#TravelTuesday still isn’t quite what it should be, but then again, nothing is at the moment. Something else that’s adapted to the change in the world around us is this year’s Worldwide Photo Walk, and that’s what I want to explore today. I’m Dave Williams, and I’m here every Tuesday on ScottKelby.com.
Yesterday, Scott showed a video explaining the reasons for the Photo Walk, one of which is the Springs of Hope Kenya orphanage. There are other reasons to get involved, but today, I want to address the things that may be missing from a regular photo walk. The thing is, networking is a big part of it. Sure, there are awesome prizes, but the long-term benefits of getting involved with such an awesome, grand, and sociable photographic event revolve around networking. First up, if you haven’t seen the video, watch it.
Okay, so now you should be well aware of the charitable benefits of the event, as well as the prizes! Those prizes are amazing, by the way, and because of the nature of the Worldwide Photo Walk, this year Scott will be joining everyone by way of a live video, broadcast throughout the day. I’ll also be joining him, along with other photographers and KelbyOne instructors, and we’ve all teamed up to add to the prize pool—there are some seriously cool, bespoke opportunities to bid on, as well as standing for a chance to win big. You’ll see more about that soon enough, and it’s explained in the video. But back to my point…
Networking and feedback opportunities that come from meeting up with peers and pros for the Worldwide Photo Walk may seem to be missing this year because of the stupid Coronavirus getting in everyone’s way, but those opportunities haven’t vanished altogether—they’re just a little different.
Let’s start with feedback. This shot is of a group I led in London some years ago (beardless, as you can see), and the point is that those who wanted feedback, critique, advice, or just someone to bounce their ideas off, could just ask. Well, here’s the thing: you can still just ask! Despite being “remote” from the pros in this year’s Photo Walk, I promise you that the feedback is there and available for you. If you have an idea or want some feedback, just as if you were standing there with your walk leader over the past 12 years, you can still ask for that now. All it takes is a simple message to whomever you think is best suited to answer you. Another thing: every single KelbyOne instructor or walk leader does what they do because they want to share, teach, and inspire. We aren’t in it for the money; we’re in it because we love doing it. Trust me—have you found a millionaire photographer in our community? No! But, you’ve definitely found a whole heap of amazing photographers with a lot to give and a passion for education, so all it takes is a message. A question. A chat. Myself, Scott, and every other KelbyOne instructor really are approachable and willing to help.
On top of that, there’s an awesome community inside KelbyOne, with loads of people just like yourself who are willing and able to help answer your questions, anytime. If it’s on the day of the Photo Walk, just jump into the chat on the live video! Even if your question isn’t picked up by Scott and the team, it’ll still be noticed by the other walkers.
So, networking. It’s a big deal in our industry, and the Worldwide Photo Walk is great for it. Despite this stupid virus, it hasn’t gone anywhere. Also beardless, this is the walk I led a couple of years back in London with Peter Treadway. This group was constantly throwing ideas off one another, and gently probing for connections. As well as the social aspect to the Photo Walk, there’s an element of networking that really is effective. Throwback a couple of years before this photo, and I was with Scott for the walk he led in London, followed by a meetup at Byron Burger. That particular branch of Byron Burger is now closed, along with many others because of COVID (sorry to break it to you this way, Scott. But, anyway, I’m getting off-topic). The thing that stood out the most to me about that moment was seeing the one and only, Mr. Danny Lenihan, present Scott, with one of his brand-new 3 Legged Thing tripods. I have no doubt that 3 Legged Thing would’ve reached the level of success they have without it, but the point is that they reached it very quickly stateside because of that little bit of networking. I also vividly remember asking Danny if he had a spare for me, to which he replied, “When you’re famous like Scott.” Well, I’m still waiting. ;)
Seriously, though, I bought my own 3 Legged Thing tripods, and they’re awesome. But, the point is that the networking opportunities provided by the Worldwide Photo Walk still exist. Just like reaching out for feedback, you can reach out to network with people and companies. In these times, it’s expected. One big piece of advice I want to give is that if you want to work with someone, life’s too short to sit back and wait. Reach out and ask! If you genuinely feel that a tandem project is worthwhile, take all the reasons why you’re right for the project and put them down on paper. Compose that into something sensible and objective, then reach out and make the connection. If you want to work together, it’s down to you to make it happen. The worst response you can get it a “no,” and that’s the worst response you would’ve received in person anyway, so don’t fret over it. Some of my favourite projects have come off the back of simply sending a carefully composed e-mail—my motorcycle ride to Norway started exactly that way.
I can’t stress how important networking is in this industry, and I also can’t stress enough that in lieu of meeting people physically, it continues for the reason that it is so important. It’s simply gone online now. Genuinely, if you want to work with someone, tell them. I can guarantee you that it isn’t going to happen if you don’t make that connection.
Despite being “alone,” you aren’t actually alone at all.