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A photography support network is an extremely useful tool for improving your photography skills. But for most of us, it’s not going to be easy to find. Luckily, there are plenty of fantastic Facebook groups that let you share your own photography knowledge, find inspiration, and sponge off the experience of others.
These groups aren’t just great for helping you become a better photographer. They’re also a great place to network with people who share your passion. You can get advice on improving your skills. On going pro. Even on finding new photography clients.
If you’re looking to make connections to improve your photography, these are the places you should check out.
Fstoppers is aimed at both professionals and amateurs alike. It’s a fantastic place to ask questions and gather feedback on your shots. And if you’re also looking to delve into videography, a good portion of the 19,000-strong community will be happy to help.
The group is managed by the editorial team of the popular photography magazine Fstoppers. This means new content is always on offer. And the mix of experienced and less-experienced members creates an especially friendly dynamic.
With 165,000 members, the Photoshop and Lightroom group is one of the most popular out there. If you’re looking to improve your skills with these apps, this is the place to be. You’ll regularly see incredible shots from talented photographers and editors. And you’ll have a wealth of knowledge to feed off of.
But keep on topic. The group has some pretty detailed guidelines for the kind of posts that are accepted. These are limited to Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography questions only. Gear talk isn’t permitted. And if you’re too thin-skinned for a ton of constructive criticism, include “No CC” in your posts.
The 17,000 members of this group only share and discuss shots that have been edited using Tribe Archipelago. These are a set of massively popular Lightroom presets that can convert a mediocre shot into something special. I’d even go so far as to say they’re a must-have for aspiring photographers using Lightroom. You can see examples of some of these shots on the Tribe Archipelago Instagram account.
The feedback offered will help you learn how to use these presets as effectively as possible. Just remember to mention which preset you used when posting a photo. There is also a smaller section of the group that shares knowledge and methods of far more advanced editing techniques.
4. The Law Tog
Looking to become a freelance photographer or hoping to start your own photography business? If so, join the Law Tog group straight away. Between the 22,000 members, you’ll find an answer to any business-related questions. This will help you always stay on the right side of the law.
The group is particularly useful for questions relating to legislation, permissions, and other legal issues. But you’ll receive great answers to questions about marketing, sales, and business development, too.
SLR Lounge is a popular site sharing photography tutorials and tips. They also have a 20,000-strong Facebook group. A notably friendly community, this is a great place to share photos for critique. You do need to upload your photos to the critique section of their site first, then post a link to Facebook. That’s a small price to pay for quality feedback.
Also, don’t bother posting tutorials and guides from outside of SLR Lounge. These will be deleted. As will posts aiming to simply promote your photography. This is a community (thankfully) driven by feedback.
At just 5,000 members, this is one of the smaller Facebook groups on this list. That said, it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re interested in wedding photography. Make sure you put the word “photographer” in your profile before joining, or you won’t get access.
The whole premise of the group is to help you to take unique shots, rather than just sticking to standard formulas. These formulas are fine for “first shots.” But second shots should be something unique. Something that really tells the story of the day. This is the perfect community to push your creativity and find masses of inspiration.
Inside the Box focuses on mastering the fundamentals of photography through constructive feedback. It is, however, strictly for professional photographers. You’ll need to make sure adminstrators can verify from your profile that you’re a pro. This strict policy has led to Inside the Box being home to some truly talented photographers. Most of them are happy to share plenty of knowledge to the 10,000-strong community.
If you’re granted access, be sure to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that’s locked inside this group.
Although it’s not just for photographers, the Rising Tide Society is a group of almost 60,000 creative entrepreneurs. You’ll be pleased to hear that photography does take up a good chunk of the discussion, though.
This is a community that’s all about helping other creative professionals hone their craft and make a living from their skills. If you’re looking to network, ask questions, or seek support, no matter what stage of the process you’re at, this is a fantastic group.
Which Will You Choose?
Don’t let the prospect of joining and keeping up with all these groups daunt you. That would pretty much be impossible, and this is far from an exhaustive list.
But to help you narrow down your selections:
- Are you a keen photographer looking to improve? Fstoppers, SLR Lounge, and Photoshop and Lightroom are all great choices.
- If you’re hoping to make a living from your shots, The Law Tog and The Rising Tide Society are where it’s at.
- If you’re already a pro, join Inside the Box and The Art of The Second Shot.
- And if you own the Lightroom presets, be sure to join the Tribe Archipelago group.
As is the case with all online communities, you get out what you put in. Try to give as much value as you take. This will help make these communities as valuable as possible to every member, no matter their expertise.
Which other communities (Facebook or otherwise) are fantastic for photographers? Share your favorites in the comments below!