"we're all in this together" || vancouver wedding photographer

"We're all in this together
Once we know
That we are
We're all stars
And we see that
We're all in this together
And it shows
When we stand
Hand in hand
Make our dreams come true"

sound familiar? its the lyrics to one of my favorite movies (thanks to my 8yr old daughter!), High School Musical. not gonna lie...this movies brings me to tears EVERY time. :)

truly amazing lyrics. about a class. who are all friends. who have misunderstandings. who sometimes fight. who know how to have fun. who are all going in different directions but are all chasing their dreams.

this post is something i have been chewing on for a while..and really, i am "putting myself" out there, if you will, by being honest and sharing my own personal thoughts on a subject so great and huge.

the kinda of reminded me of me and my collegues, vancouver wedding photogs.

each of us has our own business in this industry..we work hard..we create..we love..we throw ourselves into what we do..we want to make a difference..we love people.. we all have the potential to be so incredibly successful. what our business ends up doing is completely up to us.

and whether we like to admit it or not, we need each other.

what!? photogs need other photogs? heck ya we do!
but we're each other's competition. heck ya we are!
but can we really be friends then? heck ya we can.

but why, you ask? um, read that song at the top again and continue reading on.. :)

but how can i be friends with my competion?
well let's do the math for a second..

let's say there are 500 "official" photogs in metro in people who make wedding photography their business. i think there are a lot less, but hey.. :)

i found out "the number" of weddings in bc in 2008 - 22,955
let's divide that number by the 500 photogs in the city.
that would equal almost 46 local weddings a year for each photog.

who in the HECK is doing 46 weddings in and out of this city? riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

that's a lot of people gettin married.

bottom line... there's enough work for all of us. really. no really, there is. ;)

so why is it, i wonder, that as photogs in metro van, is there still angst and tension between some photogs? why is collaborating and networking such a foreign and scary thing for some photogs?

michelle libby of studio 32 and i started vancouver wedding photographers and second shooters in august 2008. why? because we need each other. we need to collaborate. we need to be in relationship with people of like minds. we need to have input from others better than us. we need to have mentors, encouragers and teachers. we need collegues who can fill in for us when an emergency comes. we need other photogs to refer other work to if we're already busy or have a project that isn't our niche. and...we need friends. (we all know we each spend a good part of our time alone in front of our digital darkrooms! :) )

and thus started the group. the group members speak for themselves. over 140 members? really? that's crazy.

is it another club? is it something "else" to be a part of? all i know is that it was birthed out of longing to belong to a group of photogs who are a community. and i truly believe it has become that.

then how come not everyone gets along and thinks its not a good thing? am i just a dreamer? maybe..chuckle..

well for one, it's that age old thing called relationship and the fact that everyone is DIFFERENT.

let's be real: we will NEVER be friends with EVERYONE. i know, some of you REALLY wish you could be, but let it ain't gonna happen. :) but you will be friends with some. and some of those people will be so vital to your growth and well-being of your business. and some of these people will become more important to you than you ever thought they would.

i have watched over the last year+ how photogs interact with other photogs in a number of different venues and circumstances. some times it brings a smile to my face. and sometimes i can't actually believe what i see. back to the "not everyone is gonna like everyone part".. :)

but really, if we are who we say we are, and who we tell our clients we are, shouldn't we be able to, at the very least, co-exist with each other in the same city? :)

all i know is this: there will ALWAYS be someone better than me. ALWAYS. and that's ok. in fact that is MORE than ok..that's inspiring! because there will always be someone i can look up to, strive to acheive my own success.

the point of this post? i'm not entirely certain. maybe some late evening ramblings. maybe something you will never read. maybe a rant. maybe a hope or dream of something that could or couldn't exist. maybe just my heart.

whatever it is, i know that i am extremely thankful for you all.

whether we barely know each other or have had some heart to hearts, have worked together a little or have worked together lots..i am thankful.

that i know that there IS a community in our city that all have a common vision to be a community within our industry that we can all be a part of.

we are all in this together and we need each other. :)



. s h e r r y * said...

Hey Tracey. I think this post rocks! (My socks are now off ;D) [That's a lot of weddings, by your estimation] And I do believe that we should ALL be able to be nice to each other. Even if you don't get along, I think being civil is the least we could do. I truly hope to get to know more local photographers and build a network of people who can trust/refer each other. :)

laurahana said...

Excellent post Tracey! Putting it into perspective like that should hopefully quell the "meanies". They need to convert that negative energy into positive energy for their own business.

Anonymous said...

Tracey, I appreciate this post very much. Thank you.
I got in this business over a year ago and have a friend of 13 years whose started a business herself. We encourage one another every step of the way. There are days we wonder if this happens elsewhere, because sometimes it seems her and I are 'only in this together' from an 'encouraging each other' standpoint. With both of us being new to this, we both know it would help so much to know that we had support from others who have been doing this longer than us. I look forward to meeting you at Becker, you are a class act, Tracey. So good to have met you.

Tanya Soderlund

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