Art, Fine Art Photography, Fine Art Portraits, Photography, photos, Portraits

Networking to Success

Trying to be successful is so much harder than just producing the work.  So many people have told me that they love the work I am doing, but it is hard to find my audience and find that success.  It seems just producing good work is not enough and you have to do a lot more.

I met up with a friend recently who does marketing and she gave me some hints and tips of what I need to be doing.  One of the things she said that was really important, was networking.

So what is networking?  I think we all know what it is, basically making friends, but how do we do it?  How easy is to make lots of friends?  I am not a shy sort of person, but I am not comfortable around other people.  I feel very awkward, so I don’t know how I am going to be able to do this.  It is going to be interesting.

I have signed up for some things with my local council that will hopefully help with networking and I could possible meet a lot of people.  I have my new business cards now, so I am really all set to go, just need to find that new network.

I thought today I would show you a gallery of all the images that I really like of the new work that I have been doing.

On the subject of networking, I met a new person this morning, Michael from Photonet Gallery in Fairfield.  I was introduced to him through a friend from the Mallee, Ted, and I was introduced because Michael does printing.  He prints on many different types of papers, and everything is archival.  I loved all the papers and I really hope we can work together.  Some of the papers he has would give my images another dimension all together.  It is exciting.

I think my network might have started.


  1. Tracy says

    I like your images, always enjoy what you share. Good luck

  2. Great set Leanne! The Photo gallery link you posted is broken, thought you may want to know. :)

    • Thank you John, thanks for letting me know about the link, it seems WP have been making more changes and how to do links is one of them, I have fixed it now. :)

  3. The photos above are like a vibrant, ravishing, collection of dreams. But whether storybook or portfolio, I hope your work gets into the right hands and that your networking is a great success.

    • Thank you Gina, I like that description. I hope the networking works too. I have joined a couple of things, and signed up for some, so time will tell.

  4. Really enjoyed seeing your photos I think they are beautiful. That being said I completely relate to your issue with networking. It is a problem I have myself. Do you have a website?

      • Thanks,
        The networking topic hasn’t left my head since your post. Really encouraged the last post I just wrote. Gave you a mention and linked your site. Perfectly appropriate for the topic :)

  5. Loretta Walshe says

    Hi Leanne

    I hope you saw the e-newsletter with your article that I have just sent out today. I think I added you to our circulation list but let me know if you haven’t received it.

    I just read your post on networking. It was funny that you mentioned Michael Silver. I worked with Michael as part of my role at Guide Dogs Victoria as he took a lot of the photos of the pups and dogs. He is very friendly. Michael’s son also works as a photographer and I am sure Michael would be well connected to many in the industry.

    I could introduce you to our designer Ramesh Weereratne if you like as is team would have clients who need photos as part of their design projects. You are so talented so it shouldn’t be too hard to market yourself!



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    • I did see it Loretta, thank you for the plug.
      Michael does seem well connected and a really nice person, I love the way he prints images too. I can’t believe you know him, what a small world we live in.
      I am up for meeting anyone, I hope you are right, I do need to market myself and find somewhere for my images.
      I need to come and talk to you, must organise it. Thanks

  6. stilettosinthemud says

    I love your work, wish I could model for you!

  7. Good for you! :-D I’m still trying to figure out what Networking actually is. I mean, I know it’s meeting other people and getting new contacts but how? Do you just say, Hi! IM FELICIA AND I AM A ….WHAT ARE YOU? OK, LETS SWAP CARDS! Lol idk what to do but good luck to you and please make a post on what the heck to do as well.

    • So I think what you really mean is how do you network, which is what I need to work out too. Apparently you don’t go up to people and say much about you, or you find people who you think might be interested in you and say what you do and give them a card. I think that is what it is. I will let you when I figure it out. I think you just always let people know what you do because you never know when someone will tell someone about you.

