As part of me looking into where I may want to go with my practice, I know there is a big part of me that would love to be freelance and so it is necessary that I research down this pathway. With only just coming into photography as a my practice I am a long long way to go however it is a route I want to explore:
Lecture on self employment
Today we had a lecture which outlined pros and cons of being self employed and how long it takes.
Pros which I am interested in are:
- Being able to pic and choose my own work
- Not having to work in an office
- Flexible working
Cons which bother me:
- Having to do my own accounts and being responsible for all the organising
- Having to make my own prices as I think I would always underpay myself
With the discussion about how long it takes to set up a business being 2-5 years, I am paying more attention to my idea that I may have to do some photography work which I am not completely interested in but will pay the bills.
This video I found on the article ‘Lessons on Your Road to Becoming a Freelance Photographer’ has been quite useful in immediately teaching me just how much effort needs to go into being freelance. Commitment and belief in yourself which drives you to persistantly push forward is clearly an attribute you need to have.
Currently I am driven to keep pushing myself forward but I certainly am not confident enough within my practice of photography yet technically to do this. This has made me think that maybe for this module I should really focus on my technical skills to advance me professionally, and not focus quite as much on what my content or message is?
He also mentions learning from your own mistakes, which is something I will HAVE to keep in mind with being so new to photography I am going to make a lot of mistakes however I need to not let this deter me.
Lecture by Richard on working for client
Going over the lecture from Richard about working for clients opened my eyes to what it can be like working for clients and it gave me some pointers for how to interpret what clients will mean when they say things like ‘be creative’. Due to this I feel more equipped or my upcoming client briefs, as without this information I would interpret instructions to be creative in a way which produces images that are too extreme for them.
This video has given some pretty good insights:
- Using social media and where the attention is there – if you choose to ignore things like instagram etc you choose at your own peril. Through this you need to create your own brand.
- Not many people just shoot still photographs anymore – most photographers now do film too and this is what new clients are looking for – Maybe I should start to focus on introducing myself to film too
- Find your niche – mine is already dogs, however I think it would be best to find a niche within dog photography
- Ignoring bad attitudes within photography – I can relate to this a lot, having been treated with a sort of snobbery about photography (Not within the university!) which has stopped me starting photography before this year.
If I want to become a freelance dog photographer:
Tips I picked up on throughout this Q&A from a pet photographer:
- Dealing with clients: Be yourself and dont be too professional, be real and show your personality. It is a personal service providing pet photography, so keep the professionalism to the photos and product you give but not to the clients.
- How to start working out your costs: Take into consideration your materials – prints, hard rives, camera equipment. Then take into consideration you actual time. Cost of running the business eg insurance. She works it that the session fee only covers just the TIME, then they sell prints and digital files etc after this.
To get an idea of her pricing I went onto her website and looked at her pricing just to give me a ball point idea of what professionals in this field look for in pricing.
PRESS PAUSE PLAY
Watching this documentary was a fantastic eye opener to the new digital world we live in where it is really easy for people to access things which allow them to start things like music or photography. I have already noted this within photography… people I know who have never studied photography have been able to pick up a camera and use instagram or other social media platforms to build name for themselves.
Although this can be quite discouraging, I have found it encourage me to stick to what I love. I am quite fortunate that what I like as my niche is analogue photography of dogs. Not that this means I am going to definitely be successful with it, but I may stand out a little more
The idea of technology moving forward and a lot of people sticking with digital photography has made my love for analogue photography grow, and I feel more driven to keep doing what I love.