How to Become a Freelance Photographer
You have decided to transition from a hobbyist to a professional, begin to profit from your experience and skill, and finally become a freelance photographer. Getting paid for doing what you love is everyone's dream, but there are a number of wrinkles that need ironing before jumping into the world of freelancing so quickly. Making a plan, doing the right research, and taking the right steps can insure that you receive many rewards, both creatively and monetarily.
Step 1: Master Your Craft
The first step towards this venture should be injected with an adequate education and understanding of your craft. Learn as much as possible about the art of photography, lighting, color, and the sometimes forgotten technical side of this field. Some colleges and universities offer photography courses that can be expensive, but most often cover current techniques, equipment and sometimes offer higher quality instruction.
As an alternative, many communities offer more affordable courses through adult evening programs, public libraries or your local camera store. Having a master's knowledge of your craft will prove to be the smartest beginning to your future freelancing career.
Step 2: Use the Right Tools
Every good craftsman needs a set of dependable tools that will not only make the job easy, but also produce quality and a beautiful work of art. Take a quick inventory of your current equipment. Does your camera and accessories need to be updated or replaced? Digital photography has opened doors for many who may have the talent and desire, but might not have the financial ability to get paid for what they enjoy. There are many digital cameras on the market today, which can be easily configured to produce high quality photos with minimal headaches.
Step 3: Invest in the Latest Technology
Also, an investment in technology can never hurt when trying to build your skill set and experience. Computer software used specifically for the processing and editing of digital photographs will prove to be one of the sharpest tools you can own. An application like Adobe Photoshop will expand your capabilities and help your work to stand apart from the competition. Other accessories like a light meter, a lighting kit and a good tripod could be nice additions to insure you are prepared for any situation that may come your way.
Step 4: Marketing and Promotion
Marketing is the final and most important component of being successful in the freelance world. Producing good work will only reap rewards if potential clients can see its quality. First, carefully build your portfolio with numerous styles and techniques to show your versatility.
Secondly, offer your services to family or those you feel more comfortable with socially. This will allow you build upon your experience and develop your professional personality while in an environment which may be less stressful and more forgiving of beginner's mistakes.
Lastly, order some simple business cards, create some pamphlets and begin to market yourself using any means necessary. Before you know, your first client will come knocking, officially launching your career as a freelance photographer.