    • It is surprising how though I have lots of followers, I don’t find that helps me with trying to make a living. It is good to use for show, but that is about it. It seems I have to leave the cyberworld and enter the real one to do some networking. :)

  8. Keep at it! I do not know how to describe it, but to me your pictures has a fragility and shyness in them, as if your models almost do not believe that you are seeing their soul.

    • I think you did a great job of describing them, thank you very much. I will keep at it, don’t think I could stop now.

  9. Lovely, exuberant images, Leanne! Especially nice to see how much your models are enjoying participating in the fantasies. Good luck with your networking. Obviously setting your mind to it has already helped it manifest in a very practical and inspiring way.

    • I do think the models really enjoy it and they are always keen to do more, which is fantastic. Thank you Orb, I hope so, I suppose that is part of it, opening your mind to the idea. I do believe very strongly in this work, so I do believe something will happen with it.

  10. thanks for this post, it is nice to hear that other photographers are going through same kind of stuff. It is not always so easy.

    • It is never easy, we think it should be, but I suspect photography is probably one of the hardest areas to get into these days. Thank you.

  11. Leanne, I think your work is just remarkable, gorgeous and eye catching! I too am working on networking for my photography. Luckily, I am a graphic designer for a print shop so a lot falls into my lap. However, I still have to open my mouth. My oh my, it is nerve wracking! Best of luck with the networking and thanks for sharing your amazing work!

    • You are very lucky, I have never had that kind of luck, but yes you do have to open your mouth, though I think the trick is not to say too much. Thank you for your kind words, and best of luck to you too.

  12. It has been said that a photograph has no intrinsic value. I guess they never heard of fine art photography.

  13. Hi Leanne. Your friend is spot on. Networking is vital for building profile and growing ones success by what ever yardstick you measure it. But thats not all. Through networking comes new ideas, new techniques and new directions for ones work as you have already seen with Michael.

    Social media is a form of networking and I find it great for finding new ideas and as a marketing tool. May be I am too old school but for me it does not have the same networking effect as direct contact. A big part of successful networking is building trust and to me that only comes from direct contact.

    • That is so true, it is a scary thought to be putting yourself out there, it is so easy to just hide at home, but I am trying to force myself to get out there.

      I think you are right about social media, someone said to me recently that it is good once that initial contact is made, but no good before hand, so I suppose I have to get out there. I have signed up for a couple of things, so I better start being social. Thanks George.

  14. leecleland says

    Go, go Leanne! What a fabulous introduction.

  15. Two old sayings spring to mind: “Success is 10% inspiration – 90% perspiration” and “It’s not what you know, but who you know that counts.”

    • I have sort of heard the first, but know the second most definitely, it really is who you know. Thanks Brian.

  16. Your work is (and always has been)… stunning!
    And even though you’re way ahead of me in terms of skill, talent and experience… these photos show that you are still growing and on the way UP!

    Networking is challenging even for the biggest extroverts among us.
    We are judged by the company we keep… just think of your network being a prime example of that in a business sense. You’ll have to form alliances, friendships and sometimes, revisit that network and cull a little.

    Your network is a living, breathing, entity because it’s made up of human beings gathered for a common cause: success.
    And not just their own… but that of the community of common ideas/goals and aspirations of those with whom they associate.

    In short: YOUR success is equally important to the general success of your network.

    You’re gonna do just fine with this… I can feel it. :)

    • Thanks, and I agree with you about the growth, I do feel like I am still growing and I am excited to see where I go.
      I also agree about the networking being hard, thank you for the vote of confidence, it really means a lot.

  17. Sounds like you’re on the right track. Good luck! These images are lovely…. Especially the light on faces!

    • Thank you LB, I hope that I am too, I love playing with the light, so good to see that you like that.

  18. Leanne, just reading this posting I thought of a networking angle for you, but you might have already done it. Artists have shows in galleries and libraries, so why can’t photographers have their own show to bring their artwork to the public’s eye with advertising in the newspaper and local magazines to get the word out?

