How To

Freelance Photographer

1:Choose a freelance photography focus.

Decide if you want to photograph children, weddings, families, babies, architecture or some other topic. You might even branch into being a photojournalist for a publication. Think about the income potential of each type and weigh the cost of quality equipment against how much you realistically think that you can make.

2:Research and educate yourself on the style or styles of photography in which you are interested.

Look on the Internet to see if anyone does anything similar to what you have in mind. Follow that up by thinking about how you can differentiate your potential services from those of other photographers in town.

3:Search online or head to the library to check out books on photographers who do similar work to what you have in mind.

Gather inspiration from those who have come before you.

While you want to create your own style of photography, to start out with, it is always helpful to find a look to emulate and challenge yourself to try to mimic. This will help your technique, as well as your quality, improve.

Brainstorm how you can translate this style of photography into paid work. Look at how others of the same style supported themselves on their work. An example would be how one of Anne Geddes’ first successful large projects was a calendar.

4:Start out by volunteering your time for various projects or running a new photographer special.

Build your photography portfolio by volunteering your services for a handful of key projects. This will also help you garner good will from those who need your time and talent but might not be able to adequately pay you.

Run a discounted special to bring in new customers but also to allow you to build a suitable portfolio to show to family, friends and potential new clients once you get your feet wet in the profession.

5:Invest in quality equipment that matches the style or styles of photography that you have settled on.

A certain high-end camera may seem expensive, but if you can pay it off after a handful of shoots, it is well worth the investment to have the better equipment.

6:Find a mentor to help show you the ropes.

You can do this by approaching other professional photographers or becoming a part of a local photography club.

Take this as an opportunity to have your work critiqued, and find out what you can do to make your work better.

7:Create a marketing plan for how you want to let people know that your services are available.

Aside from the free things you can do like Twitter and Facebook, consider setting aside a budget for a website and/or additional advertising.

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