When I told my wife I was planning on becoming a full-time self-employed photographer, her second concern, after how she was going to deal with having me around the house more often, was that I might get lonely. I spent 15 years in large organisations, leading and working with teams of people, and she was worried I'd miss that. And as I worked in corporate communications, talking to people was effectively my job.
As a people photographer, I wasn't too worried. One of my favourite parts of the job is meeting new people, getting to know them quite quickly and capturing some of that personality.
But, as a theatre photographer, I also spend a lot of time in a darkened room with people who are pretending to be something they're not. Which brings me neatly onto networking groups!
Fortunately, my experience of networking has been overwhelmingly positive. The first one I went to, back in April, was the Small Business Connect Up, run by Catherine Attreed of AtKat Marketing. And one of the first people I met there was Cat Dutton of Kitchenorium.
So it was quite fitting that I had the pleasure last night of attending my first #LeamingtonHourLive event and photographing Katherine, Cat and Gary at what was Gary's last event as host - as he hands the baton over to Katherine and Cat.
And Gary went out with a bang, with Stacey Calder of Business Success Network giving some fascinating insight following her visit to Facebook HQ earlier this week - including quite a lot of detail about the toilets - and a great mix of people running all sorts of businesses - dance schools, copywriting, publishing, network marketing, visual arts, yoga and wellbeing and many more.
One person I spent a lot of time talking to was Christine Ingall, a local author with a twinkle in her eye and a wicked sense of humour. You can book yourself on her free meet-the-author event at Waterstones in Leamington on 14 June. I'll also be doing a bit of work with Christine next week, so watch this space for more...
If you're looking for a photographer to capture your portrait at an event or meeting, get in touch with David Fawbert Photography. I capture high-quality, professional images suitable for press and PR, websites, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and more.