Getting started as a freelance photographer
Finding your first job and getting paid quickly
Let us present an image: you have the photography skills, you’ve finally acquired all the necessary photography equipment, and now you’re ready to begin your career as a freelance photographer - BUT, there’s just one last thing … you can’t find work. Working as a freelance or, more formally, an independently-contracted photographer has many hurdles along the way.
Being your own boss has both privileges and pitfalls in regards to finding work and getting paid quickly and fairly. It can often times become a cycle of finding work, working your bum off, and then again finding work. But the question is, is there an easier way to do all of this so that you can go ahead get your career started? How can you more easily streamline the process of finding work and expediting your payment process. Our team would like to recommend a thing or two to get things going:
Have a Portfolio Which Is Viewable By the Public.
It’s difficult to get hired for a job when a potential client needs to hunt down your portfolio, especially if it’s possibly not even accessible to them at all. Once a potential client can see your portfolio, they can then decide if your work is a match to their interests. Not only that, if you are actively scouting for clients, you will have a place which you can easily refer them to.
Our personal recommendation would be to post your portfolio on Soply. Not only is it easy, it’s free. From there you will automatically placed in its database and will be the first we contact when jobs matching your interests arise.
Understand the Market and Your Competition.
It’s important to see what your competition is in order to understand what your place in the market is. With millions of creative freelancers worldwide, it’s necessary to gain a perspective on what type of photography you want to specialize in, and to what demographic you want to target. Do you want to be a wedding photographer, a landscape photographer, or a high-profile fashion photographer? The list can go on and on. Once you decide on what type of clientele you would like, finding specific jobs will become much easier.
Create a Bid Strategy.
Understanding your competition, and where you stand in the market, is also crucial when developing your pricing strategy. You don’t want to run into an issue of charging too little, or too much, for a job. Either case can deter a potential client away from using your services. Once the bid is accepted, and the job is done, you should receive a fair and agreed-upon payment.
Before You Even Begin the Job, Get a Contract Signed and Dated.
There’s nothing worse than committing your time and energy to a job, which doesn’t pay out in the end. If things aren’t in writing, there is no commitment on who agreed on what. This can pose a huge problem for freelancers. Soply's database ensures that you are locked into an entitled job. Once you find a job on this site, the brief and agreement acts as a contract. Don’t worry, its team will handle all the boring administrative tasks required in freelancing.
Receive Your Payment.
As a freelancer, you are responsible for invoicing your client. With websites such as Soply and the app Albert, invoicing can be done with ease. Using the Albert app, you can send the invoice within a couple of steps and include your company logo. You may also track on its progress, and overall keep a tablature of jobs you have invoiced. These are some key things to remember, so that you can receive your payment seamlessly:
● If you delay your invoice, the client may delay your payment too
● Invoicing quickly makes your work acutely to ‘recency bias’ (i.e. your job is more important since it was recently completed)
● Statistically, invoicing quickly has a bigger effect than invoicing terms and those who invoiced on the last day of the job typically received payment within five days. Sending the invoice a week later could double your waiting time.
● In the UK, it is estimated that freelancers are paid 21 days late.
Our team understands that starting up as a freelance photographer can be an uphill battle. But, we also understand how rewarding it can be in the end. Once you have the logistics worked out, it’s time to start your dream career in photography!