    • It is a great idea, but newspapers are pretty much a dead form of anything now, people just don’t look at them much anymore, and I have looked at magazines, but they are so expensive to advertise in, I can’t really afford it. I am looking at places where I can show my work. Thanks for the ideas Mary, they always appreciated.

  19. katrinamillen says

    I love these photo’s, it’s like a romance novel come to life!!!!!!

  20. I like this series a lot. I think the order of things for your interest in selling your work is:
    1) These are good photos
    2) Lots of people are seeing them right now
    3) Some of those people have the potential to help you sell your work–though they might not know it, and you don’t know who they are now
    4) We pause to celebrate what you have already achieved—creating good photos and getting lots of people to look at them (every day!) are two pretty big deals
    5) Where to go next is the question

    • I like the way you have done this Paul, and I might have to write this out in my notebook. I especially love point 5, that really is the next question. Thank you so much Paul.

      • Another way to say it is that if you didn’t need or want to make money from what you’re doing, then you’re already highly successful. You’ve already accomplished an enormous amount.

      • I like that way of looking at it too Paul, I wish it were true, but there needs to be that other success as well, or it becomes impossible to go on, or go on as I have been. thanks again.

  21. Your work is absolutely stunning – I love the dark, almost romantic feel of it. I have the same problem with networking, but slowly, I’m finding that I love making new “photographer” friends, because there’s always so much to talk about in terms of style, equipment, etc. Good luck!

    • Thank you Jenna, the romantic theme seems to be coming out a lot. Networking with like minded people is fantastic, though I need to network with people who want to hire me to take photos, and they are so much harder to find. Good luck to you too.

  22. I can only wish you success Leanne as your images are stunning. I agree with you that it is hard to put yourself out there. I wish you all the best in this.

  23. I share your pain a bit Leanne and chose to start with people I know. To be honest it just felt safe.
    It looks like your networking is already successful and growing. It may not be moving as quickly as you want, but it is happening. Of course the other concern might be to the amount of time you have to put into it when what you really want to do is create work that you and others enjoy.
    Somethings you can’t get around, so you’re gonna have to be persistent and patient.
    And yes I’m talking to myself as well :-)

    • Oh no there is that word patience again, haha, I don’t have a lot of that.
      I do need to give myself time, you are right about that, and I do need to be patient. I have booked into some courses and group things that my local council have set up that are supposed to help with networking, time will tell if they work.
      Glad you are saying it all to yourself as well, thank you.

  24. So pleased that your network has started. I enjoy your work. It has a dreamy quality that makes my imagination fly. I, too am working on my network since coming back into the business. It takes time. I wish you luck!

    • Good luck to you as well, it is nice to see networking beginning, still a long way to go. It is so great to hear people describing my work, I love that, thank you very much.

  25. Love the photos in your gallery. I put a “like” on my favorites.

    That’s interesting advice about networking. Thank you for sharing it. It helps me because I’m considering going to a reader convention and various conventions next year and have to decide on whether to plan to do that.

    • Thanks Nia. :)
      Yes, networking and planning on doing it is very important, you need business cards, be ready to hand them out. Of course, networking is just about people you know it can be people you like, you just never know where it will go. Good luck.

      • Thank you! I just received my new business cards. I changed my tagline, as we call it in writing. Based on responses to my first story, I changed my “brand” from light stories of love set in contemporary times to sexy heroes and feisty heroines with a touch of suspense. ;) My readers and Amazon viewers are really helping me identify who I’m like and what about my writing they like. Great to have real-world feedback. Thanks for your comments on networking; you are right, you reach out and reach out, never knowing what will lead to what. We can’t be total artist introverts, can we?

      • I just got new business cards too, though I am not sure mine have worked well, but they will be fine for now. That is great that you are finding a new you, so to speak through the experience of your book. It is so cool. No we can’t be complete introverts, we would never have any success that way. Thanks Nia.

  26. biancabagliettophotography says

    Leanne this recent work that you have shared is beautiful and powerful. I havent had much chance to go through all yr blogs but wot ive seen has been great and this set is truly amazing. Like you im in the process of getting my network going but with summer here its hard as one struggles to find the time to what needs to be done. Good luck and look forward to c more of yr work.

