7 Reasons to Join an Online Photography Community

Join an Online Photography Community.

An online photography community can give you inspiration, help you look at photography from a different perspective, and introduce you to passionate photographers around the world.

Whether you’re a professional or a beginner, you can benefit greatly from joining a community of photographers.

#1. Network With Photographers on an International Level

Online photography communities give you the chance to meet a wide variety of people from different parts of the world. Every member has their own unique network, photography knowledge, and style. When you get to know many people in a single community, you open yourself up to invaluable knowledge and a huge network.

Even if you don’t want to pursue photography professionally, you can still benefit from having your own network of connections. Here are a few perks of being socially active in a photo community. 

Receive Support From Other Photographers

Canon photographer holding hands with a person.

Photography doesn’t have to be an isolated activity. In an online community, you can easily make new friends. These people can be a great support system to rely on, especially when you feel uninspired. 

Even a simple post asking for feedback or encouragement can make a big difference. As a community member, you won’t be afraid of setbacks or obstacles. You’ll know that there’s a whole group of people ready to cheer you on, no matter what. 

Collaborate With Talented Artists in the Community

photographers helping each other in a community.

Online communities are known for being international and diverse. You’ll find a photographer from every genre there! 

Since there are so many talented users in a community, why not collaborate with them? You can work together virtually or meet up in real life. Some photographers go on field trips together. Others host workshops as a team. There are many creative ways to collaborate with artists who share your passion for photography.

Online collaborations are very common. You can work with others by:

  • Editing another user’s photos
  • Creating a double exposure photo using different photographers’ images
  • Using hundreds of pictures to create photo collages
  • Creating an online video tutorial with another photographer 

A successful collaboration can lead to more collaborations, job opportunities, and new friendships. It can also give others a clear idea of your skills as a photographer. 

Get Exposure for Your Work

printed magazine feature.

A typical photography group has thousands of members. This is one of the best places for photographers to share their best work and get exposure. 

Photo sharing is an effective way to get exposure. You don’t need to promote yourself all the time. You can still get exposure by asking for feedback and participating in contests. When you join a community, make sure to introduce yourself and make a list of your interests. This will make it easier for you to find the right people to connect with. 

Find Jobs by Networking With Others

photographer taking pictures of a musician outdoors.

Online photography communities are a great place to find work, whether directly or indirectly. There’s no guarantee that you’ll find a job in a community. However, the connections you make there might lead to job opportunities in the future. 

(Make sure to read the community rules before you advertise any of your services or products. Some forums don’t allow it. Others are open to self-promotion. If it’s allowed, don’t be afraid to market your services. Make your skills very clear in your post!)

It’s important to note that communities shouldn’t just be used for self-promotion purposes. Avoid focusing on your own work all the time. The other members will sense it and it will reflect badly on you. When you promote your work, remember to support someone else’s. Join discussion forums and show the members that you’re interested in being an active member of the community. 

#2. Receive Constructive Criticism From Professionals

online photography community guidelines for constructive criticism.

If you want to master photography, ask for feedback shamelessly. Constructive criticism from pro photographers can help you improve within a short period of time. It can also help you pursue knowledge no matter where you are in your photography journey. There’s always going to be more room for improvement. If you embrace this mindset, you’ll never run out of valuable information. 

An online photography community comes with a group of passionate photographers who are willing to help one another. You don’t need to waste time and look for help on different social platforms. There are many friendly photographers waiting for you in one virtual space.

Of course, it’s not all about receiving. If you have some photography experience, you can join active discussions and give your own feedback to others. Everyone has their own way of looking at the world. Even if you’re just a beginner, you have a unique worldview that might help someone else improve their work.

#3. Find Answers to Thousands of of Photography Questions

close-up photo of girl looking up while taking photos using a Nikon camera.

You can find all kinds of general discussions in online communities. Even within a single forum, there are many sub-forums that focus on specific niches. Some popular topics include:

  • Post processing – you can learn how to edit pictures and share your own editing tricks with others.
  • Camera gear – you can learn what camera equipment other photographers use. You can also ask questions about your own equipment and get recommendations from professionals.
  • Photo galleries – many communities encourage members to share their work. You can find an abundance of inspiration just by admiring someone else’s portfolio.
  • Q&A sessions – there are many sub-forums dedicated to answering simple and complex questions about photography. Whether you’re into landscape photography, film photography, or any other genre, you’re likely to find something useful in one of these discussions.

Make sure to join a variety of active discussion boards to make the most of your experience as a community member. Even if there’s a genre you’re not familiar with, take the time to learn about it. You might discover a new passion or a new technique that could help you take better photos. 

#4. Join Online Photography Community Contests

preview of online photography community contest.

