Many successful freelance photographers begin their careers doing part-time gigs, then gradually transition to full-time freelance photography. Being a freelance photographer has its fair share of risks and rewards. You may have to wear many hats throughout your career, from photographer to driver, accountant, and marketing expert.
However, the end justifies the means. Similar to freelance design pursuits, your freelance photography career could become highly rewarding with the right approach and persistence. Here are some tips to help you with your freelance photography journey.
Pick a Niche
Although often overlooked, the most crucial step you should take at the beginning of your career is deciding what type of photography you intend to pursue. Having a narrow focus area will improve your chances of landing freelance photography gigs and drastically enhance your marketing strategy.
Above all, find out the type of photography that interests you the most. Whether it is wedding photography, automotive photography, portrait photography, or a combination of several genres, you should find a balance between what you are good at and where your passion lies.
Purchase the Right Gear
Becoming a professional photographer requires significant financial investment upfront. Although consumer-grade equipment can get you off to a decent start, you will be very limited and have to upgrade soon enough. It may take a lot of time and money, but building up your arsenal of cameras, lenses, lights, and diffusers will pay off eventually.
Have Reliable Transportation
Freelance photographers should have a reliable vehicle. Otherwise, they run the risk of failing to be where the action is happening. Furthermore, freelance photographers need decent coverage, with car insurance 100/300 or better. Investing in a reliable car not only saves you from unnecessary day-to-day trouble but also facilitates your career and personal life.
Set up a Website
Having a professionally designed website is an excellent way to showcase your prowess as a photographer. Think of your website as a portfolio of your fantastic work. It is not enough to start a blog and add random photos without any structure.
Flaunting your best photos will make potential clients take your business more seriously as it gives them an idea of your capabilities. But, your website does not have to be a portfolio only. You can use it to schedule sessions, communicate with clients, manage orders in progress, and deliver completed work. If you have a sizeable audience on social media, you can also link them to your website to land more photography gigs.
Develop a Routine and Stick to It
It’s easy to forget that freelance photography is a “real job.” Keeping track of all your orders can be challenging, especially when your business starts receiving a steady stream of work. Developing a flexible but consistent work routine and creating detailed schedules can help keep things running smoothly.
If possible, try and follow a “typical business hours” schedule. Aim to finish your tasks simultaneously every day and set aside enough time for your personal life.
Running an entire business on your own can be very taxing as you have to perform multiple people’s tasks unassisted. You can work more efficiently by investing in useful apps and outsourcing specific duties. For instance, paying an accountant to file your taxes saves you the time and risk of filing them incorrectly.
Becoming a full-time freelance photographer is not easy but achievable. To become a successful freelance photographer, believe in yourself, spread the word about your business, learn from your mistakes, and enjoy the process.