Becoming a Photographer
When a photographer considers himself a freelance photographer, it means any and all possible jobs could come his or her way. From photographing buildings to small children to pets to shoes, its all a possibility. Knowledge of photography is essential when freelancing as any conditions will make themselves known. Indoor lighting, natural lighting or a combination of both, as well as complexity of subject matter and pleasing the client, weather conditions or any other number of factors all come into play when freelancing.
The freelancer must have a great portfolio to show to prospective clients. The portfolio must be professional in appearance and with the client's particular preference as the main subject matter, or work that is close to it, presented. A freelance portfolio should contain not only prints but how the prints were used. If a photographer's work was used in a magazine, its best to have the tear sheet from that publication. Whenever possible the proof of work used should be included in work shown to clients who are interested.
The success of a freelance photographer depends on getting the word out about his or her talent, presenting a great portfolio, and being a professional in work ethic and appreance. Freelancers depend on repeat business and word of mouth referrals as well as ads in their local newspapers and business cards. Internet websites are helpful, and an ad in the local phonebook works well, too. When a would-be client calls to arrange work, the photographer needs to project a professional and confident attitude over the phone and make arrangements to either meet the client, or in cases of very small jobs, go to the site and do the work and then, as soon as possible, present the results and get payment. When a freelance photgrapher has commissioned ajob, its important for him or her to arrive on time and have all appropriate equipment, get the job done, get the film processed or the digital film printed as appropriate, and get the results to the client as quickly as possible.
Pricing a freelance job can be difficult as it can be hard, especially for new photographers, to accurately assess how long a job will take and how much the job will cost the photographer. Photographers can price by the hour, by the day or by the entire job. It is a good idea for new photographers to research how much photographers in their area are receiving. One doesn't want to undercut his or her worth because of fear of charging too much. Also, when pricing a job a freelance photographer needs to account for film cost and developing or digital processing, as well as any overhead fees that will be incurred during shooting and, in general, the cost of wear and tear on equipment should be added.
Ideally, freelance photographers will have printed cards or postcards made of some of the best examples of their work and distribute those cards around the city or town closest to them. Local businesses or families who would like portraits done will use a freelance photographer if he or she presents their talent in a professional and impressive way.