    • Thank you Bianca, that is lovely of you to say, We all do what we can,. I think networking is hard to do anytime, it is really hard to put yourself out there, it is so easy to fear rejection, something we all hate. We will both have to force ourselves to do it, good luck to you too.

      • biancabagliettophotography says

        thank you. It is a struggle and social networking is just as important but the best way is through word of mouth :) Just keep doing what you do and don’t get discouraged.

      • I think word of mouth is the best way too, I will keep going, thanks, it is really important to me to make this work.

      • biancabagliettophotography says

        You will as long as you keep going.

    • Thank you, they are perhaps a little darker than what you normally see with fairy tales, but that is good.

  27. Wish I knew how to work nets! Not an easy thing to do. :)
    The print connection should provide a very good extra dimension to what you offer.

    • No, not easy to do at all. I hope the new connection will help me get some great prints, that would be wonderful. Thanks Colonialist.

  28. Beautiful photographs! As a young writer and photographer (and fellow Leanne) I empathize completely. I only hope the hard work and continuous networking will pay off! I am glad to see you are making new connections and progress with your work! :)

    • Thank you Leanne, lovely to meet another Leanne. I hope so too, it is an interesting time ahead, I think I am about to find out how good my networking skills are.

  29. It’s so true. Artists (and writers and dancers and musicians and so many other creatives) have not only to do great work, but, it seems, everything else as well. Good luck with your networking. I’m currently learning how to do all this as well. It’s hard to figure out exactly what works so that the bills get paid. :) You photography is phenomenal, though–may it find its way into all the right hands.

  30. Your gallery’s absolutely wonderful, Leanne. You should be very proud of this. Good luck with the networking.

    • Thank you Richard, I do feel like I am on the right path, and that feels great. Thanks again, networking is such an interesting thing to do.

  31. I am afraid the world does NOT beat a path to anyone’s doorstep, but quite the contrary is true. I can’t imagine you won’t do just fine, with your networking.

    • Welcome to my blog, and welcome to blogging and WordPress, there is a wonderful community here. Thank you and that image is also one of my favourites.

  32. success, as in financial success from doing what we love? That’s a tricky one, considering artists rarely love marketing. A friend told me that what an artist really need is a manager, so that she can focus doing what she loves and let the manager do the “dirty work.”

    Networking may or may not take us there, it could go slow or fast. And sometimes we just have to do so much more than what we can bargain for.

    I’ve been learning to let it flow, doing some other jobs to get the money. It’s a long and winding road, but I guess it’s not always the highway for some of us.

    Your portraits (if I may say so myself) are not the kind of things that I would do myself, but to me they are visually satisfying. I don’t know about the technical, educated terms, I just like ’em. I guess they are more within the “fine art” realm… whatever that means. Good luck, with such good taste and hard work, luck is all that is left.

    • I love what your friend says about having a manager, that would be fantastic.

      I think networking is one thing you should be doing, part of the bigger picture, I don’t think you would get there with just networking.

      My problem is that I don’t want to do any other jobs, so I am getting a crash course in marketing, luckily my local council has a heap of courses and things for people like me, people who want to start their own businesses. They aren’t too expensive either, so even better. I also have a friend who helps a little with giving me tips on marketing.

      I don’t have a problem with you saying you wouldn’t do them, but I think there is a market, not a massive one, but I don’t have to make massive amounts of money. It is nice that you like them, I just did a shoot with my first customer, so that was great.
      Thank you and thanks for the encouragement, it is a tough world.

  33. As most have said, you are an artist, but you have enough images to create so many different portfolios. Your new collection above shows the strength of focusing on one subject, looks like time to arrange a public exhibition before you move on to the next chapter.

    • I am not quite ready for the exhibition, as I think this work still needs to develop, but I am more than happy to put my work out there in group shows and such, that would be great. Thank you.

