Freelance Photography entails submitting pictures for sale, on a per contract basis. Instead of working for an employer or boss, a freelance photographer can work for many clients on different projects.
Photography also functions as a living art. The feeling that comes from capturing moments in time, that would otherwise have been lost forever, is exhilarating! Beyond the excitement and fulfilment that comes with the job, photographs are also in hot demand. Many sites and blogs as well as businesses/brands needing signature images/pictures. Thus photography commands handsome premiums and compensation plans.
Freelance Photography offers the opportunity to tap into this market. But at the convenience of working for yourself, picking desired genres as well selecting one or several clients at a time.
In case freelance photography ticks the right buttons for you, whether you are a greenhorn or are already handy with a camera, the following tips provide valuable insight:
- Undergo Training and Classes
It is indisputable that some photography skills are inbuilt. An example of such a skill is having an eye for composition. Yet, there are some others that have to be learned. These include knowing the many functions of your camera and knowing which models work best for certain scenes. There are some options available to the aspiring freelance photographer. You could decide to attend formal photography lessons as school or concerned business. Or you could choose to enrol in any of the many online photography classes. Art classes can also prove beneficial in sharpening in your artistic eye and developing your muse.
You should also consider taking a mixture of business, marketing, and accounting courses as well, to take care of the business end of things.
- Get Hands-on Experience
This step entails getting you practical experience on the field before you branch out. Working as an assistant, even if for free, offers a great opportunity to learn salient tips and techniques and to receive critical feedback on your portfolio. You could also offer to cover events for family and friends at little or no cost, to build your repertoire of knowledge and experience.
- Start with what you have
This tip centers on the belief that you need expensive camera equipment and gear to kick-start your freelance photography career. While such gadgets are desirable, their absence should not stutter your dream. You can begin or start work with affordable cameras or even with your smartphone. The idea is to train your eye and sharpen your muse, in knowing when and how to take the best shots at any particular point.
4. Decide between Generalization or choosing a Niche
As you sharpen your skills and improve your competence, you could decide to settle for a particular genre of Photography. The various aspects of photography include news coverage, weddings, house openings, nature shots as well as portraits. In making such a choice, you will need to know the types of equipment and accessories required and how to reach out to your target market.
Other the other hand, you do not have to limit yourself to a particular field. You can combine two or more to give you more leverage and attract more business. Event and portrait photography work well together. For an instance a couple whose wedding you covered, could also ask you make their portraits as well.
- Build your Portfolio
An important tool for advancing your freelance photography career is building an impressive portfolio of your work. This collection will help your marketing drive, especially with getting prospective clients. There some ways to go about building your portfolio. You could ask friends and family to pose for shots. You could also meet with aspiring models, who might also need exposure in their own pursuits.
Always consider your target market as you make your compilation. If you decide to cover events as well as portraits, then you should have shots for weddings, birthdays, child-naming ceremonies e.t.c. Another point to note is the form your portfolio should take. You could keep both digital and hard copies, depending on the needs/demands of your clientele/target market.
- Create a website/Blog
You should consider the internet your limitless market of opportunities. And the only way to take advantage of the spread and reach of the World Wide Web is to have a presence in it. By way of running your own website or blog. From this platform, you can engage with current and prospective customers with your values and work ethic as well as post samples of your works.
Your website is also a means of staying connected to your target markets round the clock.Make your website or blog have attractive sections and beautiful themes.
- Upgrade your Work Equipment
Okay, at the beginning of this article, we mentioned it was appropriate to start with what you have. This referred to using affordable cameras and even your smartphone to take pictures. But, you will need to switch to up-to-date equipment and gadgets. This move becomes important as you build your client base and take on more complex jobs and since your business has begun to yield profits.
Modern cameras come with a wide range of parts, features, and accessories. A lens should come at the very top of your list. You should go for a lens with a wide zoom or pancake to enable you to take diverse shots. A common task for you will include editing your pictures. You will thus need a laptop or desktop computer as well as suitable editing software.
- Leverage on social media
Pictures are visual, hence it is wise to engage the reach and spread of social media in marketing your services. Create accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter among others. Great shots have the potential to go viral within a short time, which exposes you to newer markets/demand for your services.
This list is by no means exhaustive. You should also look at sourcing for prospective clients and join photography groups. You should also charge realistic fees for your services.