A Photographer’s First Week On Clubhouse

Hi all!

There is a new networking social media app that is just starting up! As a photographer, here is some feedback on how Clubhouse can work for you!

As photographers, we are constantly needing to keep up with the latest social media tech but this one is a little different! It’s more geared toward networking and business and education.

WHAT IS CLUBHOUSE?

This new platform is audio-only and lets people chat in real-time. You can exchange stories, network, chat with like-minded people and bounce ideas off one another. It takes all of the fluff out of social media, and maintains the most important aspect of it: Connection!

As of right now, Clubhouse is in Beta testing so it is invite-only and available for iPhones only right now. According to my sources, Android users will be able to download this app in March 2021.

WHY IS CLUBHOUSE GREAT FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS?

HOLY NETWORKING BATMAN!!! I’ve spent the last 9-10 days on Clubhouse soaking in the amazing network of Photographers from all genres, experts in adjacent fields like film, hair & makeup, modeling agencies as well as SEO and Photoshop experts, social media gurus, professional retouchers and more. It’s an incredible space to learn, network, and even jump in with your own expertise! You can learn from some of the most well-known names in the photography industry, as they give their own perspective, tips, and tricks of the trade.

To be more specific, one of the first rooms I joined had a world-renowned beauty photographer and an agent from one of the top artist agencies in NYC. Over 2 hours, they were willing to take our questions about breaking into the industry, how to network, and the ins & outs of high-level work. Several hours later, I joined a room of my peers and we chatted and bounced ideas off each other about the industry-changing with COVID and how we are fairing in this “new normal”. It felt like I had learned so much and I hadn’t even left my house!

IT’S ADDICTIVE:

During the past few days, Clubhouse has temporarily replaced podcasts while I edit. Having that aspect of being able to chime in is Food for the soul. I think this app has come at the perfect time, with COVID-19 still in full swing those of us who are sticking to the safety rules are yearning for that connection that you just can’t get out of a Tweet, or Instagram post.

This is a Real-time conversation, with your peers, mentors, and sometimes even strangers with something in common. For instance, I miss photography conferences! I have a regular group of peers I see 1-2 times a year at various events. Being able to chat in a “room” with 10 to 15 of them at once has been such a blessing! Where else would I be able to have a conversation with all of these people at once? Zoom? That Involves a huge amount of scheduling whereas with clubhouse you literally logged into the app and some of your friends are on and you can start a room with them it’s like the Houseparty app only more professional. And even better, you don’t have to worry that you’re in your pajamas, you have your hair in a bun and no make-up on because this is an audio-only app! Score one for me!

LET’S BE REAL:

As with all new platforms, there are some improvements to be made. Curate who you follow so you aren’t inundated with invites and events to rooms that are outside of your interests. I learned that the hard way. Since Clubhouse is in Beta, there are lots of updates and you should understand that things will change often as this is a brand new platform and I’m just so excited to see where it goes.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE DOWNRIGHT UGLY:

Beware of false prophets, there are plenty of amazing rooms and Clubhouse that I have found to be extremely helpful. The best thing about Clubhouse is that it is a place where everyone can chat equally. But on the flip side of that, it also means literally everyone can chat equally. I have heard some bad advice from people in the industry who may be overstating their credentials and my personal advice is to always check out their social media links that should be linked in their Clubhouse bio. That being said, we can use our gut instincts to weed out such problematic advice.

Clubhouse is also being used for more than just business and networking. Think back to the times of the AOL chat rooms and if you were alive during that time and on the Internet you’ll know there’s a room for everything and everyone. It’s kind of that way with Clubhouse but on the plus side, it’s very easy to weed those out of your feed.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF CLUBHOUSE?

It is of course impossible to predict the future. However, when the veritable floodgates open and Beta-testing is done, we will have a better picture of the future of Clubhouse. I have found that Clubhouse is a more authentic way to connect with people. Hearing someone’s voice is intangible and it has really pushed social media to a different and more personal level. I do see rooms with top educators possibly becoming a member-only paid experience, And rooms having more options for members only and privacy as it’s already starting to happen.

WHY CAN’T I GET ONTO CLUBHOUSE?

As of right now, Clubhouse is invite-only and every member is given a limited amount of invites. I do, however, recommend downloading the app now and reserving your name so you don’t miss out!

XoXo,

Lacey M. Carroll

@LaceyMC on Clubhouse <3

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