Being a photographer is often considered to be one of the coolest jobs on the planet. Especially when you work for yourself. You get the freedom and the satisfaction, and nobody is looking over your shoulder. This sounds great, but when it comes to freelance photography it can be challenging. Imagine long hours with little pay, no co-workers to speak to or to have lunch with and no stability of a guaranteed monthly cheque. In case you are thinking of becoming a full-time freelance photographer, you should follow certain rules to make it work for you.
In this article you’ll find a list of things you should consider, and tips to help you set up your photography business and be more productive.
Set Up A Home Studio
Whether your studio is going to be used for product or portrait photography, you’ll need to set up a space to develop your portfolio and work. Your studio could be as simple as a white bed sheet over a window for diffused lighting and a table to position products on. It could also be a space for models to pose with a bed sheet in the background.
If you have no space at home then look for some photo studios in your area. Try to find an inexpensive studio locally and rent it from time to time.
Build Your Online Portfolio
Having a website is critical these days, and it’s going to be your most important ally. It’s what people are going to look at when considering you for a job, so your time and effort should be invested here. Put only the best work in your portfolio; don’t put every image you have there. Sometimes less is more.
If you don’t have photos to upload to your portfolio then go and create some. Ask your friends to pose for you, do some charity photo sessions, or find models who will agree to participate in a photo session in exchange for photos. As long as your photos look awesome your visitors won’t know that these were not paid jobs.
Another great way to attract clients to your site is through a blog. Try to upload photos to your blog on a daily basis. It could be a photo you take at home, a breath-taking sunset, or your latest finished photo from a job. It will add some personality to your portfolio and help you build a strong community.
Among some website management tools that are available for free and thus are especially good for beginner photographers, is Defrozo. It’s an all-in-one marketing platform for photographers that allow you to create a portfolio, a blog, manage your tasks and calendar, create galleries for clients and much more. This is all done very quickly and easily.
Build Your Network
Having an incredible portfolio website means nothing if you don’t have anyone to show it off to. Just having a portfolio site out there means nothing to the world if they don’t know who you are and what business you are operating
Think about cross-marketing. If you are trying to become a fashion photographer, go to small boutiques. Offer to shoot their new collections in exchange for having your flyers or business cards given to every buyer.
Try to think outside the box and figure out where possible clients are most likely to be. This concept is applicable for any type of photography.
Keep A Schedule
When you’re a freelance photographer many people will envy you for the apparent ability to sleep as much as you want, wear pyjamas in your office, and the ability to take Playstation breaks during the day.
However, if you want others to see you as a professional, you have to act like a professional. Keep a consistent schedule. Wake up every morning at the same time, get dressed, eat breakfast and start working at 9. Try to work the same hours every day. A lot of newbie freelancers do not keep a schedule, and therefore lose their productivity. You will get much more done if you keep the same schedule every working day of the week.
Focus On Speed
Being fast is very important in a freelance photography business. An online tool called Lightroom, which focuses on photo editing, will totally change your workflow. If you do not use it already it will be the most effective financial investment you ever make. Lightroom will help you to speed up your work. Also, consider using pre-sets you make, download, or buy to keep your images in the same style and save time while post-processing a lot of photos at the same time.
Keep learning all the time, even if you’ve been doing photography for quite a long time. There’s plenty of new equipment, trends, and technologies appearing regularly, and it’s important that you learn about them. Look for some photography courses on the particular type of photography you’re in and buy it. It will be well worth your time and money.
Start Making Money
So considering everything above, lift yourself off the sofa and start building your photography business. Hopefully these tips will come in handy. Share your own freelance photography secrets in the comment section below.
Nancy is a passionate freelance writer and blogger. She writes inspirational articles on photography and web design, despite the fact that she is an economist by education. Check out her photography blog at www.photodoto.com, and follow her on Twitter: Twitter.com/Photodoto