but my photography career goals are quite a bit open.
I truly consider the events that I photograph more of a networking event as oppose to an event job. The opportunity to meet people with diverse backgrounds and connections is worth much more then the time spent. Another important factor to consider as a part of these events are followup. You must take the effort after the events to reconnect not only in social media, but through direct connections such as email, coffee, other events.
I believe my “end game” from this event was meeting some incredible people I hope to not only photograph in the future, possible business opportunities, but maybe some lasting friendships.
I have to add one interesting note to this that I unfortunately did not get a picture of. About fifteen years ago I use to work with Jive Records/Zomba Records, better known as the label for Britney Spears, NSync, Backstreet Boys, R Kelly, etc. I worked with the department that produced the marketing materials and cd covers. There was this seventeen year old kid named Mason that worked there as his first job in the IT department. I had a number of conversations with him, great guy, eager to learn and start his career. Well at the networking event some guy was looking at me and asked if I had worked at Zomba. Mason! He has grown to be a successful man, no longer in IT, and he told me something that brings these networking events to heart. He told me that I had given him advice that really meant something to him and used in his pursuits.
Networking in order to help others as well as mentoring is more important then any lead or self serving opportunity. Knowing that I have helped people with my knowledge and connections means more to me then any work lead. At the end of the day, that is what it is all about.