If you are anything like me (and most others in the world today), you probably have a slight addiction to social media. Social media is EVERYTHING. It's where I get my news, life updates from my friends and family, information about restaurants and bars in my area, education, and even a lot of my business. It has become a tool that much of the developing world relies on on a daily basis. Whether we like it or not, I bet that social media, although ever changing, will continue to be a prominent force in many of our lives. So, if we're spending so much time in the social world, why not make it useful and find people who can help you grow your photography skills, advance your business, and reach your dreams? Here, I will share with you my list (in no particular order) of the best Facebook groups for photographers so that you can do exactly that.
Improve Photography Podcast
It goes without saying that the Improve Photography Podcast group is included on my list of the best Facebook groups for photographers! This group of over 3,000 Improve Photography listeners from around the world is such a great resource for those interested in expanding their photography skills in all genres. Every day there are discussions about landscape photography, portrait photography, travel photography, and architectural photography. There are discussions about gear and equipment and doodads. There are even discussions about running a business, blogging, SEO, and all of the “unseen” parts of photography.
This group is the perfect size. It's not so large that posts get lost or that your feed becomes flooded with posts from the group. It's small enough that pretty much every post garners great response. The members of the group are all aligned with the Improve Photography educational philosophy, meaning everyone is supportive, encouraging, and willing to share knowledge. And, the best part?! All of the Improve Photography podcasters are extremely active within the group, answering questions and sharing ideas.
It really is a great group for photographers wanting a more intimate, yet diverse social experience.
Portrait Session Podcast Listeners
I consider the Portrait Session Podcast Listener group to be the “little sister” of the Improve Photography Podcast group. This group is about half the size and focuses solely on portrait photography. Just like the IP Podcast group, there are members from around the world constantly sharing knowledge and ideas, providing critique and feedback, and sharing inspiration.
The thing I love most about the Portrait Session Podcast Listener group (aside from the fact that it is my baby haha!) is that it's completely portrait-centric. There are photographers of all levels in the group, however all discussions revolve around portrait photography. It is the perfect place for portrait photographers, regardless of skill level. It's so nice to have a group where I know that any discussion that arises will be centered around my specialty – portraiture.
The Rising Tide Society
The Rising Tide Society is a group of creatives from around the world who support and encourage each other through the sharing of ideas, inspiration, and networking. This group is full of photographers, designers, florists, event planners, crafters, and people who do all other sorts of creative stuff (that's their technical term 😉 ). Although this isn't a group solely for photographers, the majority of The Rising Tide Society members are, in fact, photographers.
I've found this group to be a great source of inspiration and education. The founder of The Rising Tide Society, Natalie Franke Hayes, has so many connections with some of the best educators in the industry. There are constant posts and support from people like The Herrinton's, Amy & Jordan, and Katelyn James.
This group is also a great place to network nationally. I've personally connected with vendors in other states for various projects. I've also even booked a couple of weddings through the group! And, to be honest, I'm even utilizing this group to help me plan for the styled wedding shoot I'm preparing for my pre-conference workshop for the Improve Photography Retreat!
Tuesdays Together groups are actually the smaller, local branches of The Rising Tide Society community. It is within these groups that Rising Tide Society members in your area gather for networking events, educational seminars, philanthropic opportunities, etc.
Within the Facebook group, you can find creatives in your area sharing ideas, sending referrals, networking, selling, critiquing, and more. It is within the group that plans are made for the monthly Tuesdays Together meet ups, which generally happen on the second Tuesday of the month across the country. These meet ups are so great. Each month is a different topic or theme and all of the national Tuesdays Together groups discuss the theme with notes created by one of the lead national organizers. Some of the themes I've seen are SEO, small business basics, blogging tips, and client experience. For the month of November, which is considered the month of giving, the theme is philanthropy. All of the Tuesdays Together groups are choosing a charity organization in their area and volunteering their time to help with the charitable efforts. Such a great idea!
To find your local Tuesdays Together group, click here.
While we're on the subject of local groups, do a search on Facebook for “your city” + photographers. You might be surprised to find that there are many local photography groups in your area! While I can't confirm the level of quality of whatever groups are in your area, I can confirm that my local groups are AMAZING. Columbus has several local groups other than the Tuesdays Together group. We have a general photography group, a creative photography group, a local Shoot & Share group, and a referral group. All of these groups are great resources for networking and building relationships with other photographers. Those relationships often translate into more clients because those photographers will then refer people to you. New friends and new clients…it's a win/win situation!
