Freelance Photography Guide

Freelance photography can be a highly rewarding career and can potentially take you around the world. The scope for work is large, as well as the traditional sources of magazines and newspapers the increase in Internet usage has opened up another channel for you to sell your work or gain ongoing contracts. The digital age has decreased camera to page time with the ongoing development of digital cameras, and therefore the reduced the use of the old dark room techniques that were time consuming and potentially damaging to health due to the toxic chemicals used to process pictures from film.

In our guide to photography we will help you understand your market area, how you can market your skills and earn money as a freelancer.


At the time of writing (2004) the use of colour photography is not yet 100 years old, the first commercial colour films being produced by the Lumiere Brothers in France in 1907. The last ten-fifteen years have surely seen the greatest developments in camera technology with the introduction of the first digital cameras in the mid 1990's. This has reduced a lot of the burden and overheads of traditional photography, digital cameras now allow you to see the images you have taken before leaving the scene and allowing you to see the results of setting changes leaving no excuse for low quality images! In the early days of digital cameras the resolution (image size) was not good enough for professional images but with affordable digital cameras now able to produce large, good quality images many professional photographers are exchanging their old SLR cameras for a digital equivalent.

This is excellent news for the budding freelance photographer as equipment costs and developing times have been slashed, with a quality camera available for around £500 upwards and a computer and software to edit the images before printing can be bought for less than £1000 the initial set up charges for your business can be fairly low.

Like any other freelancer you can follow our start ups section for more information concerning whether it is best to start off as self-employed, whether you should consider forming a Limited Company or what the tax implications would be if you start freelancing part-time while holding down a full time job.

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