For anyone who ever wondered how it would be to ply their trade in freelance photography, jobs from home certainly are quite appealing. Nevertheless, one has to put in a lot of work in the marketing part of their business in order to have this dream come true.
As a companion to a previous post, this one is concerned with the pre-requisites of sitting at home and contacting clients (or even better, having clients contact them) and the top sites where photographers look for work freelance. We will also tackle conundrums such as deciding on the appropriate rates, discuss frequent mistakes and frequently asked questions and finally trying to shed a little light on the subject of stock photography.
Practical Suggestions before Plunging in
Throwing yourself head on is never a good idea in regard to any subject. Especially when talking about something as delicate as an activity that ostensibly mixes art with salesmanship. Mistakes are part of any path, yet it is better when you learn from those made by others, than the ones yourself have made. Here are some top tips collected from freelance photographers far and wide:
- Branding and Referrals – it’s hard enough finding your way into any field, but when you’re considering a business that deals with people, invest a bit of time in creating a name for yourself. Having a few (important) people that can recommend you before actually starting your own business may prove crucial for an easier start in getting jobs from home.
- Sell Your Strengths – always try guiding the discussion towards your strong points and what you know may be something that makes you stand out. Do not get invested in things you do not understand as it will cripple your credibility in front of clients and get you the imposter tag.
- Backing up Data – this one is pretty obvious, but then I believe it has happened to anyone, so be on the lookout for external hard drives, and of course subscribe to one of the many backup options at your disposal such as Google Drive, Crash Plan or Dropbox.
- Aspire to All Year Round Income – there are many cases where real income from photography is a seasonal occurrence. Therefore, one should do their research on the subject before starting their business, try exploring the options at their disposal (opening their own studio, lurking in the background of local schools and businesses, and advertising for all kinds of special occasions). It goes without saying that a steady income is welcome irrespective of the big bucks one may be pulling during the peak wedding season.
Freelance Photography Jobs Online
Undoubtedly, online jobs postings are the first avenue that is explored by beginner and even seasoned freelance photographers. Some keys to succeeding in the virtual side of freelancing are part of the same pre-requisites I have explored in the previous article on how to become a freelance photographer. In addition to those, make sure you configure your social profiles to reflect your new specialty and use tools like Twitter’s search option or Google Alert.
Having covered that, here are the most established sites to visit in order to acquire your freelance photography jobs from home:
- freelancephotojobs.com is the main portal that specializes in offering work just for photographers. While it may not have an interface as appealing as the many other freelance sites, this one does have the advantage of specialized categories for the postings, and an extra section that deals in stock photography and products specific to the industry. Other sections include presentations of e-books (most of them free to download) and an extended thesaurus of how-to articles.
- freelancedesigners.com uses an interesting approach as it aims to integrate various freelance services – photography, web design, graphic design, and writing – in a specific geographical area. By entering your location, you become available for clients seeking your services in said area. It is a very interesting concept, especially for beginners who are willing to put in the effort to grasp the complexity of the trade.
- freelancephotographerjobs.com contains job postings from all 50 US states, plus Canada and the UK, all you have to do is search for the adequate section. It also holds a whole lot of other related information.
- indeed.com is an all-encompassing job portal. Upload your resume and … you know the drill. Its engine researches other platforms, its advantage being the high performance advanced search engine that lets you personalize your inquiry.
- ifreelance.com is a platform that stresses interaction. Create your profile and become part of the community, pitch to different clients and put your time to good use. Almost every niche is well represented on ifreelance.
- upwork.com is the biggest freelancing platform that exists, where freelancers and potential clients/employers interact, like when a freelancer is interviewed by the client directly. Upwork provides a particularly realistic perspective on the toughness of the competition.
Pursuing Other Avenues
Given the number of established freelancers, who already possess the portfolio, referrals and especially the people skills that can only be acquired in time, beginners should never discount a possibility. A newcomer’s greatest assets are enthusiasm, self-confidence, lower rates and a willingness to experiment.
Broader Cooperation means becoming part of formal and informal organizations that deal with photography and freelance work in general. Maybe you have friends or acquaintances that are freelance web designers or writers. Try marketing yourselves as a team that provides the full nine yards of services, a single meeting, a single rate, a complete project. Not to mention the different skills that one may learn and the inter-disciplinary perspective that is to be gained, from such an activity.
Stock Photography seems to be the ultimate utopia for the beginner freelance photographer. What could be better than receiving a steady stream of income for previous work? That all sounds promising, yet the reality doesn’t quite fulfill that promise, with the copyright being a shady territory (both from a legal and practical point of view), not to mention the quality of the work required just for toying with the idea of delving into stock photography. Nevertheless, if you want to give it a go, here are some sites on the subject.
The much sought after ideal of freelance photography, getting jobs from home, is only a manner of speaking. Your office may be your home, however, achieving your desired financial and professional goals means a constant agitation, with the embodiment of the said ideal being a reality only for those at the pinnacle of the business.