Are you looking to build your career in photography? No matter whether you are a novice or a pro photographer sick of working every day for fixed hours, freelance photography can be a marvelous choice for you. Choosing to become a freelance photographer will not only allow you to work for yourself but also provide you limitless freedom. With this freedom, you can work innovatively, develop your own artistic style, and end up shooting masterpieces.
As a freelance photographer, however, you can even work for a company contractually for a certain period, maybe for 3 months. Just imagine, you are hired by a company drastically and the very first day your boss asks you to travel to a specific hilly region, climb mountains and take some majestic snapshots tapping into your creativity. How will you feel? No doubt, you will be ecstatic! You are getting the opportunity to explore a particular spot, take mesmerizing shots, and unearth your talent. On top of that, you will be paid for your performing the job. What can be more electric than that! Getting paid for doing what you fancy.
But freelance photography is not all about taking out a smartphone camera and snapping shots as you like. There are many things you have to know before starting out as it’s gonna be the source of your income. So, what are those stuff? Well, you have to follow the write-up then as we have rounded up some precious tips for you to nail your project. We have incorporated everything in the post right from creating an online portfolio to finding clients.
Let’s get started……..
First and foremost, you have to pick the genre of photography. That means, what type of photography you want to shoot? Is it product photography, model photography, event photography, travel photography, nature photography, or anything else? You can even specialize in multiple genres of photography. The advantage you will get in mastering multiple genres is that you can expand your business range. For example, you can specialize both in event photography and portrait photography. So, if you are hired for wedding photography and if you can content your client, the same client can hire you for his/her child’s portrait photography.
When you are getting started as a freelance photographer, it’s not a must that you spend huge bucks on photography gear. However, if you do, it’s absolutely cool. But we would recommend you to invest money in gadgets and accessories that are indispensable. The most important thing to have in your arsenal is a top-quality camera. A top-quality camera doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be pricey. It can come even at a moderate price range. You have to pick the one having features that fulfills the needs of your niche. The essential features can include fast frame rate per action, high resolution, a large sensor, etc. You can hunt for a second-hand camera too as a beginner to lower the cost.
With the camera, the second stuff that you should have is camera lenses. There are a variety of lenses including standard lens, wide-angle lens, macro lens, telephoto lens, fisheye lens, etc. Depending on your niche, you have to choose your lenses. Apart from them, you should also have other accessories like diffusers, reflectors, filters, and lights to enhance your photography.
You are doing some mind-boggling photoshoots. That’s resounding! But how are you gonna showcase them? Well, you have to build a website to produce your masterpieces in front of your prospects and reach out to them. It’s not a matter of worry if you possess limited knowledge about web design as there are tons of WordPress templates available at your disposal. Through these templates and themes, you can have a personalized photography website. Availing of the website, you can interact with your clients, receive orders from clients, and process the orders as well. Ascertain that your website contains only the gems you shot.
Incorporating a daily blog on your website is a great thing to do. Update it every day with at least one photo. Publish regular blog posts with engaging content and the best of your photoshoots to drive profitable visitors to your site. Your goal shouldn’t be just getting jobs constantly but you should also emphasize self-improvement. Having a daily blog will stress you to take shots regularly for your development as a freelance shutterbug. So, don’t be hesitant to take a leap for a daily blog along with a website.
To get traction as a freelance photographer, only building a website along with a blog is not sufficient. You may upload your shots on the website and blog regularly. But to engage clients, you have to be organized and structured. This is where you need a portfolio through which you can fascinatingly present your works. Initially, we would recommend you to work free to consolidate your portfolio. You can take shots of your family and friends too. You can even find many local models needing portraits for their portfolio. So, they will be willing to get captured and if you snap them, it will be a win-win situation.
Once you are done with your photo-shooting, it’s time to add them to the website in an organized way representing your portfolio. Remember not to goof up with your target audience while uploading photographs for your portfolio. What do we mean by that? What we mean is that, if you want to circulate yourself as an event photographer, you shouldn’t upload product photography. Another thing you should do if possible is to create both softcopy and hardcopy of your snaps. This is because some clients are comfortable with digital photography while others fancy printed copies.
