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Freelance photographers: How to build opportunities for your business

18 February 2021

Photography is a common career approached through freelancing or contract work in South Africa. This makes photography an exciting and fulfilling career for people who like to travel and meet new people.

 

As the term freelancing explains that freelancers are professionals who want flexibility and independence. Photographers have the liberty to choose what jobs they want to take, the creative freedom to express their creativeness, freedom to travel and explore the world.

But there are a few things to keep in mind when pursuing a career as a freelance photographer. Things like finding a particular niche to work within, networking with other professionals, and learning your way around contracts are vital to freelancing success.

Choose a genre

Freelance photographers have a range of genres to choose from in the field with familiar categories including, events photography, travel, social media, or portrait photography. Within each of these, there are subcategories as well, this is why it’s important to choose a genre that one likes and stick to it.

Being all over the genres will cost you time and skills. If you choose a genre and dedicate your time to the genre you can hone your skills better and become an expert in the field. Keep in mind that clients prefer quality over quantity. Therefore if you dedicate your time and skills to a specific genre, you can build a stable client base who will contribute to your career.

Although versatility can be extremely helpful down the road, building a solid foundation in a particular style or format can help get your freelance career off to an excellent start.

Network with other professionals

Networking is important for anyone looking to enter or advance in any industry, but it can be especially important with freelancing. Because as a freelance photographer one doesn’t work in an organization, building contacts and networking with other professionals is a good way to get support and potential work. Professional networking is a practical way to get new gigs and clients for your business.

Make sure your online website or social media page is always up to date because this works as your portfolio for clients who need to see your work. Or in a situation where a freelancer turn down a potential job and the client asks for a recommendation­, this can be you hence you need to make sure that your portfolio speaks for you. In addition to professional support and creative assistance, networking can help you develop your skills in the back end portion of your business.

Work smart and be professional

Being a freelance photographer can let you build a career that is diverse, fun, and successful but you have to know what you are in for. Freelancing can be hard but if you set yourself up for success, you can make it big.

Before you take on any clients or agree to any jobs, make sure that you ask about the pros and cons of the job. This includes proper practices for invoicing, having a basic contract that you can lean on, deadlines, and work revisions. Asking questions and agreeing to a work-contract can feel like a hassle but it has to be done. Having a contract helps you to protect yourself from exploitation or clients who don’t want to pay as agreed hence, a contract should always be used. Luckily, UASA Independent Professionals offers assistance with contracts of employment for freelancers. This is why you need to join as a member at www.uasaip.co.za and be legal smart.

Below are a few photography genres that you can look into and pursue in your freelance photography career:

  • Landscape Photography.
  • Wildlife Photography.
  • Travel photography.
  • Aerial photography.
  • Sports or Action Photography.
  • Portrait Photography.
  • Architectural Photography.
  • Wedding Photography or Event Photography.
  • Fashion Photography.
  • Photojournalism.
  • Fashion Photography.

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