How to be a Freelance Photographer

Freelance Photographer

Whether you are a shutterbug, a lens hog, or even camera-shy, you know that photography is a rewarding career. Photography is more complex art than simply telling people to huddle up closer and smile for the flash. It is the art of capturing images on camera, for aesthetic, memorial and other purposes.

Many people make a living of photography and the advent of social media has only added to its already established allure. It is a respectable career option, well received and well paid.

The reason why people explore freelance photography is multi-faceted. Firstly, it is a well-paying alternative to regular work. Moreover, you can choose whom you wish to work for, and what kind of work you wish to undertake.

Freelance Photographer Jobs

There are many duties that you will have as a photographer, often at times more complex than ushering all 20 family members into one frame.

There are some generic deeds that most photographer dudes and dudettes undertake, however, photographers like to focus on certain areas, like Nature, Fashion, Art, Family, War, Press and other specific areas that photographers usually work.

Some of the duties you would expect to perform to become a photographer include:

  • Understanding client needs
  • Determining pictorial subjects
  • Researching for shoots
  • Using equipment like lighting, cameras, lenses and software
  • Liaising with other professionals, like graphic designers, writers, gallery managers etc
  • Managing the processing of images
  • Compiling albums, frame prints
  • Developing portfolios
  • Self-marketing

Freelance Photography Skills

Photographers need to develop certain skills to make a decent living. There are many places that you can develop the skills needed as a photographer. However, before you do find out where it is important to know what these skills are. Without ado, let us look at these skills in question:

  • Editing skills (Photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Creative Suite)
  • Equipment skills like composition, exposure, making the most of a camera
  • Being open to ideas, flexible as a photographer
  • Studying others work
  • Practice your skills
  • Marketing skills

You can develop and hone these skills needed online, or through courses. There are many platforms and websites that can help you ‘picture’ a brilliant career, as a photographer.

PhotographyCourse, Acadsoc, Photoflex Lighting School, Morguefile, About and Best Photo Lessonsoffer many online courses which include both free and paid websites where you can learn how to become a photographer.

Being Successful As A Freelance Photographer

Photographers, who usually gather fame, are the ones who cover Fashion, Celebrity and Corporate events. There are many well-known Wildlife photographers as well.

There are many bumps and minor hiccups that most freelancers face, with no colleagues to moan with, no lunches with co-workers and the instability caused by the absence of a weekly cheque. However, one can become successful, or indeed set off down the path to success, by following certain tips, as;

  • Creating an eye-catching website, and promoting a daily blog
  • Getting out of your comfort zone as a photographer
  • Being adept at editing and quick with software
  • Being open to learning
  • Marketing yourself

Freelance Photographer Pay Scale

Photographers in high places usually earn big bucks and get to shoot a variety of interesting, often good-looking, pictorial subjects. There are other photographers who earn enough money by simply covering wedding photographs and other related events.

As with other freelance opportunities, there are essentially two types of engagements offered, the fixed-price model and the hourly payment model. Therefore, what can you earn as a freelance photographer?

Estimated budgets for fixed-price engagements range from $30- 150 for a project, while hourly jobs usually pay $5– 80 an hour depending on how good and experienced you are.

There are jobs that pay less on an hourly basis but provide ongoing work for sometimes months and even years together. It depends on what kind of a rapport you share with your employer. At the beginning of your career, you may have to work for a slightly low price than quoted, but such jobs will help you build your credibility and are equally important if you wish to make a name for yourself in the freelance market.

Finding Work

It is not tough to find work as a photographer. With social media playing such an important part in advertising, marketing and communication today, one of the best ways to find work as a photographer is to create a Facebook page, and invite your friends, family, and acquaintances to

like it.

It is important to remember that photography is a visual art and Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc are the best promotional platforms.

Apart from creating a Facebook page and a blog, there are many opportunities for work as a Freelance photographer. Some popular websites that offer work for photographers feature Odesk, Peopleperhour, Elance, Guru, andFreelancer, among many other websites.


There is an abundance of learning resources for people like you, who wish to become photographers. There are websites, which feature paid and free instructional courses on Photography. You can learn how to take amazing pictures online, by simply watching an instructional video.

Some of the website resources on offer, include popular websites like PhotographyCourse, Acadsoc, Photoflex Lighting School, Morguefile, About and Best Photo Lessons, that offer many online courses, both paid for and free ones.

For more information on Freelance Resource please visit