  34. People are more helpful if you ask the right question, I am at present using contacts to set up a guest blog with Cunard, they like the 12 posts recently filed, you have a copy of the links, maybe you should be extending your writing to underpin the photography with someone like a fashion house, city authority, or your theatre connections. Become a self publishing author/photographer/story teller? I think you have well enough quality material, sometimes artists stay too close to their creations. Of course this is just an opinion.

    • It is an interesting idea, I hadn’t really thought about doing something like this, but it is something to think about. So what do you think I should write about, or how to do it?

  35. You may have noticed I try to tell a story in my posts no matter if the pictures do it or mix it with the text. On my days out or holidays or just taking pictures of birds and landscapes I try to stay on focus, I was lucky and did a late degree which taught me how to be concise and write with purpose. The point I made in my first post is that we live in a postmodern world where it’s how you ask and answer your own questions that help you decide a direction for your skills; so now it’s over to you and yours as to what happens next. Find a quiet corner without distraction of any kind try to sit and think for an hour or two, a lot find that hard to do but be conscious so that the good ideas stay with you. It seems most of your day is filled with ways of filling the day, crazy world time – which came first the chicken or the egg? obviously it was the cockerel. It’s only in Mills and Boon that the chicken makes it first.

    • I find I keep time to do that thinking, often I go out for a coffee or something and will sit by myself with my notebook. I am happy with the direction I am going in, though my blog is just about photography and that is all I want it to be about. For me my blog is for other photographers, I don’t really seeing my clientele following it, well not like other photographers do. You have given me some wonderful things to think about, so thank you for that.

  36. eyekensee says

    Your photos are awesome… I wish you all the best.

  37. Good going. Networking is tough, especially when you try with all your might and people still don’t wantt o give you the time of day.

    I love your work but these are definitely some of your best work to date that I’ve seen.

    • It is so hard to work out who to network with as well. It is something I really need to work on.
      Thank you, that is great to hear, I am so happy with where the work is going.

  38. Just a few thoughts on your networking dilemma; first you need to work out who your ideal customer is, then find places that your customer will visit, and use that to target your marketing. Say, for instance, you ideal customer is a woman in her thirties who appreciates fine art. She has two children, drives a Mercedes and goes to the gym regularly. Then you could talk to your local Mercedes dealer and offer a free photo session to anyone who buys a new Mercedes, or to the local fitness centre and offer the same to anyone who renews their membership. Once you have people coming for sessions, ask them if they know anyone else who would enjoy a portrait session with you? Existing customers are your best network, as they know the quality of your work. Just some ideas to be getting on with….; good luck!

    • I have heard some similar things, I am going to have to get myself out there and consider some of these, thank you very Luke for taking the time to give me some ideas, they are always appreciated.

  39. Thanks for liking my pictures, I am in the same boat as you networking! I am really new to this and really need to get to grips with blogging! Help and advice would be grateful! Charlotte x

    • You’re welcome. Networking is such a funny thing, you never know when a contact will be useful. Yesterday my daughters were laughing at me because I was telling a woman in a shop about my photography, she had seemed interested, so I was telling her about it. They said they laughed because I am always doing it, but then my husband said, you have to do that, it is networking, and the more I tell people, the more the word gets out there about what I do. So I was networking without really realising that I was doing it. I don’t know that I have a lot that can help, I am finding my way through this myself. I thought my blog would be my ticket, but it hasn’t worked out how I thought it would. Though, I now use it as a showcase for my work, and then I can direct people to it. The problem with blogs is that you get an international audience, which is wonderful, but if you are trying to make money from photography, you need a local audience, and I am still working that one out. Good luck Charlotte.

      • Thank you Leanne for taking the time to reply, I am doing exactly what you are about talking to everyone, Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, here! But yes you do get the wider audience on here! Twitter I have found is useful but I am going to offer my skills for free to hopefully get the work flowing! And recognition! I was due to speak to a creative director of a local magazine tomorrow but his wife went into labour! Bad timing (for me)! But going to get out with my camera again tomorrow and see what new pictures come to light! I am loving black and white at the moment, what do you prefer? Always nice speaking to like minded people!

