Hey, friend, welcome to another episode of the Business Journey Podcast. I'm Rebecca, and I'm so glad to be here with you today. Today's episode is going to be so fun and it's another one of those, like, heart episodes that I think is just so necessary in our industry to talk about today. We're talking about what community over competition looks like. We did an episode, a few episodes back about fighting comparison in the photography industry and these two sort of go hand in hand. But I really wanted to dive into this idea about community over competition specifically. This is something that I preach a lot in my communities. And I think that we can talk about community over competition, but it sort of loses its meaning the more that you talk about it, especially in broader audiences. So I want to really, like, hone in on what true community over competition looks like, because there are people that say they believe in community competition, community over competition, and they just don't like their actions, say otherwise. So I want to really nail down and talk about what true community over competition looks like now before we get too far. I wanted to mention that if you're looking for a good, positive community of like minded photographers, my community is like the best there is. People rave about it and they just say that it's so encouraging and so uplifting and so helpful. Like, you can be helpful and kind at the same time. So if you want to be a part of my student community, we have a new opportunity for you to join. Usually it was only people that were in my upper level courses that were able to able to get into my student community, which is a Facebook group that's exclusive just for my students. But we've recently launched my brand new membership Behind The Lens, which is a monthly membership for family photographers that shows the behind the scenes of me shooting real family sessions. And the good news is anybody who enrolls in behind the lens gets access to my community. And so it's only fourteen dollars. It is the cheapest thing in my shop. I mean, incredible value. And you can jump in to my student community, which is I'm telling you, it's the best of the best if everybody is so nice and so encouraging and uplifting and so helpful. And so I really believe that you're going to find a lot of value in it. So in my opinion, the 14 dollars is like worth the community alone, let alone the behind the scenes video you get and the monthly master class that you get. It's just so much value. So definitely go check that out if you haven't already. In the first week when we launched a few weeks ago, we got 250 photographers in like over the weekend. It was incredible. And that number just continues to grow. And so we're just honored to have so many of you in and we love seeing you in the community. I'm very active in that community. I pop in every day. I'm answering questions and engaging with you. So if you want that, like, more one on one interaction with me, like that's the place to get it in that student community. So just wanted to throw that out there because we're talking about community. If you're looking for something like that, you will find it in behind the lines in my student community. So definitely go check that out. You can find out more at Rebeccaricephoto.com/membership and I will link in the show notes free days to check out. So let's dive into those really loud. Oh, my husband's really going to fix that. But let's dive in to what community over competition looks like. I've been in the industry long enough now to see when people value community and to see when people don't value community. And it's really sad to me when there's so much jealousy and just hatred that goes on in the industry, like let's just be friends. Like, that's really where I stand is let's just be friends and get along because we're so much better together than we are apart. And so there are a few things that I'm going to mention about what community over competition looks like. The first thing is that it looks like having an abundance mindset. And I mentioned in episode eight of the podcast, we talked about fighting comparison and we talked about this a little bit. But there's this mindset shift that really needs to happen if you're going to, you know, be pro community and community over competition. And that mindset is that there are plenty of clients to go around. OK, let me say that again. There are plenty of clients to go around. There are way more people looking to get photos done than there are photographers. So there's no need to go into, like, defense mode and like try to, you know, hide all your secrets and don't share with anybody and don't create community in. Don't make friends because they're your competition, cause there are so many people that need photos done way more than there are photographers, and so you don't have to go into this, like, defense mode of why I have to just stick to my own and do my own thing, because if I share like somebody's going to take my clients, like, that's not what this looks like, you guys. And something that's really important to understand is that someone else succeeding doesn't mean that you won't make someone else booking and doing well doesn't mean that you're not going to book out. And I've just found so much value in my own life changing to this mindset. Well, I wouldn't say