This article is written for you and countless others who want to understand the art of becoming a freelance photographer. We will deal with the following topics:
Who is a freelance photographer?
How to become a freelance photographer?
The things you’ll need to become a freelance photographer
Opportunities to earn as a freelance photographer
So let’s go ahead and describe what is freelance photography and who can be called a freelance photographer.
Freelance photography is when you work as a photographer on a freelance basis. What this implies is that you, as a photographer, are not in a full-time contract under any company or corporation. You work as an independent, self-employed worker as part of a contract between you and the client. Your clients include individuals, businesses, and brands, and you can be working with any number of such clients without having to report to someone for your work.
You, as a photographer, are the sole proprietor of your work. Building your professional status depends on how well you are able to market yourself, how well you are able to manage your work, and the quality of your work.
Businesses today don’t hire a full-time photographer, mainly because they don't always need a photographer. Unless the business demands regular photoshoots like modeling agencies or an ad firm. Hence, it’s easier for photographers to freelance as it can increase their income and give them the freedom to choose the type of work they’d like to do.
Freelance photographers work on a contractual basis that is either for a fixed period of time or the number of photographs clicked. Freelance photography is essentially a business on a smaller scale. Freelance photographers need to handle all the responsibilities of their freelance work on their own. You will know this if you’ve ever come across professional freelance photographers or if you’ve visited their site.
So what does it take to become a professional freelance photographer? Are there any legal and business tasks that you need to address? What other responsibilities do you need to manage to become a successful freelance photographer?
Freelance Photography is not just about photography. It is a combination of the creative skills of photography and business skills of a manager. There are some things that need to be kept in mind in order to start your career as a freelance photographer.
Things to remember before you start your professional freelance photography gig:
You need a record of all the income and expenditure in one place. This helps to keep your professional freelance photography on track to success. You can maintain your data using one of many accounting apps available on the internet.
Legal support to ensure that the transactions between you and the client go on without any hiccups. This is important as you can have numerous issues, from penning down guidelines of the contract, copyright issues, and problems with payouts. The best way to keep your practice legit, you can have a lawyer foresee all the legal activities.
You need to have a valid billing process so that you can keep track of payments. In the situation where clients compromise on payments or pay less than what was agreed upon, you can use tax invoices to support your case.
Once you’ve taken care of the business side of the work, it's time to get a little technical. You’ll need some initial investment to get you up to speed with other freelance photographers competing for work.
Unless you don’t already have all of these or missed out on some essential equipment, here are photography essentials that a freelance photographer must have.
You can start your freelance photography with your phone camera and a neat photo-editing software that can enhance the image. But if you want to be the next big freelance photographer, you might want to get a digital camera that gives an edge to your photography.
A pair of lenses specific to your photography niche and a tripod are a must-have.
As you’re an on-the-go photographer, it’s always helpful to carry a personal laptop.
Be sure that the laptop has ample space and processing power to store images and run a decent photo-editing software respectively.
Last but not least, all the equipment you carry is priceless, well atleast if you’re a hardcore photography enthusiast. Even if you’re not organized and orderly, it’s always an add-on to have designated covers and bags to carry all your equipment.
You got all the necessary gear. You’re all set to start your endeavor. But to do that you need to get yourself into the thick of it. You need to kickstart your career. The best way to do this is to have your own freelance photography website.
Here we discuss in brief, how to go about setting up your website and what you need to consider when doing so.
You can choose a website builder like Strikingly, sign up and start building a freelance photography website using any one of the eye-catching templates on display. You’ll also need a domain to register your side. Strikingly is an all in one platform where you can check for the availability of domain name and extension that you want to own. Choose something that’s catchy and easy to remember.
Image taken from Strikingly
You can choose a payment plan that suits your budget and the requirements that you’re looking to fulfill. To get a stepwise guide on all the features and options on Strikingly, you can visit our Knowledge Base. You’ll find guides and videos that’ll help you build a dazzling website. You can also get additional tips and best practices on website building at Strikingly’s blog site. Once you’ve done customizing your website, you can publish the site and get ready for clients to pour into your website and be en route to becoming a successful photographer.
Image taken from Strikingly
But not just yet!
You have to take care of one more thing to ensure that your website has regular traffic. Marketing your website. You can do this by optimizing your site for keywords and creating attention-grabbing marketing campaigns on your website. This can sound like a lot but if you’re hosting your website on Strikingly, it sure isn’t. Strikingly gives you the power to not only create a mindblowing website but also gives you complete access to manage how it works.
A blog included in the website is added marketing content. You can expand your reach and the visibility of your website by providing visitors with unique, valuable content as videos, pictures and supporting written content. Look up trending topics or just share your every freelance photography gig as a story. You never know who can come across your blog or website and catapult your career overnight.
Use social media sites to their full potential. Link them to your website so people randomly bumping into your website are redirected to your social space and connect with you easily. You can create compelling posts, videos, collage,etc to lure in visitors in great numbers.
Here are some pointers to help you earn some extra income from freelance photography.
1. Sell Digital Downloads
As a photographer, you’d have tons of photos that couldn’t make the cut or were excess to requirement. What do you do with those pictures? You can display these images on your website as digital downloads and earn for every download.
2. Sell Stock Photos
Apart from this, there are some amazing websites that sell stock photos online. You can associate with any one of them and get paid when someone buys your pictures. Due to the high amount of visitors on these sites, it can help generate some good income. When people notice your work on such platforms, it can have a positive impact on your portfolio as a freelance photographer.
3. Enter Photography Contests
Photography contests are useful for two reasons. Instant money and instant recognition. It can change your world in a matter of minutes. Depending on the standards and competition, you can garner a great reputation and extra work by entering into photography contests.
4. Print on Demand
Print on demand is a great way to increase your sales while simultaneously building a brand for yourself. You can offer your pictures and fine art to be printed on t-shirts, bedspreads, and other items. This is easy because you’re not really investing any extra time or money than you already have.
So there you have it! Some of the latest tips and trade secrets that can help you get the best out of you as a freelance photographer. You now have a clear picture of how you can pursue your dream job and get on track to build an amazing career in freelance photography. It’s time to go apply all the things discussed here and begin your journey as a freelance photographer. And while you’re at it, you could check out some captivating freelance photographer website templates on Strikingly. All you have to do is sign up!