I’m going to be blogging a little each week about the various industries you can start freelancing in. This week – photography, which is quickly becoming one of the best areas to pursue. If you have photography skills, go for it!
Becoming a freelance photographer can be quite easy. No degree or certification is needed. However, becoming a freelance photographer who makes money can be the challenging part. Most people jump into this career as a hobby but do not realize the amount of money that can be made. Thus, knowing how to turn your talent into profit is key. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can get started.
Choose a Focus
First, it would be wise to choose a photography focus. You should choose what you enjoy. Do you enjoy photographing children? Weddings? Nature? Enjoying what you do is crucial in not only putting out a great work, but also, as the old saying goes, “If you enjoy what you do, you will never work a day in your life.”
It is important to research the income potential of what you choose and the cost of the quality equipment you will need to purchase. Remember, even if you have to put up a large amount of money up front to purchase equipment, if you choose a focus that is in high demand, your money will come back to you ten-fold.
Research and Educate Yourself
Be sure to research the internet to find out what others are doing in your area of interest, and then differentiate what your services will offer as opposed to theirs. Having something unique to offer that others do not have will make you stand out.
Note, in doing this research you will also gather inspiration from others. While you want to create your own unique style, there is nothing wrong with getting ideas which will help you to improve and challenge yourself in your specific area.
Decide how you can bring your style of photography into a working business. Research how others like you started their businesses and improved along the way. For example, Anne Geddes’ first successful project was a calendar of her famous babies, and business exploded from there.
When you first start out, it would be a good idea to showcase your work by volunteering your time for a handful of special projects. Your volunteering work will give you great experience and also encourage people to refer you for other paid projects. Word-of-mouth is a great marketing strategy.
You can also start out by running discounted specials to build your business. Let’s say you have chosen photographing children as your focus. You could contact your local Girl Scouting or Boy Scouting organization and offer to photograph special events at a discounted price. Thinking out of the box can help you to get your foot in the door where others have not been.
Find a Mentor
Finding a mentor to show you the ropes is a great opportunity to get your work critiqued, and to learn what you can do to make your work better. You can do this by approaching other professionals or even by becoming a part of your local photography club.
Create a Marketing Plan
There are many free ways to market your work including Facebook, Twitter and many other social media platforms. However, it would be wise to set aside some funds to develop a website to showcase your talents.
Okay – ready, set, go!