Often photographers create in a space that may include the client in mind for a future photo shoot (bride, model, family shoot, etc.). Sometimes we forget the insights and perspectives we can gain from the input from our colleagues, or even from novice photographers! Certain community events can stir creative juices, as well, like conquer_la events , photo excursions, like from Paul's Photos Nighthawks or Photo Walks. In these kinds of community gatherings, you find like-minded people to interact with. In that process, what happens is that contact information is exchanged, and one's pool of creative collaborators has just expanded!
I have found that it is in these social get-togethers that my own outlook on the options for creative projects is opened up! For instance, signing up for a local photo workshop allows for trying new techniques in photography in an environment that encourages thinking outside of the box. Learning how to pose models with other photographers is a fun and non-threatening way to learn, and to also understand how you can improve in your own work professionally in your studio. Bring in your friends or family members to pose for you, as I did with my granddaughter in the photo below.
It's sometimes intimidating to learn a new skill, such as how to make a video to advertise your services. Coming together with those curious how to do that and to practice on each other creates not only a tool to use for your business, but also a sense of camaraderie with individuals who have the potential to be long time friends and professional resources. Video advertising is used often now in websites; learning together can often make you laugh and lighten up, and also you can be each others' actors in your videos! I certainly had a good time with my first video (link included) with individuals who are now a part of my photography family. We offer to assist in each others' photo shoots, open homes for on-site location shoots, and to offer perspectives that we may not have thought about on our own.
For instance, this photo below of a pregnancy boudoir shoot was done in the bathroom of one of my photography colleagues whom I met through these very activities I'm describing. She is an accomplished photographer in her won right, too. She happened to have an amazing bathtub for a shoot she knew I was planning. By offering her home, she saved me a lot of money by not having to rent a space, but we also collaborated on ideas for the shoot. She had ideas and angles I didn't think of! I'm hoping in the future to be able to give back to her like she has to me, on more than one occasion!
Grab a group of friends and spend some time in a location taking photos of the local area. Share your shots with each other, and learn! Paul's Photo store in Torrance is well known for these photo excursions, gathering local individuals--whether professional or amateur, novice or experienced--to go out on a night on the town, experimenting with camera settings and compositions of local scenery and people. Some of my closest friends and collaborators have been gained from these causal and fun outings.
Want to learn how to improve your wedding photography? Find seasoned wedding photographers, like Dave Bever, who has made quite a name for himself, not only in the area of seeing photography, but also in drone and real estate photography. Or find someone in your area who is known for their work in another genre of photography, like Boudoir, Children's photography or Pet photography.
See about assisting professionals in your genre of interest. You never know, not only may you learn a thing or two about your own photography techniques, you may also find a friend and collaborator for life!