Freelance round-up: This month in photography - October
Rights and Wrongs
With public paranoia about photographs and photographers at an all time high, it’s imperative that we as freelancers know our rights especially if, like me, you do a lot of work ‘on spec’. Of course, knowing your rights and being able to assert them can be two completely different things, but knowledge is power so they say and a good place to start obtaining that knowledge is Urban 75 . I have to stress that this is NOT a photography site as such, but the content in links on the left side of the page give a good starting point with which to build your knowledge of the law and photography in public (and not so public) places. This, taken in conjunction with the Met Police advice page, (and a modicum of common sense) should arm you with enough information to avoid seizure of your equipment and serious confrontation. Regardless of being forewarned and forearmed, there is little to prevent the jobsworths or just plain ignorant from challenging a photographer going about his or her business so it goes without saying that your personal safety should always be paramount in your mind when challenging someone who has challenged you.
Advertising for FREE
If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. But is that so with free advertising on the net? There are literally hundreds of sites offering free advertising, so what do they get out of it and what’s in it for you? Well for a start the free listings are very basic and usually do not allow links to websites or even email addresses unless you pay for an upgrade, this can be frustrating if you find there is a customer waiting to contact you but the information is being withheld until you purchase the upgrade. Another downside is that whether you upgrade to include your contact details or if the site allows this at the basic listing, people wanting to offer their services to photographers will trawl the sites and you may end up with spam in your inbox and unwanted cold callers on your business line. The choice has to rest with the individual, however here are a few sites I have used in the past which have yielded more leads that cold calls:
A quick search of Google will bring up hundreds of links like these, but searching for Link Exchange for Photographers will bring up even more hits and these will drive your website (if you have one) further up the Google listings and put your work in front of more potential clients. But if SEO, or ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ has you flummoxed check out Optimising The Web.
As a Freelancer, a lot of my work is on spec, I have to come up with the ideas and present them in a package that clients will want to pay money for. As I am based in London two places I will be visiting in the next few weeks will be Discover Dogs (and The Lord Mayors Show. I can highly recommend both, but if you don’t want to travel or are not based in London take a look at I Photocentral and Student Life. Again, the latter is not a photography site, but one with listings of events, festivals and celebrations throughout the UK and Europe.
After you have optimised your site and made contact with clients who want to commission you what do you charge them. The first thing that pops into my head is ‘as much as the market will allow’ but in times of recession you could be pricing yourself out of a job, or even quoting so low that it discredits your work. Check out the NUJ Fees Guide for a comprehensive list of what you should charge, whatever type of photography you do. And, if like me to do feature packages, there is a fees guide for that too.
19th October 2010