How To Become A Freelance Photographer

Being a freelance photographer can help you have complete control over your projects. Instead of being employed and told what projects to work on, you get to express your creativity by collaborating with clients that you wish to work with. Not only does this help you find meaningful work, but it also helps you flex your creativity when you’re involved in the artistic process. Other practical pros to freelance photography include flexible work hours, keeping all the profit, and having control over your work environment.


But with such flexible work conditions, it might be difficult to figure out where to start. If you’re planning to pursue freelance photography, then here are some steps that you can take.


How To Become A Freelance Photographer

Investing in good equipment


Acquiring good equipment is the first step to establishing yourself as a freelance photographer. This is necessary to ensure minimal mistakes on the days you’re working with clients. The first thing you’ll need, of course, is a good camera. For freelance work that involves working with multiple clients, it’s best to invest in a digital SLR camera as they can offer you great versatility. DSLRs are more robust and are equipped with the fastest and most accurate focusing systems. Some popular models for professionals include the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and the Nikon D850.


DSLRs also allow you to work with a wider range of interchangeable lenses. This is important as you’ll need a variety of camera lenses, like wide angle and short telephoto lenses, to come up with different shots. If you’re going to encounter versatile concepts, then you best come prepared with equipment that allows for versatility.

Get the paperwork in order


Even when you’re talented and assertive, as a freelance artist you might be vulnerable to uncooperative clients. Without the legal backing of a large company, you might encounter exploitation, delayed payments, and demanding requests. But sorting out your paperwork can help you avoid these instances.


Having your clients sign a contract from the beginning can save you a lot of trouble. Laying out the terms for payment, revisions, deadlines, and other details can help protect you when clients try to negotiate unreasonably. Some areas also require business photography licenses or certifications. This can help add legitimacy to your business and may deter unruly clients from being uncooperative.

Learning how to market yourself


As a freelance photographer, you’ll be in charge of your own marketing. And in the digital age, freelance photographers can take advantage of social media to build their brand and attract clients. For instance, an app like Instagram — which has 1.3 billion monthly active users — can be beneficial as a visual platform with large traffic. Because photography is largely aesthetic in nature, building an eye-catching profile on the app can attract a broad audience. The same is also true for other apps like Facebook and Twitter.


But one of the main advantages of social media is earning the trust of potential clients. Because these platforms allow you to get personal and share tidbits about your life, you can let audiences know who’s behind the lens. This trust allows you to be more approachable and attractive, which is particularly important for a freelancer just starting out.


Freelancing can be a rewarding experience and can help you grow tremendously as an artist. Although the freelancing world can be difficult to navigate for photographers, knowing where to start can guide you towards a fruitful career.