changing because I don't know that I ever had the like the the competition mindset. I was really honored to join a very positive community from the beginning of my photography journey that was community over competition. So I had this drilled into me from the very start. But I see so many times photographers get very defensive and there are just some people that are just so anti community and they just want everything's a competition. And if you're booking out, then you're stealing their clients. Like that's not what this is about. It's not about stealing clients. And so, like, I got to see this in my own community, like when I was back in Texas, I had a pretty tight knit community. Not to say that I don't in Nashville, but I just moved to Nashville. So I'm still working on building that community. I've got a handful of girls that are so awesome here that I've had the honor to really interact with. But in Texas, I had a really good group of photographers that are just so sweet. And it was awesome because we were all, you know, community minded and we were always like cheering each other on. And, you know, I helped several photographers in my area and like, we would bounce ideas off of each other and stuff. And I would see them, like, fully book their minis. And I could have, you know, my mind set could have gone one of two ways. It could have made me really defensive and say, oh, my gosh, I can't help so-and-so anymore because she's booking all these minis and she's going to take all my clients and I'm not going to book any or I could have a different mindset of saying, oh, my gosh, look how incredible so-and-so booked all their minis. That means I can, too, because there's so many clients out there, like even when they are fully booked, there are so many people that still need photos done. And so having that abundance mindset is very, very important that there are more than enough clients to go around. A friend of mine says that there's there's room for everyone at the table. Right. We don't have to be, like, exclusive and like you can't sit with us and whatnot. Like, let's have that abundance mindset, knowing that there are way more there's just enough people around. OK, guys, enough people to go around. So the next thing that community over competition looks like is elevating others, even if they are competition. And an episode I talked about Dolly, who is like such a sweet girl and I like jokingly said, like, how she'd be like Dolly. So if you used out on my Instagram, that's what I was talking about. But Dolly does this very well to elevate others, even if they're direct competition. So this is something that I really tried to adopt, especially like in the last couple years, where let's take Facebook groups, for example, OK?
There's lots of posts of people looking for recommendations for photographers. Right. And when I read through those posts sometime I can tell that I'm not going to be the best fit for somebody, either I'm out of their budget or they're asking for something that I don't shoot. For example, I don't shoot weddings. So I I will only shoot weddings if like, it is personally requested by a friend of mine, but otherwise I just don't do them. It's not my specialty. I don't like enjoy them.
I don't have a lot of fun with them unless it's, you know, a friend of mine and I'm like, no, please, I'll shoot your wedding because like, I can't imagine anybody else doing it. But for the most part, I don't shoot weddings. So if I see somebody, like, looking for a wedding photographer, I'm not gonna throw my name in the hat like that. Doesn't make sense. I don't shoot weddings. And so there are a handful of photographers that I will recommend even if they're competition or they are you know, sometimes there are newborn requests, like people having a baby requesting a newborn photographer. So for me, I don't shoot posed newborns. Right. Like the kind where they have, like the bean bag and, you know, the fancy like put the hand like pose the hands on the face. Like, I just I don't do that. I try to pose newborns are very, very hard. And I think that I just don't have the patience or the time, like learn the art of pose newborns. And so it's just not my specialty lifestyle. Newborns, on the other hand, I'll do all day like I love lifestyle newborns when they're in home and. It's not supposed it's very natural and organic, I can do that. So, you know, when I see somebody post looking for a photographer for Poes newborn session and they post like examples and I can tell it's definitely not in my wheelhouse. There was a girl back home in in Texas that I would recommend all the time. And so I would just tag her and say, oh, so-and-so is amazing. Like, go check her out if she would be a great fit for you. Now, that girl also shot family sessions. And so by me recommending her, like I could have recommended myself and talked about lifestyle newborns and like tried to get them to switch from post to lifestyle, but I wouldn't be like serving them the best that I could. And so I knew that by recommending her, I was probably losing out on a family, like because eventually they're going to need family photos and smash cake and like all the things that I do. But because I wasn't shooting their newborns, like people like to stick with their photographer. So I knew I would be losing out on family sessions by recommending