Being a freelancer translates into being your own boss, whether it is as freelance travel writer, photographer or blog writer. With this freedom, comes more responsibility. The small details that are taken care of by sales, organizational, marketing and administrative staff in a company all need to be handled by you. Being a freelance photographer is great, as long as some considerations are made.
Being a freelancer
By launching yourself as a freelance photographer, you will be considered self-employed. This means that you need to establish yourself as a business entity that runs legally. The business and tax details of your area or region should be researched and understood so that you can formally organize your work. In several regions this is known as “sole proprietorship”.
Be a professional
Being a creative professional like a travel writer or blog writer, it is imperative for photographers to be passionate about their jobs. But it is important to remember that quality is a vital component. The product promised should exceed your client’s expectations and it should always be delivered on time. The pricing should be quoted at the beginning of the project and should not be changed unless the order changes as well. Rather than creating what you like, it is your obligation to give clients what they want.
Now this is where the actual work begins. You need to create a demand for your work. The internet makes it possible to attract buyers from all around the world. The first step to using the internet for sales is to create your own website. This website should be user friendly, attractive and communicative. Display images of high quality and create photo galleries for viewers. Keeping this site updated is essential to business. Stock websites have diverse traffic and opens up a whole new market.
Networking is a great way to get word of your work around. This can be done through social networking sites, ads and even through word of mouth. The more awareness spreads about your work, greater the business opportunities.
Set realistic goals
Being a freelancer is not always an easy task. Building up clientele takes time and effort. It is important to set a goal and works towards it. Have a realistic attitude and if you have alternative freelance jobs like being a travel writer, tying up the two would be a great way to build up clientele. It is important to communicate effectively with your clients. Be clear about what you can and cannot do. Make a final agreement and ensure that both you and the client are on the same page regarding the agreement terms.
Money making guidelines for freelance photographers
- Charge extra for quick work: The faster a client wants his work done, the higher you can charge. If you get your clients used to getting last minute results, they will turn it into a habit, even when things could have been done much earlier. The first time a client comes to you for a quick job it can be reasonably priced, but it should be made clear that from the next time, the sooner the work is required, higher the cost will be.
- Communication no-bar: Use a mix of emails and phone calls to communicate with your clients. This combination can save a lot of time. Emails are a great way to keep records and answer simple questions, but phone calls are the best for brain storming sessions. It is not necessary for you to meet your clients face to face. With the internet you may have clients all over the world, and communication is easiest done via the telephone or email.
- Increase and improve your skills: Brushing up on your photography skills is a great way to expand your creativity and attract more business. More skills lead to more business. If you are a blog writer or like travelling, combining these could add to your work portfolio by doing jobs as a photographer and travel writer for instance.
Common myths about freelance photography
Myth: It is simple and can be indulged in during your free time.
Myth exposed: Freelance photography like any other job has deadlines. This means that no matter what your other commitments are, results need to be delivered on time. Of course there are some jobs that are more flexible than others, but all jobs demand a certain degree of responsibility. And this is a common trend seen across people who work at freelance jobs such as a blog writer or travel writer.
Myth: You are getting paid for your passion or hobby.
Myth exposed: When a client is paying for your services, it is your job to make sure your product satisfies him. How much ever you may enjoy photography, it needs to be done according to the clients requirements, whether you like the specifications or not. This freedom of creativity to a great extent depends on the project and your relationship with the client.
Myth: Hired photographers have unrestricted access to better equipment
Myth exposed: Working photographers have only required equipment. They understand the costs of buying equipment all the time. If they have any special requirements, working photographers usually borrow the equipment. It is common to see amateur photographers with hi-tech equipment because they often have a full time job and indulge in photography as a hobby, while working photographers work hard at their jobs.