How important is it to collaborate? One word, very. Here's why.
In photography, collaboration can be a fantastic way of gaining experience in another field or another genre of photography. You can bounce ideas off one another and learn new tricks and techniques that you perhaps didn't know before. If you're a Retoucher, you can collaborate with a Photographer to enhance your portfolio. The Photographer takes the photos and the Retoucher edits them. Both of you gain more images for your portfolio and potentially gain more knowledge and tips. If your portfolio is lacking in a particular genre of photography, reach out to a Photographer who has experience in that field and ask them to collaborate on a project. It could be anything from portraits to commercial work. Collaborate with models, make up artists, prop makers, food stylists, costume makers - anyone who can add value and creativity to your work. I know that a lot of Photographers are scared to let go of images for others to work on or hold back on asking others for help or involvement but try and stay open to ideas. If you go back to the days of College and University we are constantly encouraged to work in groups to create a project, as professionals now we should also have a similar mentality. It can help with confidence and you can learn so much from other creative people.
Earlier this month I headed to Derbyshire to visit Photographer Jessica Perkins to collaborate on some food and drink photography. Neither of us had done much of this before and we thought it would be a great learning curve. I learnt a lot about photography and lighting from the collaboration.
Learning from others is essential if you want to get better at your craft. Don't be afraid to ask for help or advice from your peers. If you don't ask, you'll never know. Ask fellow creatives to collaborate and create some wonderful images.
Here are mine from my collaboration with Jessica.