Starting a Freelance Photography Career: A Guide

Going freelance is more popular than ever. The rise of the digital nomad and the business trend of remote working has made freelancing a perfectly feasible career option in the digital age. However, it’s not just a case of waking up one morning and deciding to be a freelance photographer. Turning a hobby into a profession still requires some work and some investment. There are practicalities that need to be organized, and your freelance success will rely on building the right foundation. If you have a good eye for an image or you’ve got some formal photography training, here’s what you need to know about becoming a freelance photographer.

Choosing a Specialty

Chances are that you already have a personal preference about the types of photos you would like to take. Choosing a specialty will help your marketing and your future career. There are plenty of options to choose from. You could decide to become a photographer who specializes in:

Once you have decided on your niche, your marketing will be far easier to get right.

Get Experience

Having a link to the best selfies on your Instagram feed isn’t going to be good enough. You need to develop a professional portfolio of images. That means getting out and taking pictures of everything you can. Talk to friends and family about being the photographer for their special events, or speak to local photographers and ask about internships or work experience opportunities.

Managing Costs

It can be expensive to set yourself up as a professional photographer. The overall costs will largely depend on the type of photographer you want to be, as different niches will require different equipment. You’re going to need a good camera and the accessories that come with it. Look at resources like the www.choosist.com assistant that can narrow down your options depending on niche, skill, and budget. You may also need to invest in:

  • Extra lenses
  • Flashgun
  • Tripod
  • Remote triggers

As well as the hardware, you may also need to invest in editing software, printers, or even premises for your studio. Make sure that you do not buy accessories for the sake of it. Balancing your budget is going to be a major task as a freelance photographer. 

Get Legal

If you’re earning money, then you need to declare it to the taxman. You need to make some decisions about the kind of business entity you want to be. There are some significant difference to your tax bands depending on if you’re a sole trader, self-employed, or a limited company. All come with their own advantages and making the right choice can have a long-term positive effect on your future career. You should also make sure that your insurance policies are updated. Your standard home insurance policy might not cover the new and expensive photography studio in your garage.

Marketing as a Photographer

There’s no escaping the fact that you will have to advertise your services. Modern marketing can be very complicated, but learning some basics is highly advisable. Learn some SEO tips, and make sure that you understand why they are so important. Keep up to date with modern marketing trends too, and you could end up getting far more market share than you thought.

While becoming a freelancer is now remarkably easy, not everyone will succeed. However, the more that you plan and prepare, the more likely that you will succeed in your new career. Make sure that you know the common mistakes, and take early steps to avoid them. Get it right, and you could be launching into a successful new career before you know it.

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