In the beginning of my professional career I was an editorial and commercial photographer. It was never 9 to 5, but my weekends weren’t entirely occupied with events, either. Before I began photographing weddings, I worried that switching focus would mean the complete loss of my social life and a total disconnect from society. My concerns may have been overexaggerated, but as a twenty-something it was a real fear that delayed me from making a needed change. What I didn’t know is that my existing family and friends would bend over backward to accommodate my new life and I would make so many new friends and colleagues that it wouldn’t even be an issue.
Here are five of the best things that come with creating a circle of friends within the wedding industry:
1. No one balks at the idea of going out on a Monday night. As a matter of fact, it’s expected, and you can go out Tuesday or Wednesday as well. It’s nice because all the restaurants are only populated with weekend workers who just want to relax. Plus, you can actually have a conversation without a million people around.
2. Every lunch is a business lunch. You’re going to talk about business. How can you not? And then you get to use your business account and deduct it as a business expense. OK, maybe you don’t want to deduct all those drinks - and maybe you might not want to deduct every meal - but you can at least deduct a few.
3. Free therapy - I mean, business consultation. Do you ever just have one of those days, or one of those clients? Who else can better relate to your situation than someone in your own industry? Maybe they’ve dealt with the same issue before, or maybe they can just listen and give you a different perspective. Trying to explain the nuances of your business to an outsider is exhausting and not always productive. Knowing your friends already understand makes it easier to get the support and advice you need.
4. They will be there for you in a pinch. When you work for yourself, especially in the high-stress world of events, you are more than familiar with the immediate crisis situations that can arise. Only another person in your industry is going to understand the urgency with which you need help and drop everything to assist or to find you assistance from someone else.
5. It makes work fun. When I show up to a wedding and I’m friends with all of the vendors I just know it’s going to be an awesome day. There is nothing better than working with your friends. It makes the tough stuff tolerable and the good stuff really great.
So, thank your friends in the industry for being there for you, and if you don’t have any, go out and find some. Everyone needs a tribe they can count on.