If you’ve ever wanted to become a freelance photographer, but never knew how, this post is for you! Your love of photography can evolve into a part-time or full-time business if you have the talent and brains to make it happen. You’ll need to have a creative eye and passion for capturing images to really make it work, so read on to find out how you can chase your dreams and become a freelance photographer:
- Website with a Blog
In order to create a buzz for yourself, you’ll have to make sure that you have an online presence. By creating a quality website, you’ll be able to showcase your portfolio to the world, show what your photography interests are, and how you can be reached. A blog on the site will help you keep your fans and potential clients up to date on things you’re doing and what you are photographing. The biggest issue with a website is to create something that is worthy of your name. You don’t want to go cheap because this is the first impression you will have on clients, so make sure you take your time to find the right web developer. And don’t go cheap! Invest in yourself and your work and you’ll be able to get your name out there. Take a look at other photographer’s sites to get an idea of what you like and what you don’t like so that you can also share your work via social media. You don’t have to sign up for all the popular networks, just choose the ones that work best for you and your freelance photography goals. Come up with social media handles that reflect your business.
- Use Your Best Images
Use only your best images. You probably have loads of images to show off your work, but you’ll only want to use your best ones. Whether it’s your website, Flickr account or simply your social media pages, make sure you are always putting your best work out there. You’ll want your clients to be amazed at what you can do behind a camera.
With your online presence secured, it’s now time to get out there and spread the word about your freelance photography business. As a freelance photographer, you’ll have to network as much as you can to get your name out in the industry. Make business cards with your website info and pass them out to everybody and anybody because you never know who may need freelance photography work! Join photography forums and groups and attend any networking events you are able to. Always carry your business cards with you so that you can pass them out to people you randomly meet throughout the day.
- Camera and Equipment
Obviously, to be a freelance photographer, you’ll need the right camera and equipment for any jobs that you book. Stay within budget, but remember this is your business, so don’t be too cheap (especially when it comes to your lens.)
- Post Processing Skills
In addition to your skills behind the camera, make sure that you know how to edit photos. Learn as many editing programs as you can and practice your skills. Become proficient in programs such as Lightroom or Photoshop. Learning and using programs such as these will enable you to make your not so great photos become great photos after the editing process. If you don’t know or are unable to learn any processing programs, subcontract it out.
- Take Small Assignments
You need to learn to walk before you run, so it’s advised that you take on small assignments before you commit to any large jobs. Offer to do local events before you try to step into the big leagues of freelance photography.
- Create a Hardcopy Portfolio
In addition to a website and online portfolio, you should also create a hardcopy portfolio with all of your best work so that you can take it with you to job interviews. Many companies will want to see your work, so create a unique portfolio full of your best shots. Make sure you show your versatility as a freelance photographer. Choose shots from different things that you’ve been involved in. And always dress for success when you’re going to an in-person interview. Also practice what you’ll say so that you don’t mumble during the interview. It’s recommended to be as prepared as you can be. Think of it as a traditional job interview because if they like you, you’ll most likely become that company’s go-to freelance photographer.
- Find your Niche
Although you should have experience in a variety of photography niches, it’s best to really hone in on one so that you become an expert in that field. If you’re not comfortable working with babies, then don’t become a freelance baby photographer. The same is true if you don’t like to travel. Why become a freelance travel photographer when you’d rather stay closer to home? Find a photography niche you like and stick with it. Practice as much as you can so that you’re the best in that field.
Always Keep Learning
Remember that photography is always evolving so make sure you are constantly learning. You should always be learning as many things as you can, which will only make you a better freelance photographer. Take classes at your local community center to really hone in on your photography skills, work with a mentor or in a photography group to perfect your skills.
- Be Artistic and Creative
Always be artistic and creative with your work. The last thing you want to be is like every other freelance photographer. Try to be as unique as possible. If your pictures are like everyone else’s, you won’t land the job. And don’t be afraid to experiment and be different. It’s those bold and unique photos that will get your work noticed!
By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll soon be well on your way to becoming a successful freelance photographer. But always remember to be professional and be yourself. That will show through your work!