Get Paid as a Freelance Photographer

If you are a passionate photographer with a good eye, it’s only natural to consider a career as a freelance photographer. You get to make your own hours and be your own boss. At the same time, making a living as a freelance photographer requires taking initiatives and being willing to network with others interested in the area of work.

Since you will be marketing your own photographs, being business-savvy is an important part of sustaining a freelance career. Regardless, if you have photography experience, the interest to take photographs and edit your work as a career, and take the time to market your work, freelance photography should be worthy of consideration.

Initial Marketing Efforts
Now it’s time to build upon these basics. First, decide if you are going to take photographs of everything or specialize in one subject, such as pets, weddings, sports or business. This will determine how you market yourself.

Put your best photograph on a business card. You’ll also need a website showcasing your best photos. Set up a Facebook page and consider a Twitter account to talk about your business or tweet tips so people can improve their own photography. This allows you to display your personality and expertise online, helping connect to like-minded people and potential customers. Do whatever it takes to get your name out there and establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Selling Your Services
After you have your marketing materials, it’s time to sell your services. It doesn’t cost anything to place an ad in the “creative” services section of Craigslist. Also check for photography jobs under their jobs section.

If you specialize, make a list of local businesses which specialize in your subject. For example, if you do weddings, seek out wedding dress and print shops. Ask these shops if they’ll display flyers and your business cards by the cash register. Offer them a commission for referring customers to you.

If you want to focus on homes, contact real estate agents who always need photographs for their listings. If you want to do commercial or industrial photography, join the chamber of commerce to network with business people. If you want to get freelance photo gigs, you must get your name out there. If no one knows about you, they can’t hire you.

Stock Photography
Stock photography is another way to earn money freelancing. What’s good about this is that you take a photo, post it online and then watch the money come in as people around the world buy it. The money may dribble in at first, but will increase as you add more photos. Some stock photographers earn six figures annually, but it didn’t happen overnight.

Online Searching
Go online to find freelance photography jobs. Enter that phrase in the search box and see what turns up. 

Earnings Potential
Unless you’re a big name, you’re probably not going to get rich, especially at first. Even staff photographers who work for a newspaper or magazine don’t earn a lot. 

Life as a freelance photographer wholly depends on how much effort you put into the different aspects of marketing and distributing your product. Given the tools at your disposal today, there are many outlets which will allow you to become discovered and to display your photographs. Finally, photographers of all types (stock photographers, nature photographers, etc) have opportunities to monetize their photographs.

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