Are you an aspiring wedding photographer still pursuing studies or working on a job you are not passionate about? If you are thinking about choosing photography as your career, pursuing Freelance photography can be a viable option for you.
Many photographers work full-time as freelancers and earn their living successfully. In today’s digital age, photography is being used differently by a range of people and businesses. As such, professional photographers’ demand is increasing with many opportunities across photography genres like commercial, fashion, product, travel, weddings, etc. So, it is essential to find your niche.
What makes you stand out as a photographer? What makes you stand out from the crowd? Once you figure out your USP, work on it. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.
Freelance photography falls under the category of self-employment. As a freelance photographer, you would take up client projects, work on multiple projects simultaneously, and fulfil clients’ photography requirements, primarily relying on your skills. It is like being a one-person company; you are the boss, the marketer, the photographer, and the office boy.
Freelance photography comes with a lot of exciting challenges and hurdles. It allows you to be self-reliant and have creative freedom. You have to dedicate time, energy and all that you have to build your brand and clientele. Draw people’s attention to your work, have people remember your images and remember you when they see them. If you love your independence and have an entrepreneurial streak, nothing is more exhilarating than facing these challenges that come with being a freelance photographer.
How Does it Work?
This type of photography is different from being employed by a company because a freelance photographer must take on the duties and responsibilities an employer typically would have completed. Some of these tasks are legal matters, taxes, marketing, scheduling, etc.
These photographers are often photography business owners who create a marketing plan complete with a website and social media accounts where potential clients can inquire about services.
When just starting, you’ll need to seek out prospective clients utilising relationships with family and friends. They may join networking groups that could potentially create leads.
Having a solid freelance photography business plan and delivering consistent results can help create and grow word of mouth. Freelancers rely on good word of mouth to expand clientele.
Many freelance photographers focus on a specific type and style. These could include:
- Family Events
Once a client and freelancer make the first connection, they must decide if the potential freelance photography jobs and freelancers style match. Let’s say your style and client vision is a match. It’s time to create a contract.
Each job is unique to the type and style and thus requires a particular contract. If your client is a bride, you will send her a wedding contract. If you are hired to photograph a building for a real estate agent, the agreement would be much different. Choosing the right wedding photographer in Melbourne to capture every moment on your wedding day.
How to Get Your Start as a Freelance Photographer
Many successful photography businesses start off doing part-time freelance work and then gradually become full-time freelance photographers. However, freelance photography can be different as it poses some unique challenges.
First, photography is an art. It takes a unique passion and skill to successfully capture the beauty of a scene. Second, all the gadgets you need are pretty expensive compared to other freelance businesses. To get started in web development, for instance, pretty much all you need is a laptop.
One of the second things you need to do when you first start as a freelance photographer is to make a plan. There needs to be a direction to follow as you go through the processes of beginning and growing a personal business. Create manageable tasks of things to do when starting off. Here is a list of some of the essential aspects to think about when creating a plan.
- Create a business plan
- Find your niche photography market
- Invest in the proper photography equipment and software
- Set a price point to charge
- Market your business
- Develop your portfolio
Even throughout all of these critical steps, remember that the most significant part of being a professional freelance photographer is believing in yourself and having confidence in your abilities. Beginning a new business venture can be very intimidating, yet for any type of business, there is no perfect guide to follow. However, if you invest in yourself, have drive, confidence, and a sustainable business plan, your business will flourish.
How to Become a Freelance Photographer
Now starts the actual talk. There’s no recipe for success, but there are steps you can follow in order to get closer and closer to becoming a successful freelance photographer. It’s essential to keep all the things we’re going to tell you about in mind because all of them add up to the final result, which is a career as a self-employed professional.
You’re not going to get everything right from the beginning – and that’s the beauty of it. You get to try things out, see what works and what you like, understand the market and its requests, meet all kinds of people… It’s such a beautiful journey that you’re going to remember once you get where you want to be. Just be persistent, do your best, don’t be afraid to ask and find out things, and have fun on the way. Not let’s get to the more severe part where we give you the ingredients of a delicious career path – you just have to mix them according to your taste. Wild Romantic Photography has the best range of services of wedding photography Yarra Valley. Check them out here.
Purchase high-quality equipment
Quality equipment significantly augments the quality of the work of a freelance photographer and enhances your level of confidence when performing in the field.
The average cost of a high-end professional camera is about $2400. However, you might not need the most expensive camera. Find anything with high-quality features (i.e. quick frame rate for action, high MP count, and large portrait sensor) that is adapted to your niche. A popular camera for freelance photographers is Canon EOS Rebel SL3. Another good option, at slightly higher price tags, that also features a burgeoning lens is Panasonic Lumix GH5.
You might wish to add a telefocus lens and a separate flashgun. A tripod is essential whether you are shooting landscape or paintings, and for the latter, a remote trigger is vital.
