Freelance Round-up: This month in photography

Happy New Year everyone. Traditionally, this is a time of year for re-evaluation and resolution; get fit, be more confident, be less procrastinating... make this the year your freelancing really takes off. I’m afraid you are on your own with the first three, but if you hit 2011 with a determination to buck the recession trend by doing what you love and making a living from it, then maybe some of the links in this month’s round-up will help kick-start your motivation and maybe bring in some cash too.

It’s Good To Talk

At least that’s what they say, and sometimes the only people freelance photographers get to talk to are their clients. Getting feedback and bouncing ideas off of fellow professionals is key to keeping our work inspired and our minds sane. The Photography Forum is probably the friendliest forum I belong to (with the exception of our own Freelance UK Forum of course). Regardless of what stage you are at in your photography career or what genre of photography is your specialty, there are members on here that will constructively critique your work and share their expertise and competitions within the forum, in which members vote for their favourite image of the month. Membership is free to the general forum but there is a nominal charge to join the closed business section. Register and introduce yourself, they really are a friendly bunch.

Market Yourself

Probably one of the most difficult things to master when trying to get your freelance business off the ground, and keeping it there, is having faith in your own ability. Having that ‘bounce-back ability’ in the face of rejection and criticism is crucial to meet each new client with confidence and flair. Jim’s Marketing Blog not only gives practical advice on marketing your business, but he also gently scolds you into remembering your dreams when you started, inspiring you to look at your business and how you can move it forward.

Do not underestimate the value of social networking sites when promoting your business, especially with something like photography. This page on Mantis Technologies takes you by the hand to show how to set up a business page on Facebook, putting your work in front of potential clients and raising your profile with existing ones.

Pitch For Work

Unless you are lucky enough to have regular clients, you have to have potential work in the pipeline all the time to make a living. The balance between working for today and pitching for tomorrow is a delicate one we all have to manage. There are plenty of freelance bidding sites out there where customers post a job, and you bid for it. It’s not always the lowest bid that wins the job, but they are often global websites, so bidders have the opportunity of working remotely anywhere in the world. This may not be for everyone, but I am registered with one and have won a few really nice commissions which have led to further work with the same client. Remember when bidding that many of these sites take a percentage of your fee if you win the bid, so factor this in when pricing the job.

In a different vein there is Job is Job, a pretty standard job search site, however they do have some interesting photography specific positions, which can’t really be said of most other general job search sites.

Data Loss

The best advice I have ever been given is back up, back up, back up, but that didn’t prepare me for the drive crashing when I was working on some wedding images. Although I had the originals on another drive the 4-hour montage design I had done would have been lost had it not been for this programme on EASEUS. It’s always worth having a plan B in case things go belly-up.

And Finally

For those who lived too far away or missed The Societies Convention here in West London, Focus On Imaging are holding their annual convention in early March. All the usual suspects have stands and there are workshops and demos.

Until next month,

Happy Freelancing

Jan Wright


26th January 2011

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