Happy couple smile on their wedding day in the Midlands

Don’t be a freeloader: Facebook groups and making positive contributions

When you’re new to photography, or are trying to restructure your business, inevitably you will have lots of questions. You’ll be open to new ideas, points of view. To tips, advice and words of wisdom form others who’s work you admire.

Websites like Facebook have made it easier than ever to connect with our peers. In turn this has meant that many of us now have a place to discuss niggles or seek advice.

Seeking other perspectives

For the most part, many photographers are happy to share their own experiences and are generous with their time. We all know what it’s like to be there at the beginning of our careers, or to be stuck on a certain something and need other perspectives. Sometimes we just need to offload to other peopler who understand.

Whilst Facebook is great for helping creatives connect, it’s also makes it easier than ever to take. It’s easy to lurk and absorb information without ever having to make any meaningful contribution yourself. I feel that it’s really sad when people do this. When they benefit from all the advantages of being part of a community, without shouldering any of the responsibility of building or maintaining it. This is something I really want to discourage people from doing. If we all did this, the fantastic resources that are out there would quickly collapse. Groups quickly turn pants when frequent contributors start to feel unappreciated or like they are being taken advantage of. As such, it is in all of our interests to be proactive.

Confidence to contribute

I completely understand that much of the time it’s unintentional. Confidence is a big issue for many. Not knowing what to say or how to say it. Not being confident enough in our work or being worried about attracting unwanted critique. Putting yourself out there in any way shape or form is a huge deal.

The truth is though, no matter who we are, or at what point we are at in our careers, we all have something positive to contribute. It may not be expert advice or an editing tip that’s going to revolutionise the way we all do things, but a positive, involved presence speaks volumes.

A little goes a long way

Some days a positive contribution may be something as silly as sharing a work related meme to lighten the mood. It could be openly thanking someone for a piece of advice they gave recently that you benefited from, even though it wasn’t your question. Simple contributions go a long way.

It doesn’t have to be much or even often, but a positive presence is always noticed. And the chances are, it wont be half as scary as you thought it would be!

If you’re a Facebook lurker, I would really encourage you to try to get involved in some way this week. Even if that starts as just liking a couple of posts that you’ve found funny or insightful.

Be excellent to each other