How to Become a Freelance Photographer
Filed under: Film & Production
July 17, 2017
So, you want to become a freelance photographer? Well, the first thing you need is knowledge. Fortunately, you are in the right place for that and are surrounded by countless individuals that want to help you succeed. You need to know your camera inside and out, embrace new technology and learn how to manipulate light. From there, you want to decide what it is you are going to point your camera at. Being creative, imaginative and having a unique vision are a must. Remember, you are competing with lots of other photographers and libraries of stock photography. Make it special and something that only you can provide.
From there, you need to know your audience and figure out exactly who buys the type of work that you create. Meaning, get acquainted with photo editors, art directors, magazines, book publishers, etc. Research, Google, reach out—good communication skills will take you a long way. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself and your art. They are waiting to hear from you.
However, along with verbal communication, you also need to have something to show. We are visual communicators and need to create a portfolio, promotional materials, a website and very importantly, establish ourselves on social media. Clients hire people they like, so be friendly, easy to work with and always willing to make changes. I am also convinced that there is work out there, no matter what your interest. In fact, there are specialty publications for every conceivable hobby and interest and they all need imagery.
So, start small and realize that you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Make a few printed pieces with your home printer and, instead of a paid website, create a Facebook page, dedicated exclusively to your photography.
Once you get the job, then we can talk about how much to charge but for now, let me leave you with some valuable information that was passed on to me by a fellow freelancer. Your first question for the client should be, “What is your budget?“ They will often tell you straight out and it may be more than you ever expected to get! Have fun and get yourself out there.
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