        Charlotte x

      • Be careful offering your skills for free, actually it is considered a big no no. You give it away, then you get a reputation for being someone who gives away their work for free, and when you want to start charging people then no one wants to pay, because you were the free person. I have got my folio by photographing people for free, but they were friends, it was modelling work for them. I didn’t pay them and they didn’t pay me, but I wouldn’t do it for free if someone asked me, if that makes sense. Doing it for free might get you work in the short time, but it won’t get you very far in the long term. You should check out CreativeLIVE, they do a lot of courses, and have done them in the past on marketing yourself and ways you can do it.
        Photography is very hard to break into these days, there are so many more people trying to do it, the thing I find is that many people get cameras and want to be a photographer, I’m not implying this is you, then they go out and take fairly average images, and make money. I don’t understand it. The biggest problem is that the people buying the images can’t always tell the difference between good photos and bad ones. That is the hardest part, but I think the key is to keep going and keep trying, it will start to happen, but it does take time. I am on the fence with black and white, some things are better, others are better in colour, it depends on the subject and what you are trying to show I think.

      • I did mean tapping my friends and children up as models! I was doing a course an nvq level 4 but the tutor was a little dated! I am starting a degree next month with the open university which I am really looking forward too!

        The reason I like black and white is its the picture you are looking at not the colours, but this is not good for everything I totally agree, I just think with colour and as you say all the people with cameras trying to see themselves as pros use editing software to the max which is sometimes a lucky fix, as it were.

        I like a picture to be a picture…. Art

      • Gotta be careful with that last part Charlotte, I do a lot editing on my images, and it is something that I am becoming known for. That is my niche so to speak. So when you say things like that it sounds like you think I am cheating, or what I am doing isn’t real. It is real, it is just different. There is this idea that if you do things to images in photoshop that you doing something bad, but seriously people have been doing everything they can to get better images since photography started. So I really dislike the argument that if you are doing a lot in photoshop that you aren’t really a good photographer.
        Also, many of the people that I was talking about, don’t know how to use software, but it comes down to a lot more too, like lighting, know how to use it, many people who want to be pros have no idea about lighting and how it works, or how you should use it. Then there is composition, so many people take really bad photos because their composition is really bad. They cut off limbs in awkward places, or do strange angles, because they think it looks good. Then they go to editing and do over saturation, or are too heavy with curves. I have done similar things, and often look back on images and think, what was I thinking. Especially my early attempts at HDR images. I have heard so many stories from people saying that they are competing with people who take crap pictures. There is a lot more to it than just editing.
        I had a look at your blog, and there is nothing on there about you, where are, what is your experience, etc. You need to do an about page, and have a way of people to contact you.

      • Really not saying that at all sorry if I got your back up, not intended. I was looking a little closer to home at some of the work seen near me!

        I have not been able to do an about me section yet as I am hopeless finding my way around, but that is my mission for today!

        I have photoshop myself but really need to have a go at a few tutorials as I don’t think I use it to even it’s half potential! I have a grumbling husband that says I need to work with a film camera more!

        I have just started my 4 year old at school so maybe it’s a good opportunity to get to grips with ps!

        I really love your blog it’s very inspiring, will take on board what you have said!


      • You didn’t get my back up, not at all, it is just something you need to be careful about, LOL.

        If you want to use your blog as advertising it is important to let people know where you are, and to have a contact page, take a look at this blog, it is mine also
        I use this one purely to advertise the portraits, it is connected to my website as well, but it gives you an idea of what you can do. Oh, I wonder if it says I’m in Melbourne, must look at that.

        As your husband if he is prepared to pay for the film and processing, it is expensive, that is if you can find someone to process it. There aren’t many places anymore that do it. I started with film, but would never go back.

        I love photoshop and have spent a heap of time learning it, it is fantastic. I really feel like I can just about do anything.

        Good luck with it all, sounds like you have time, so that is great.

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