One of the biggest perks of joining a photography forum is the opportunity to join photo contests. Every forum has its own way of approaching contests. You might be able to win money, get featured, or win photography gear.

At PhotographyCourse.net, we announce a new competition every two weeks. The prize is 50 USD for every winning photo, which our members choose through a voting system. Our photo contests are completely free to join; all you need to do is become a member of our community!

Most contests have specific themes. Some are general, like portrait photography. Others are specific, like black and white street photography. The more contests you join, the stronger your photographic eye will become. Since contest themes are so diverse, this is a great way for you to improve in different genres.

Photography contests aren’t just about winning prizes, though. This is a chance to make new friends, experiment with new shooting techniques, and get to know your camera better.

#5. Find Inspiration in Photography Challenges

photographer taking nature photos outdoors.

Similar to contests, photography challenges give community members the chance to come up with new ideas for their work. Our PhotographyCourse.net challenges come in the form of inspirational posts.

Here are a few things you can expect to find in a photography challenge:

  • Tips: Photo challenges are an opportunity for users to reap the benefits of leaving their comfort zone. It’s the community’s responsibility to share helpful tips and techniques that can help the members take amazing photos.
  • Inspiring images: Most challenges come with reference photos. For example, if the theme is pet photography, you can expect to see a great collection of pet photos to use as inspiration.
  • Links to helpful resources: In some cases, a community might share resources (i.e. ebooks or graphics) to help you take great photos. 

Even though photography challenges don’t offer rewards, they can provide you with a rewarding photography experience. Make sure to share your images in the community and give your honest feedback to other members. 

#6. Keep Up With the Latest Photography News

close-up of Nikon camera in artificial light.

When you join a photo community, you won’t need to scour the Internet for photography-related news anymore. You’ll get to learn about the latest digital photography advancements and updates from other users.

Want to create your own photography portfolio? Interested in starting a photography business? You’re likely to find the best resources and advice related to these topics in a photo community.

In addition to learning about the latest news, you’ll get to keep up with the community’s exclusive products or services. 

online photography community podcast preview page.
Find out about the latest episode of Great Big Photography World Podcast in our Podcast Guests sub-forum.

Our team at PhotographyCourse.net manages Great Big Photography World, a podcast that highlights talented photographers from around the world. In our photography forum, you’ll receive weekly updates about each episode, which include:

  • A summary of the episode, including the most important topics that were discussed.
  • Photography tips related to the theme of the podcast. In most cases, the tips are related to a specific genre. We’ve interviewed celebrity, underwater, portrait, landscape, and street photographers, just to name a few.
  • A link to the episode, which you can access for free.
  • The opportunity to share your feedback in the comments section and interact with the guests.

You’ll also find updates related to our photography website, our online courses, and much more.

#7. Receive Exclusive Offers

flatlay shot of sale tags.

You can expect to find a variety of exclusive deals and rewards in a photography community. Here are a few examples of the perks that you might get as a forum user:

  • Subscription deals. Depending on the community you join, you might get exclusive discounts for subscription-based services, such as photo editing programs.
  • Product discounts. Many communities offer their own products and services at a discounted price to their members. Our PhotographyCourse.net team has a plethora of educational resources that we love sharing with our members. This includes courses, ebooks, and premium articles. 
  • Camera gear discounts. Some companies partner with communities to offer discounts on camera accessories, filters, and other gear.
close-up shot of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom icons on a MacBook screen.
  • Free photo editing sessions. Do you want a professional photographer to edit your images? In some forums, you’ll be able to submit your photos for a chance to get a free edit and tips on how to improve your editing skills. 
  • Live Q&A sessions with professional photographers. If you join our 365 Days of Photography Course, you’ll be able to join monthly calls with our professional photography instructor. The course comes with its own dedicated forum and is home to hundreds of educational videos. 
  • Free photography resources. As an exclusive member of a community, you might find free ebooks, guides, camera tricks, and video tutorials in a single forum. 
  • Giveaways. In addition to photography contests, many communities host giveaways. All you need to do is participate for a chance to win amazing prizes. 

Collectively, these deals and resources can help you upgrade your camera gear, take your images to the next level, and improve as a photographer in general. 

Conclusion

smartphone camera resting on a tripod and capturing a blue flower outdoors.

When you join an online photography community, you get access to an endless amount of knowledge. Most communities are free to join. If any of the points above caught your interest, we think that you’ll love being a community member. 

Our community at PhotographyCourse.net is open to every photographer, regardless of experience. We want to inspire you to create images, participate in discussions, and ask for advice. 

If you’re ready to take your photos to the next level, join us today. All you need to do is register, introduce yourself, and check out our inspiring content. It’s completely free!

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