her. But it's about like community. And I know that she does incredible work. And so I wanted to recommend her whenever I saw that happen. Well, the cool thing, a cool thing happened. We never talked about it, but she saw me tagging her in those posts. And so to reciprocate, whenever she saw somebody asking for a lifestyle newborn session, she started tagging me. And she is very capable of shooting lifestyle newborns. But it was just really cool because she was sort of like repaying the favor of tagging me in those posts and just, you know, talking me up and recommending me because I had done so for her. And so you can be the catalyst for community. And so, like, that became a thing where we would like recommend each other. And even for regular families, like if she knew that I was doing a set of minutes, like she would comment on that, or if, you know, I knew she was running a special, I would mention her and it was just as cool, like mutual thing we had that we never had to talk about. But that's like what true community over competition looks like. It's building each other up and, you know, elevating each other. Even if we were competition, which in the long run, like we were sure I didn't do newborns, but like we both serve families. And so even as direct competition, we can elevate each other. And guess what? Like, I was never lacking even by, you know, recommending families to her. I was never lacking. There were plenty of families to go around. And what I was doing, you know, I wasn't like, oh, my gosh, no, I'm not going to book anything. Like, I still looked fine. And what did I gain in the process? I gained a friend, I gained community, somebody that would, you know, vouch for me and that would recommend meet other people. It was just an awesome relationship to have. So I highly suggest, like finding those people in your community and you don't have to, like, reach out to them, be like, hey, do you want to suggest each other in groups? I don't do that. That's a little weird. But, you know, just start tagging them. And odds are like if they're a good, awesome person, like, they'll probably start talking you back. So all things to consider. Another thing I want to mention with community over competition and what it looks like is it's really important to work to make friends and not enemies. OK, and I'm going to talk more about this in a later episode, but it all boils down to this. The way that you interact with people matters, the way you interact with other photographers matters. First of all, just be kind, OK? Just be kind. We were all new once and there are a couple of photography like communities that I'm in on Facebook that really love to bash on new photographers. And it drives me nuts because it's so frustrating. You know, we were all new at one point. Why do we have to go and be little new photographers? So if you're listening to this and you're a newer photographer, just know that my community will never bash you. We will never be upset with you for what you're charging or what you're offering or whatnot. Like that's just not how we roll. We will encourage you and be kind to you and help you, like, elevate your game. But we're not we're never going to belittle you. That's just terrible. And it drives me crazy. So definitely be kind to people and don't be a keyboard warrior. All right. Especially in those groups. Like, it could be really easy to, like, start typing and bashing on people like don't be that person, OK ? And it's this gets really hard when insecurities come into play just in general, like being kind. And and there's a few more things, you know. I'll get to that in a second. Let me finish with the keyboard warrior. Here I go. A little out of whack, but this is real life with Rebecca. So don't don't be a keyboard warrior. If you see Facebook groups and people are like jumping all over, like don't join in, that's not cool. That's that's awful. Be kind. Especially to newbies. The next thing is, you know, with the way that you interact with people don't use people for personal gain and it's really sad that I have to say that. But I know people in the industry that will only, like, be friendly to you for personal gain, that they just want to use you or use your client base or something for themselves. And that's horrible. Like don't do that and then don't burn bridges like as much as you can try to be kind to all people. And, you know, not to say like if somebody is being like abusive, like burn the bridge in general in the photography community, like try not to put yourself in the place where you burn bridges. There's this one girl that tends to burn bridges with people. And when I would talk with other photographers and, you know, local here in Nashville and I talked to other photographers, like there's this common thread of people like not liking this person. I like what in the world, like what's going on, because she had this habit of burning bridges with people. I'm like, well, that's unfortunate. And so, you know, I'm going to try to give the girl a chance. But my goodness, like, if that reputation precedes you, like I should say something. So try not to be that person to burn bridges. But anyway, I was going to say all of this gets really hard when insecurities come into play, especially if you're insecure about your bookings or your business model or your pricing or whatnot. Like