Zoey Lily at Divurgent Workshops

Paying for Photography Meetups?

If you have been reading this blog for a while you know that I have been attending photography meetups for almost two years now. Up until last month I had never paid to attend these as they are usually free. Even the ones indoors have been free.

Photography meetups have been instrumental to me. They allow me to network with other creatives and practice my photography skills. I am super grateful to everyone that puts these events together for free.

As the community grows more people are getting involved in creating their own events. The original purpose of these was to build the photography community in London and they did an amazing job at that.

Unfortunately as of lately it seems that a trend was set to charge photographers to attend meetups. This was started by the guys at Capital Ports last month. For that one I was and still am absolutely OK with having paid for it as I could clearly see where the money was spent. They also made that clear from the start.

Also if hubs are charging to cover studio costs that is absolutely fine.

But if you are charging for it and not making it clear what the money is for I don’t think that is right. Most of the times we don’t even know what models are attending until the day. Really all we know is that we are paying to see each other somewhere outdoors.

The number of meets have been increasing which is great. but if I have to pay £6 every week to attend those it gets too costly. We all know being a photographer is not the cheapest hobby so really I can do without the extra costs.

For the photographers that have been doing this for a while these paid meetups are not really a major issue. We can easily gather a few of us (including models) to shoot somewhere in London. To everyone just getting involved now it might not be so easy to become a part of the community. The paid meetups will for the most part not appeal to people who have their connections already which means that we might not get to meet all the meetup newbies.

Thankfully this new trend of paid meetups does not seem to have affected all the hubs so I will still get to attend some of them.

Another thing that has been bothering me is the fact that these charges only apply to photographers and never to the models. Most models that attend the meets are just starting out and also come out to build their portfolio. So it should be even between photographers and models when it comes to paying to attend the events. At the end of the day they are also getting free shots for their portfolio and experience by modelling in front of different photographers.

Obviously if you are organising a meet with experienced/signed models and the models are being paid for their time I am sure most photographers would be happy to pay to attend the event. But so far I am not aware of any meetups (from the ones charging for tickets) that have paid the models for their time.

To hubs like the UK Shooters that got me into photography big time and keep inspiring me every day I want to say that you guys are the best. Thank you.

Are you a London photographer? What is your opinion on this subject?

In the featured photo, Zoey Lily at the Divurgent Workshop

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One thought on “Paying for Photography Meetups?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great blog post, well written and enjoyed reading it Ana! I completely agree with this post, my first meet up was with UK Shooters and it opened so many doors for me. I have met so many people through these meet ups and who today I network with and some that I have become good friends with. Also I was happy with capital ports meet up as they justified the cost and it showed with their efforts on the day.

    It is unfair to charge togs when we are trying to grow and building a portfolio too but models get free content. As for one recent individual/Hub charging £15 for a meet up he set up with about 20+ togs there where did the £300 go to? One other point to add is that some of these hubs do get sponsored and is visibility given to us about this?

    Going forward, hubs that do paid meet ups should clarify sponsorship deals, breakdown of costs of where the money is going (esp not for future events), if models will be paying (this will reduce cost for togs) and if they are getting paid too. It would be nice to present the list of models who will be there on the day beforehand.

    Lastly us togs should also push to network with models and other togs and shoot together where a hub is not required. It’s a great way to work on our interpersonal skills esp working 1-1 with models and execute ideas we may have.

    I await to see a models perspective on this subject too.

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