Why Freelancing can be for You
At one time or another, every photographer ends up Freelancing throughout their career. This is a practice where you become your own boss, allowing clients to hire you for their own needs using temporary contracts. Here are a few tips for getting into the freelance industry and the logic behind the practice.
Although the practice can be applied to any service, freelancing is different for all trades. Today I will be focusing on my personal experience as a freelance photographer.
- You are in fact your own boss!
- You make the schedule
- Meeting new people that you would usually never have the opportunity otherwise
- An outlet to master your own craft/creative style
- Every job is a new adventure
- Usually requires a lot of time and work
- Business is slow at first (So don't quit your day job just yet)
- Sometimes there is a lot of travel involved
- You won't love every job you take (But that doesn't mean you can't make the most of it)
My first suggestion for anyone wanting to get into freelance photography is to BE CONFIDENT. No one is going to want to hire someone that isn't confident in their own work or abilities, your client is going to want to work with someone who knows what they want and how to get it. They are spending a lot of money on your services, at least a few hundred dollars, so they aren't going to want to work with someone who isn't sure of themselves.
Get a portfolio website! Who wants to work with someone when they aren't sure if they are able to produce work that they want??
Have a contract and stick to it. The last thing you want to be taken advantage of, if you are thinking of freelancing you obviously want to make a profit, don't let a client walk all over you or demand extra services they haven't paid for. Your contract is your best friend, if a client wants more then they paid for they will just need to hire you again. Just because you aren't at a large company doesn't mean you have to work for free (unless the request is small, then it is up to your own personal judgement).
Network, I cannot stress how important this is. Use every job as an opportunity to expand your business and better yourself. From my own work as the contract photographer for PattyJ.com, I can't even begin to describe the amount of new people I met, or the chances to spread my name it gave me. And don't be afraid to use social media to network! Chances are when someone looks up your name they will come across all of your social media sites, why not give them another chance to see how great you are, and how you will be able to help them.
Use freelance websites! The nice thing about a lot of online freelancing, is that it doesn't always mean that your client has to live near you, or that you have to travel. If you have working knowledge of certain programs, such as Photoshop, it is likely that there are people out there that just need something edited or "fixed", that is another chance for you to expand your business!
Thumbtack.com ~ This is a site where people fill a form describing the services they need, where/when, and how much they have to spend. A few dollars will give you credits to give quotes, the more clients you serve the better your chances at getting hired!
Outsource ~ This is another form based service, with photography you get more photo editing requests
- ELance ~ Form Based search engine, largely photo editing requests
Out of these sites, my personal favorite is Thumbtack (link to my page here). I prefer to work with people to make their dreams come true, but I feel I do this better when I am the one to shoot the event and edit the images. It is all up to the type of work you wish to do. These sites aren't just for photographers, so if you also find yourself wanting to be hired for writing or design, these sites can be equally useful.