I think it’s true to say we are all drinking from the same pool in more ways than one: yes, we might be shooting for the same clientele and fishing for the same kind of assigments, but we are also faced with the same challenges, legalities and market ups-and-downs.
In general, I personally would like to think (or believe, as the case may be) there’s enough work for all of us, and I wouldn’t hesitate to exchange contact information with colleagues, especially since, at least in the editorial market, this information is usually readily available at Barnes & Nobles or elsewhere on the web, anyway.
Then again, I got my "photo community" training in New York, where EVERYBODY
is a photographer, or aspriring to become one. It was virtually impossible NOT
to constantly run into people who were on the exact same path photographically as I was, so for me, it always was a no-brainer to share information freely, and my fellow photographers always shared freely with me.
I am not sure how I would feel sharing info about contacts I’ve been nurturing for a long time, though, as is the case for you here. If this was regarding a personal project that I am immensly attached to, I probably wouldn’t. If it was about bread-and-butter work, I probably would.
I think (or I hope, rather), that ultimately the work speaks for itself, and that we all get hired for the kind of pictures we take, and not for what talented schmoozers we are. (Although I realize that, more often than not, personal chemistry, respect and plain being able to communicate effectively has a huge role to play in keeping clients over a long period of time)
Also: who’s to say the colleague who’s asking for the info doesn’t have to spend the same amount of time gaining the trust and respect of that person/client/organization as you did?
Lots of thoughts.