Last night I went to the Industry Soiree compliments of Smashbox Studios at the Crown Bar. Before we dive into this evening, let’s put first things first. Many photographers get a little uncomfortable by the idea of needing to go out and network. They simply don’t know how. So if you want to know how to network properly here are some tips:
– Get there early. Important people and those who sponsor events always go there early. You can make your contacts with the movers and shakers before the pretty people show up.
– Get a cocktail or something that looks like one. The Blushing Lady cocktail from PAMA was absolutely delightful and I had been looking forward to it. PAMA rep Carolyn Bolin was there, too and snapped lots of pictures of industry people sipping this great Vodka.
– Begin networking immediately. The rule of thumb is to keep flirting at bay until you made a minimum of 3 good business contacts. If you can make 5 or 10 good contacts you are doing awesome. AFTER the networking part, you can loosen up, chat and check out the crowd.
I will be featuring a stealth networker, Liz Lynch shortly in the upcoming charter membership subscription program. She’ll teach you even more tricks and tips how to network even when you are rather shy and feel awkward at it.
So who was there?
These two gentlemen are not just handsome but represent one of the smartest teams in this industry in Los Angeles. From back in the days when Mikel drove his first motorhome (may I mention it was one of my jobs) to today, these two have built an emperium and offer absolutely everything that you need for a photoshoot.
Smashbox Studios is one of their brands and the sponsor of these industry soiree’s. You better keep your eyes peeled on these two. You never know what they are cooking up next or acquire next! They like to buy and build things.
This is Abe from Smashbox and me. He’s been with Smashbox since the early days working hard with the two bosses and a charmer par excellence. Last time I called him handsome and he got teased, but come on ladies, is he not?
Dee is the Creative Director at Smashbox and my hunch is that it is SHE who keeps the bosses Mikel and Jordan in check. You know what they say, behind every successful business is at least one strong woman! Also in the picture is Joann Gambino also with Smashbox.
Don’t be jealous, I am wearing a yello shirt today, too. Click here to see if you can figure out why you need to know what YELLO! is. In the picture Sean French wears the yello! shirt and he is with Alex de la Hidalga, both from Smashbox.
Through one of the photography groups that I belong to at professional networking site LinkedIn these two photographers found out about the event. They took up a challenge that I posted. Find me, get your picture taken and be on the blog. Here is Adam Lee, who just moved here from Malaysia. I assured him that I knew that Malaysia is a country! Christopher Xavier Lozana photographed the stills on the Benjamin Button set.
Here is DJ D-SIDE. Can you ever know enough DJ’s?
Here is beauty and fashion photographer Saryn Christina. She told me that she just made the leap into becoming a full time photographer a year ago. I love it when I hear that young photographers are following their passion. Kudos to Saryn for following her dream and making it happen. Saryn is a member of “Women In Photography” at LinkedIn and got herself on this blog that way. iLike
Check out how networking can be quite benefical. I say this in a very selfish way. Ettore Zuccarelli (I just want to say his name over and over again because he is Italian through and through and it just sounds so good) is the Executive Director of Photography for abc Television. Guess who I will be having as a guest in my membership program? Can you even imagine all the photography secrets he will be sharing with my exclusive members? It proves my point that really successful people are nice, approachable and professional. Ettore is in the picture with the handsome actor Paul Howard.
Fashion Stylist and Graphic Designer Anne Kee says that she doesn’t just do fashion, she IS FASHION. Headshot photographer Bavalli is in the middle and MakeUp artist Tamira Imondi gets the price for best networker of the night. I saw her talking to everyone. On only her second event, she got the networking down and is handing out her cards and making good connections (yes, you guessed it I have been mentoring her a tiny bit). I even saw her being taken around by Mikel Elliott himself for some additional introductions.
Joann Gambino, Mikel Elliott and the smashing (pun intended) VIP concierge from Smashbox Kori Stanton. She is the the organizer of these events (and a photographer herself) and THE ONE you need to know to get invited. As I got there early I also got a fab swag bag. In it were: My Smashbox yello! t-shirt, some facial products from Arcona, Cool key chain from rock star outfitter Nicolina Royale who provides accessoires for some of the American Idol contestants. And of course some cosmetics from Smashbox Beauty.
Tamira Imondi again in this pic (I told you she was everywhere), this time with TV reality show producer Seven. I tried to get a website, a name of a show – anything I could link Seven to – but to no avail. He gets the mystery man award for last night.
All in all – good times. The Photosecrets blog challenge continues. Go to an event that I am attending, find me and get your picture on the blog. Besides having some fun, getting PR is a good thing. Everyone who is featured gets lots and lots of hits to their websites. Be next!