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Starting a Freelance Photography Career

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It can be the most difficult thing in the world. You’re ready to leave your day job behind and pursue your passion. You’re ready to start building and branding your creative business . But like the famous phrase goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” It takes time to develop a full-time freelance photography career. And the reality is that passion or desire are important, but it takes time to find success. You need to be able to transition to a sustainable business to provide both financial stability and creative freedom. Speaking as a full-time freelance creative, here are the questions I asked myself to determine when the time was right. If you can confidently answer “yes”to all of these, then you might be ready to start pursuing your dreams on the next level. 1. Do you have the experience? Like in any field, experience is everything for freelancing. Whether you’re a photographer, videographer, graphic designer, or journalist, you need to have a lengthy portfolio of past work to show to prospective clients. Many times, you will even get clients or brands asking for references, similar to a job interview. It’s important to have loads of experience and work that you have documented in your portfolio or website. A few projects are not enough. You need lengthy experience to be successful full-time, and continuously land new opportunities in the future. Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash 2. Do you know enough clients for consistent work? It’s easy to land one gig, or even a few, but doing it consistently can be difficult, especially starting out. It can take months, or even years to start and develop strong relationships with clients and brands that provide consistent work for your freelance photography business. It’s important to take the time to grow and develop relationships with several clients before starting your full-time freelance journey. Having a list of clients you are close with, that love your work and view you as an indispensable talent is a great benchmark to reach before thinking about taking that next big step. 3. Is your business sustainable? This can be a tough subject to discuss, because a lot of creatives just want to create. The reality is you have to have a sustainable business that can effectively pay the bills and is built to grow. Or, you need t maintain a certain level of workload to be successful as a freelancer. Yes, it can be a blast doing what you love and creating content for clients. But if you can’t pay the bills with your passion, it will quickly become difficult. A good thing to do, if you are thinking about jumping into full-time freelancing, is to plan. Take a full year and set a clear income goal. Then, see if you can hit that goal. Remember, if your goal is to start by making a certain income (your net income ), you will need to calculate business expenses and taxes from your gross income. Remember, tax […]

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