that's when it gets hard to interact with people, because I think that's where a lot of those Facebook communities that are bashing newer photographers, that's where that stems from is insecurity, where they say, oh, you're charging, you know, one hundred fifty dollars, you're stealing all our clients and this and that. And I'm like, no, they're not stealing clients. They are, you know, reaching a different price range, which is totally acceptable. I think that there's you know, there is always going to be photographers at every price range that just stems from insecurity of them, like not knowing or not being secure in their own bookings and their own marketing. And so don't let other people's secure insecurities be reflected on you. I would my biggest piece of encouragement is like keep going and work hard to make friends, not enemies. And if there's people that make it clear that they don't want to be friends, like that's OK. If they are like not community over competition, they're all competition. Like it's OK to, like, distance yourself from that person. And the biggest thing I would say is if there's somebody that says that they are all about community over competition, but their actions say otherwise, I would run as fast as you can. And I have come across those people. And it is horrible because I feel like I get fooled because I naturally I'm like really trusting and I want to, like, hang out with with cool people that are all about community. And then I like watch them like, wait a minute, that's not very kind. That's not very like community oriented. So if you see those people like run away fast and I know that in the photography industry, especially like community can be hard to find. And my goal is to help, like, foster that environment for community to happen. And so that's one reason that my student group is so awesome because photographers are able to connect with each other. I mean, from all over the nation. I honestly all over the world, we have photographers in, you know, in Europe and Australia and all these awesome places. And you can find connection with like minded people, because I can tell you, people that are not about community over competition are not naturally drawn to me because they feel that rub. And so the people that are naturally drawn to my community are like minded. And so if you want to find that like minded community, my student group is where it's at. It is unmatched. It's the best of the best. I could talk about my student community all the time, and it's not because of me. I want to make that really clear. Like my student community is amazing because of the people that are in it and all these amazing humans and photographers that are just so kind and so encouraging and so up lifting. And yes, they can, you know, critique and give you wisdom and value, but they do so in a way that's kind and that makes you want to keep going and not quit. So all that to say, if you're looking for that kind of community, check out my student group. You can get in by purchasing any of my courses. But the cheapest way, the most cost effective way, I should say, is to join my membership behind the lines. It's fourteen dollars. You can find it at Rebeccaricephoto.com/membership can join today and get immediate access to the student group. You can get access to behind the scenes of a family sessions and watch me shoot in real time. Be my virtual shadow and you can get access to monthly business master classes. Also super value packed by. Like I said, I truly believe that a lot of the value like, yes, those other things are valuable, but even just having access to the student community is. So worth the 14 dollars because of the amazing people that you would be surrounded with, you can find people that are in your area, go meet up with them, have hangouts like it's the best. And so I highly encourage you to find community wherever you're at, find those like minded photographers, because things just go way better with community. We're not designed to do this thing alone. And so if I can foster that community, great. And if that's not the route that you want to take, that's fine. Just find community wherever you can because it's so important to have people in this together. That's why I call this podcast The Business Journey podcast, because we're taking a journey together. And this business journey is not always easy. And it's you know, it comes with twists and turns and all things. And I want to be there along the way to walk with you. So I hope that this episode leaves you feeling encouraged and knowing that there are like decent humans out there and not everything is, so just like dog eat dog like, that's not how you don't have to, like, live like that. There are amazing communities that you can be a part of. And I hope that this episode just gives you hope, you know, it just gives you hope and humanity in the world. So with that, we'll go ahead and close out. Don't forget, you can jump into behind the lens at Rebeccaricephoto.com/membership. I'll link it in the show notes for you if you want to check it out. But if anything, if you leave with nothing, leave knowing that you can be community, right. You can be the change agent. You can foster community over competition because it wins out every time. We'll see you guys next week.

Episode Transcript

13. What community over competition look like