Using your photography skills to make some extra pocket money or build your own brand of photography, is a challenge that requires brains and money, both. If you think you have it in you to become a brand and be a great photographer, then freelancing is one of the best ways to get your photography career going. Freelance photography gives you the freedom to pursue your passion on your own terms. It also ensures that your earnings are not distributed among many and all that you earn, goes straight to your bank account.
However, it may sound really cool, but establishing yourself as a brand and a freelance photographer is a challenging task. Almost anyone who can click even moderate to good photographs is calling him/ herself a freelance photographer. So how are you going to be different from the crowd of freelancers and grow your brand. Here are some tips that will help you establish yourself as a freelance photographer.
1. Invest In Some Good Equipment
Your phone camera might not be enough to do a good job on any of the projects that you may get hired for. It’s important that before you start selling yourself as a freelance photographer, you invest in some good photography equipment. This would include, firstly, a good camera. Buy a good professional camera along with important accessories like lenses, camera bag, tripod etc. Even a basic DSLR camera is good enough to get you started in the freelance business. However, if you cannot afford a DSLR camera right now, you can purchase a mobile phone lens that will get you through the first few projects. Meanwhile, you can save up for your new camera.
2. Choose Your Niche
It’s important to be a master of one and not Jack of all. Choose a niche you want to be a specialist in. Whether you want to be a commercial photographer in Wolverhampton, fashion photographer, product photographer etc., whatever is your passion, become a master at that. This will help you establish yourself as a specialist in a particular field and network better in that field.
Every client who thinks of hiring you, will want to look at some of your previous work. So you might have to do some work for free, initially, to build an impressive portfolio. Apart from doing work for free, click some good photographs in your niche to add to your portfolio. A good portfolio can make or break a deal. A client will judge your capability to do the job based on what you have already done. So this is the one where you have to put your best foot forward.
4. Spread the Word
Now that you have purchased your camera, built a good portfolio, decided on a niche, it’s finally time to sell yourself and get your first job. Spread the word through your friend and social circle first. Nothing spreads the news that you’re looking for a job like word of mouth. Apart from that, start a business page on Instagram, Facebook and other social media channels. If you can afford to, create your own website so that potential clients can contact you there and also check out your portfolio. You can also put up posters and flyers spreading the word that you’re open for business.
It might also be a good idea to leave your contact details with photo studios. Incase they are ever looking for a photographer for independent projects, you’re on their list.
5. Keep Learning and Growing
So you’ve decided on a niche but that doesn’t have to mean that you just stick to what you’re good at. It’s always a good idea to venture out and explore more areas. Try your hand at a niche that you’ve never explored before. There’s only to learn, not to loose.
Also, try and attend workshops and photography classes which will be a great place not only to learn, but to network and connect with other freelancers.
As a freelancer, you always have to put yourself out there constantly and network with as many people as you can. You must keep your eyes and ears open for any big or small opportunity that might be knocking on the next door. It’s also important that you keep learning and growing so that you become better as a brand.