The life of a creative freelancer can sometimes be stressful and frustrating, but it can also so rewarding. Some people are fortunate enough to know what their passions are and were introduced to them at such a young age. Do you remember when you discovered your first passion?
Who wouldn’t love to turn that into their career? Opportunities now seem endless, but only if the individual is hungry enough for it. Photography is a subjective craft but also a tough industry to really break into successfully. Over the past several years, the art really blew up and there are mass numbers of photographers all over the world from novice to experienced. But don’t let that discourage you! There are opportunities everywhere, especially for the hustling freelancer. Muses is here to help you with how to find work as a freelance photographer.
1. Social Media
Several photographers begin marketing themselves on Facebook. There are so many groups online you can become part of that are great ways to connect with potential clients, you just have to think outside the box. There are neighborhood groups, mother/parent, and photography groups where creatives come together posting about gigs, second shooter needs or just wanting to meet up and shoot together. Similar to being a blogger, you need to know who your target audience is and advocate to them. There are people looking for someone who is more cost-effective and less intimidating than working directly with an agency. Make sure to be strategic about posting and reaching out. The best time to find gigs is during the holiday season and when the weather is warmer. If your clients like you and your work, they will more than likely recommend you to their friends and family, which will only allow your network to continue to expand.
A quick tip for once your business starts booming, make sure you give your clients enough time to review the final product, and make sure they leave a shoot happy. A nightmare would be if a client wasn’t happy with the outcome and decides not to pay you for your time.
2. Job Boards
Another way to find work is through job boards! A quick google search is a solid way to go about doing your research and finding potential opportunities. It’s important to really think outside the box and maximize all the tools our technology gives us. Think about LinkedIn, Bumble bizz, Indeed.com, Glassdoor, Instagram… the sky’s the limit.
On the Muses app, you can network with creatives in your local area by searching and filtering from the Members screen. Send anyone you find interesting a direct message for potential collaboration opportunities. You can also post about what you’re working on from the Homefeed section of the app so that you get awareness on your services and profile. And of course, browse gigs on Muses – there are many opportunities for photographers to get hired for various short-term projects and remote work.
It is always inspiring and motivating to see other creatives working with huge companies such as Nike, Fashion Nova, and television networks. But nobody makes it overnight. With influencer marketing becoming more proliferated, the term “collab” sure is a buzzword but sometimes you just have to and need to be incredibly strategic about it. Don’t just accept every ‘TFP’ request- that’s a beginner’s mistake. But collaborations are a great way to get your name out there and show off what you can produce.
4. Have a Reachable Portfolio
If you haven’t already, your next big step is making an Instagram account dedicated to your work and having a separate online portfolio or website to share with clients. This goes hand-in-hand with collaborations and making strategic calls on who you want to work with. Essentially, you are your brand. It is crucial to know your niche, what you want to be known for, and therefore showcasing and working with those that align with your style. For instance, say a fashion and lifestyle blogger requests to “partner” with you on a shoot for their monthly content calendar, but a bride-to-be also contacts you to partner for her wedding. It would behoove you to evaluate what type of style you are most comfortable with shooting, and what work you want to frequently be doing. Once you really know this, then yes, collaborations are a great way to expand your network and even get noticed by bigger names. An example of that is in the case of fashion bloggers, they typically partner with clothing brands and beauty brands for content that they showcase, and if you are the person behind the camera, those brands may like what they see and decide to work with you also.
If photography is something that makes you happy, and you are confident in your talents and abilities, go for it! Never be afraid to introduce yourself, attend events, and continue to pitch yourself when the opportunity seems right.
By: Yasmine Duran, a journalism and marketing student with a background in photography and dance.