Networking for Worthwhile Connections: Erin DeGroot Q&A


Networking at images conferences has performed an enormous position in making skilled connections for photographer and photographer’s assistant Erin DeGroot. She not too long ago sat down with Nikki Closser on The Portrait System Podcast to share her suggestions for networking and relationship constructing in enterprise.

De Groot’s important piece of recommendation whereas networking at conferences is to “go in mindfully and deliberately — that you simply’re going to attach with the individuals who resonate with you probably the most.” DeGroot doesn’t advocate for attempting to satisfy as many individuals as attainable however reasonably suggests, “you may develop high quality relationships versus amount.” DeGroot recommends discovering out what individuals want of their companies as a technique to construct connections which can be each private and may result in worthwhile partnerships. Along with assembly in particular person at conferences, DeGroot additionally recommends networking in on-line communities like The Portrait System and different photographer teams.

Hear extra networking suggestions from DeGroot in her podcast look — The Worth a Photographer’s Assistant Brings. Within the Q&A under, she shares how she knew images was the sphere for her, recommendation for brand new photographers, her inspiration, and the way she sees her enterprise rising.

Erin DeGroot © Erin DeGroot

Most artists had a degree of their life once they knew this was meant for them. Do you could have that second?  

When ladies started approaching me to let me know that my self-portrait work had resonated with them and helped them really feel much less alone in their very own experiences, I knew I wished to maintain exploring that side of my artwork. There’s something deeply therapeutic about taking the nebulous feelings that linger round a reminiscence and creating a picture out of that feeling, particularly when others can then view it and make their very own interpretations based mostly on their lived experiences.  


For somebody beginning out on their images journey what recommendation would you could have for them?  

Don’t get caught up as compared. Neighborhood over competitors. Don’t spend an excessive amount of time or cash on gear. Any digital digicam made within the final 10 years is greater than enough. Get a easy equipment collectively after which get very comfy utilizing it so you may concentrate on the issues that can have a far larger impression in your high quality of labor, like lighting and posing. The perfect gear on the earth gained’t make up for shortcomings in these two areas. Additionally, arrange techniques and workflows from the start so that you aren’t drowning or disorganized when you begin reserving purchasers. The 12 Month Startup on The Portrait System is a good place to begin figuring these items out.  

© Erin DeGroot

What fellow artists within the business do you achieve probably the most inspiration from?  

I’m deeply impressed by Brooke Shaden. She creates darkish, surreal, thought-provoking self-portraits and has constructed a strong enterprise promoting her nice artwork work in addition to mentoring different artists. Plus, she’s only a actually unbelievable human.  

One other artist that has had an enormous affect on me is Francesca Woodman. I’m obsessive about the haunting imagery she produced throughout her too-short life and profession.  


How has The Portrait System modified your life for the higher?  

I joined The Portrait System in January 2017 and instantly dove into this system. I attended my first in-person occasion later that Spring, the place I met a handful of people that have change into a few of my dearest pals. The neighborhood and connections I’ve made over time haven’t solely benefited my skilled life however have additionally deeply enriched my private life. Moreover, the self-value work has challenged me and made me a more healthy, stronger particular person.  

© Erin DeGroot

The place do you see your enterprise within the subsequent 5 years?  

On the images aspect, I’ve a few tasks within the works that mix self-portraits, documentary photos, and the written phrase that I hope to finish and ultimately publish.  

For the manufacturing and helping side of what I do, I plan to proceed to collaborate with photographers and creatives to provide impactful occasions that mirror their distinctive voice within the business. All of us have one thing particular to provide again, and I like serving to photographers create occasions that make an impression on their purchasers and attendees. 

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