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Creating a Community in a Covid Era

13 Aug 2020 8:08 AM | Beth Genengels

Creating a Community in a Covid Era

by Beth Genengels, M.Photog, CR, CPP

When I sat down to write this article, the intention was to clarify the degree program offered through the Professional Photographers of Northern Illinois. Our degree program consists of several degrees offered that honor our members for their service to Northern. Points are gained by performing various duties and getting involved in our organization. (A full list of how to get involved is listed under member resources on the website.) Some of the easiest and most fun points to obtain are gained simply by attending our monthly meetings, or volunteering to help out in print comp. Wow, have times changed. If you’d like to know more about this program, I would be happy to talk to you on the side.

A great advantage of “Northern,” is our community. Being forced to separate for a bit has sure been tough, and we miss you! In coping with the lack of a physical community, here are 5 ways to be part of the Covid Era community at PPANI:

Lunch With Northern 

We have opened up a Monday Lunch hour. All are welcomed to join us (even if you aren’t currently a member of PPANI.) It has been a great opportunity to reconnect a bit and feel that sense of community again. Topics have included anything from well being checks to bonus items and outsourcing. Being a part of a PPA affiliate has always had its unique advantages. Sure, there is online learning all over the place, but we want to be here here for our members. Monday Lunch hours have been a support group of sorts, to vent, research and just be friendly with our fellow photographers.

Write an Article fo our Hi-lites Blog

Have you noticed the articles being posted since the beginning of this year? You can catch up on them here.The Professional Photographers of Northern Illinois have a long and rich history. We have boxes of articles written by our past members. In recent years, those publications have fallen off. 

Mainly due to technology, we no longer have a print newsletter, however there certainly is no shortage of talent among our members. We hope you take the time to read some (including this one) of these articles, but we also invite you to write an article on something you might want to share, or are passionate about. Some great ideas would be, “How I found my Photography Niche,” or “How to run Successful Mini Sessions” (Julie Mettler, I’m looking at you.) Maybe you’d like to share a pullback and description of a shot you took. You will earn the gratitude of a wonderful group of people for your efforts and receive points towards your degree.

Jump in on a Zoom Class

While we can’t actually meet up in person, we have had a wonderful set of speakers quickly adapt and offer exceptional online programs for PPANI. Join us for one of these classes while the state has restrictions in place. As a bonus, all of the classes are being recorded, so if you can’t join us the day of, you will receive a link to the recording and you can watch it at your leisure or revisit it whenever you’d like a refresh! 

Find an Accountability Partner

If sessions are slow use this time to work on your business and your marketing. Find an accountability partner in the group. You can use the Facebook page to ask for one! Having someone else to keep you on track makes progression easier. As an added bonus, you get to make a new friend.  

Host a Live Video

We love live feeds! Don’t be shy to pop up in the Facebook group and show us what you’re working on. I see some amazing things coming out of this group and I’m sure we would all love to know more. Some ideas for a live video would be a studio tour or a video from a great location you’re about to shoot in. Are you trying a new piece of equipment, or unboxing a new product? Hop on and share it with the group!

Hopefully the world will seem a bit more normal in the future. Hopefully that day comes soon. Until then, friends, come take part in our virtual community!

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