10 Tips For Aspiring Freelance Photographers
Jacques Coetzer is the name, and I am most probably more like you than you think. I went through all the tough days as a photographer. These following guidelines helped me in gaining my success as a freelance photographer. I currently contribute to various blogs and magazines such as SA Music Scene and Alice.
Let’s all be honest, it is not easy to be a freelance photographer or rather to get your name out in the industry as a freelancer. It will take a lot of hard work and late nights. Never be fooled, there is no quick way. However there is a recipe:
- Everything is Important. There is nothing like a small shoot, or a “not that important” shoot. Every shoot you do is of the utmost importance not only to you but to your client. Always remember, you are as good as your last shoot.
- Don’t be picky! We all love to go for the glamour shoots and the high profile ones. Do any shoot you can get your name on, from kids parties to high profile magazine shoots, because remember, those “Tannies” at the kids parties will show of the images to all her friends and family, maybe her twice removed cousin is a hot shot at some magazine or label. You will never know.
- Brand yourself. Make sure you have a logo and brand to work from. Watermark all your images with that logo. That way the viewer doesn’t need to go look for your credit in the ridiculously fine printed by-line at the bottom of the image. You leave them no choice but to see your name.
- Pro bono. There is no shame in helping out a guy with bad cash flow, just make sure you gain exposure and experience with the free shoot. Aim for clients who have a lot of contacts. Do not over do the free shoots, you don’t want to be known as a “cheap photographer”
- You need a platform to dance on. Always be on the lookout for platforms to contribute to. Basic steps to follow: Know what market you are targeting. Search for blogs or online magazines. These guys usually don’t pay or only pay little, but they are great for exposure!
- Be Social. Social media platforms are there for a reason other than to spy on your ex.
Create a Facebook Page and Twitter account. I get 70% of my jobs through social media.
- Be a professional professional. No matter who the client or what the job, you must always be professional and have the right (clean) equipment with you. Deliver the final product in time and in the right format.
- Brag a bit. Remember if you don’t brag about your work, or show it to others, who will know about it. Sell yourself! Your images are your products. You are the sales rep.
- Be Trendy. Always stay up to date with the trends in the target industry. It gives you a good know how and knowledge when dealing with clients.
- Enjoy every moment. You have the best job in the world! Live it!
No matter how tuff it gets out there in the wild, hold on, bite the bullet and push through. Your success will come!