You may or may not be tired of hearing me talk about MagMod by now, but I'm just not ready to stop. Not only do I love their products, but I also love their Facebook group. When I was putting together my list of the best Facebook groups for photographers, this was the first group that came to mind.
The primary reason why I love this group is because of the inspiration it provides. There are some abso-freaking-lutely amazing photographers in there sharing their MagMod created images. And, not only do they share the images, but they also provide all of the settings, setup, and information so that you can try to recreate it if you wish. It's such a wonderful, knowledgeable, talented community.
Another reason why I love this group is because of the new monthly challenges. Each month is a different topic and you have the entire month to submit your photo based on the challenge. At the end of the month, the MagMod peeps choose their favorites and award prizes to the winners. It's really great.
Even if you haven't yet invested in MagMod gear, I encourage you to join just to see what magic can be made with a few speed lights. The inspiration found here is out of this world.
Shoot & Share
The guys behind my favorite gallery company, PASS, have created a Facebook group just for shoot and share photographers. The premise of shoot and share is that the photographer provides the client with digital files and products upfront, rather than upselling for those items later. If you're in the shoot and share business, then definitely check out this group!
The Shoot & Share group is different from many other groups in that it is solely a discussion based group. There are rules against posts asking for critique or editing help and if you post a photo, it has to have a compelling story or teachable lesson included. While I don't know the reasons behind this, I do applaud the admin for these rules, as many groups can be overrun with critiques, photos, etc. This group is refreshing because you don't find that there. It's all discussion and education.
The Law Tog
This group is all about the legalities of small business ownership. If you're starting, running, or maintaining a business, this group is a must.
Rachel Brenke, aka The Law Tog, has created a group where she and many others share knowledge about contracts, business registration, taxes, and anything else related to running a photography business. The free information shared here is invaluable, and the resources she sells are even more incredible. This group is a must for anyone interested in upgrading from hobby to professional (and by professional, I mean making money).
This group is pretty specific and likely won't be applicable to many of you, but I want to share just in case. The Showiteer Facebook group is a group solely for Showit website users. The Showit website platform is a high-end photography website platform. I use Showit for my website and absolutely love it.
The Showiteers Facebook group is a great place for us Showiteers to help each other with issues, share design ideas, and more. This group is a little more quiet than many of my other groups, however it is the perfect place for me to find inspiration and assistance while working on my website.
17 Hats Users
This group is another specific group, but again, so helpful for those who use this platform. 17 Hats is an organizational and office management program that helps me keep my sanity and helps my clients enjoy their time with me. The 17 Hats Facebook group is very similar to the Showiteers group in that it is designed solely for users of 17 Hats and it is a place for users to get help, suggest ideas for improvement, and more.
If you are a user of 17 Hats, be sure to join this group, as not only is it useful, but it's also a great place to be “in the know” about new features and offerings from 17 Hats.
Sue Bryce Education
If you haven't heard of Sue Bryce, stop reading, open a new tab, and find her now. She's the most amazing woman, the most amazing teacher, and has the most amazing accent.
Anyway, her Facebook group, which is home to about 35,000 members, is a space dedicated to those studying the techniques of Sue Bryce. This group is primarily for those who make photos of females (although, not exclusively). Within the group you can find beautiful photos and excellent tips on lighting, posing, and selling. The group is also extremely welcoming and helpful, and while it's quite large and very active, you're likely to learn so much from your membership in this group.
Jen Rozenbaum's Boudoir Group
Jen Rosenbaum is the queen of boudoir. If you're a boudoir photographer and you aren't part of her group, you're missing out.
As it states in the name, this group is solely for boudoir photographers. It is a safe space for people to share these intimate photos for critique, brags, and inspiration. Like Sue Bryce's group, this group is home to thousands of photographers who are willing to share their insight and opinions for the betterment of others.
Mentoring with Erica Kay
Shameless plug alert 😉
My Mentoring with Erica Kay Facebook group is definitely one of the best Facebook groups for photographers, in my humble opinion. I have a small group of photographers, who I call my “mentoids,” that are some of the best people I've ever worked with. Their passion for learning and growth is unparalleled and their kindness toward each other is amazing to witness. At any given time you can find my mentoids cheering each other on, providing feedback about photos, and teaching each other. It's such a warm, supportive environment.
To learn more about the mentorship program, click here. And, to read some of the reasons why you should join, check out this article, written by one of my mentoids and Improve Photography contributor, Mark Morris.
I'd love to hear from you all about what you think are some of the best Facebook groups for photographers! Please share your favorite groups in the comments below!