You have got your website and portfolio. What’s next? It’s time to invest time and effort to grip some jobs and assignments. How can you do that? The first thing you should do is that you should set up an online shop on your website. But to drive customers in the shop, your website has to rank on top positions in the SERP. For that, you have to optimize your website with the addition of keywords, keyphrases, link-building, and content upgradation.
The second thing you can utilize is social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and many more. All these social media platforms can do the job for you but photography being a visual medium, Instagram can do wonders for you. If you upload your photography peaches on Instagram, high chances are there that they would get viral in a short space of time. Don’t forget to add perfect hashtags to enhance the visibility of the imagery and garner likes, comments, as well as shares. Additionally, do add the links of all your social media accounts to your website to facilitate the way for clients to find you.
Apart from these ways, there are some other effective ways available that you can leverage. Word of mouth, for example, can be a fantastic way to generate lead. You can print business cards and dispatch them to your friends and existing clients. They can dish out them to the people within their network and many a time, it will click. Don’t forget to shoot regular e-mail newsletters to your existing clients as it will consolidate your network and enhance repeat customers. You can also get clients connecting with businesses related to your niche directly. If your niche is event photography, you can contact event planners, catering halls, and event organizers too.
There are many stock photography websites available where you can sell your handiworks. All you have to do is sign up and submit your freelance photography. Every time your image is downloaded, you will get a percentage of the profit. The earning from this type of sale may be meager but you can appraise the quality of your work easily through this way. So, in every way, it’s worth it to connect with stock photography websites. However, always be mindful about the quality of your photography while submitting as your aim is sales.
How about working as an assistant for a professional photographer? It’s the icing on the cake as you will gain hands-on experience as to how to take flawless pictures. The professional photographer can guide you and provide useful tips regarding your job. You can even take snaps voluntarily and showcase them to your boss and get handy feedback from him/her. In addition, you can also work in a studio and pick up which types of photos clients prefer.
Another incredible way to explore yourself is taking part in photography contests. Entering contests is an ideal situation for you to see how well your photography knack stacks up against others. If you win the competition, it’s, no doubt, an achievement for you. Even if you lose, it’s not frustrating as it will push you to upgrade yourself and be innovative.
When you are working for someone else, your salary is guaranteed and you don’t have to worry too much about money. Managing finance while running your own photography business is a stiff job. But with careful watch and balance on your income and expenses, you can easily shake off your concerns. As a freelance photographer, you are completely in the saddle of your job. You have to plan a budget reflecting your income and expenses transparently. Always remember to pay yourself a remuneration and isolate business expenditure from other bills. This will facilitate you to know the amount of money you have left to invest. Hence, don’t have to pump money out-of-pocket.
As a freelance photographer, nearly everything you have to do on your own. You have to juggle with activities and maintain perfection at the same time. Whether it be photoshooting or handling customers, all you have to carry out single-handedly. So, no alternative to being tidy. If you mess up with your activities, you are likely to fluff in your gig. Another thing important for you is to create a schedule of your works and be punctual to perform them. In freelancing, you may have the scope to defer your works but if you want to thrive and show up in the good books of organizations, you have to show time-consciousness.
Work smarter but not harder. What do we mean by it? Well, you are a freelancer and you have to carry out most of the works alone as we mentioned above. But yet there are certain things that you can execute through others much easily and smoothly. For example, think about tax filing that you can accomplish by hiring an accountant and save tons of your valuable time. This is smartness!!!
Likewise, you have to deploy many apps to perform your job like various photo editing tools. Go for those tools that are efficient. That doesn’t mean, we are asking you to negate hard-work. All we are saying is to make use of the opportunities. And lastly, keep taking shots whenever you get scopes. This will not only fix your flaws but also sharpen your knack.
That’s it!!! We can go on and on to share tips with you regarding freelance photography. But if you follow these tips, we guarantee that you can not only commence your career as a freelance photographer but also nail your photography business. Starting freelance photography can be a daunting task but if you have passion, pluck, and persistence mentality, nothing can hinder you from progressing.
Trust your potential and don’t hold back to discover yourself. No doubt, you will slip up a number of times while executing your tasks. But that doesn’t mean it’s a failure. Rather, it’s an avenue to fix the imperfections you have. Always remember to practice, practice, and practice……..