So you want to freelance.
Leave the 9-5 grind behind.
Be your own boss, and
SELL your photographs
But how do you do it?
Your problem is this:
Now there is probably a very reassuring cheque at the end of each month, and
Paid holidays, and
A company pension scheme, and
Rent to pay!
Please let me offer you a few wise words, for free
In return, why not join our mailing list for more essential tips on being your own boss
- it's hard work,
- long hours,
- sometimes lonely,
- with no-one getting your back and,
- sometimes times are lean.
But, it has tremendous rewards if you get it right;
- you are in control of your destiny,
- you can (almost) choose your hours,
- you can certainly choose your projects,
- you grow as a person,
- you learn lots of new skills and,
- get paid to do this!
Maybe you're a blogger who wants to take the next step. You take great photos, everyone loves them.
So you offer your work for free, because getting published is the next step. Hey, if you just want promotion and get more people to read your blog this is just fine. Don't knock it.
But if you want to get paid for your work do this...
ask how much they pay to publish a set of your images
Yes, that simple, just ask.
Because if you don't value your work, no-one else will. and crucially,
If they have the budgets to pay you and your work is great and delivers what they want.
They will pay you even of you are a newbie.
If they don't have the budgets they will never pay you.
Can you afford to work like this? No? Neither can I.
So to reiterate, if a company has the budget they are more than willing to pay for excellent work.
They are skilled in recognising great work. They need and value highly creative, skilled operators.
Here's your checklist to your first steps in becoming a successful freelancer:
- Produce great, original work.
- Research other photographers
- Develop your own unique style
- Fall in love with your photography
- Pick a company you want to work with that fits your style,
- Research their needs
- Find out the best way to present your work
- Contact them and ask who to send your work in to.
You may not hear back straight away. They work with very small teams and to deadlines. They have annoying publishers who squeeze their time, patience and budgets. I know, I was one. But there is no excuse for an editor not responding to material you send in. It is plain rude. So do persevere;
- Stay calm,
- Be polite and
Most importantly, don't give up if you get rejected, keep going because,
- they may have run a similar story
- it may not fit with their publishing plan
- they may not have space
If you can try to get feedback. A good editor will do this sensitively and positively. And it if they
suggest your work isn't good enough, take it on the chin, work on making it better. Because even the pro's need to practice!
Copyright Lynn Keddie
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