If you wish to impress your potential clients with on-the-spot samples or even perform the whole printing process in-house, you might also benefit from a professional printer. It might, however, make more sense to defer this to a printing professional in the early days. This will decrease both your mental and physical workload, leaving you more room for acquiring more clients and improving your skills.
Create a stunning freelance photography website with an engaging daily blog
Your website is going to be at the forefront of your photography business. It will, without a doubt, be the place where most people will judge you when they are considering hiring you for a job as a freelance photographer. So effort and/or money invested here is definitely worth it. Spend some time carefully selecting the images you wish to showcase on your website. Don’t just show as much work as possible. You are only as good as your worst photo, so in this case, less is really more. It’s true that you want to make money, but you should take all the necessary steps before getting there.
If you’re just starting out as a freelance photographer (as I will assume all throughout this article), you might not have a website ready to support all your big plans. So you’ll have to create one. I know that it sounds like a lot of work, but it will pay off in the end. And you’ll also learn some new skills that will be very useful in the future. So let’s see what this is all about, from step one.
To create a stunning website for your photography business, you need a good web hosting provider and an excellent website builder that will allow you to start your work on the right foot. What you need to know is that there are multiple types of web hosting, as well as a bunch of web publishing software that we trust. These can be chosen according to your experience in working with such tools and, of course, your budget. You get three alternatives for web hosting:
- shared hosting – you’ll use a server that hosts multiple websites, most likely owned by different people if you have a not-so-complex website and a small budget to start with;
- managed to host – it’s a bit more expensive than shared hosting, but you can opt for a more complex type of website without having to worry about updates, security, speed, and so on because someone else will manage them for you;
- Self-managed hosting – this is for the experienced people that know how to handle everything from content to back-end settings. Maybe some of you have the knowledge, but I strongly recommend focusing on the content you’re providing for your audience rather than deal with things that will only take up your time.
For the part where you actually start building your website, we recommend WordPress, as it’s super easy to implement and use, and you have access to all types of plugins that can make your website look stunning and professional – but we’ll talk about that a bit later. You can read more about WordPress and how it works because it’s important to know what you’re getting into from day one. You can also have a look at this comprehensive article that thoroughly explains what web hosting is and what are the best providers for each type.
Don’t forget that there’s always the option to advertise your business on social media as well. Just share your blog across different platforms and groups that could be interested in what you’re doing.
Build a Strong, Eye-Catching Freelancing Photography WordPress Portfolio
Now that we’ve done all the talk about creating a beautiful website where you can display your work so people can be mesmerised by it and contact you. But how can you do that? It’s not enough to have a blog and throw some photos here and there – you need to be structured and organised. Showing people your best pieces will make them see that you take things seriously because you spend time carefully displaying what you love to do. Here comes the part where we tell you our little secret. And that is Modula, an amazingly user-friendly, intuitive, and responsive plugin that will help any freelance photographer achieve what you want in a short time.
Planning your dream wedding and don’t want to miss out on the special moments on your big day? Worry no more, Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.
The benefits of using this plugin are countless, but what you most need right now is to have a way of showing off what you do best. To create a portfolio with Modula and prove to people that you are a trustworthy professional. And the good news is that you can use this plugin to create as many galleries as you want on your website (and you also get to filter them so they are more organised and easier to find). This way, you can send the message that you’re in for the big game, and you can take challenges.
Tricks for a Successful Freelance Photography Business
Now that you know how to get started in freelance photography, here are some additional tips that will help you succeed.
Being your own boss means you have the freedom to create your schedule but be flexible when you’re starting out.
This sometimes means you’ll have to adapt your schedule to your clients’ rather than the other way around.
There is a golden rule in any business that tells you to under-promise but over-deliver. This is a surefire way to delight your clients. If you promised to show up at 10, be there a few minutes early. If your package includes 50 photos, consider including an extra ten photos as a bonus.
By doing so, you’ll create loyal customers and advocates who will be more than happy to recommend you to their network.
Invest In An Online Scheduler Or CRM
Keeping track of different clients and photo sessions with a spreadsheet might work in the beginning.
But sooner or later, you’ll find yourself with a busy schedule if you’re not careful enough.
Consider investing in an online scheduler or a CRM with built-in scheduling tools so you can keep track of your clients and photoshoots.
As an added bonus, your clients will have a much easier time booking your services.
Create An Additional Income Source
As a freelancer, you might have months where you’re completely booked out and somewhere you’re wondering where the next client is coming from. To avoid the feast and famine cycle, consider creating an additional or a passive income source for your business. This can be Lightroom presets, photo prints, a course on photography, and so on. We have an exclusive range of wedding photography Mornington Peninsula services. Check them out here.
Finally, keep learning and honing your skills. The world of photography keeps evolving, and new trends constantly emerge. By keeping track of the industry trends, you’ll be able to anticipate your ideal client’s wants and needs. Also, you will provide them with a stellar experience that will lead to more referral business. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.