Starting your freelancing photography career

Starting a freelance creative photograpy career by Sugar Hamock in Paris

Some ideas, advice and considerations if you are planning to take the step into freelancing.

  • Why? Think about what it is that is driving you to want to work for yourself. I would say that this is perhaps one of the more important questions to ask yourself as there will be days you question yourself, doubt your abilities and feel less than motivated. You will need to keep reminding yourself what it was that motivated you in the frst place and keep this front of mind on the difficult days, because as a freelancer, there will be those days.
  • Get all your finances in order, and plan accordingly. If you have already saved up money and are planning to quit your job cold turkey, great. If this is not a viable option for you (which it isn't for the majority of milennials), then try to allocate that time during lunch breaks or after work. This is of course easier if you are already working from home. As someone who already works from home 99% of the time, I try to give myself extra time during lunch to get shoots done.
  • Keep track of EVERYTHING. If you are not the most organised, now is the time to get things in order. Every invoice, every tax return, every business receipt. Keep it and store it somewhere safe because I can guarantee you will need it again sometime in the next 5-10 years (yep, you read that right).
  • Check what type of bank account you will need. In certain countries, business revenue will need to be put into a specialised account and not your current account (or checking account, in US). Talk to your bank manager and let them explain the options to you but don't ignore this, it is an important step.
  • Have a list of clients already prepared. Don't wait until you feel that your business is 'established' to begin reaching out to clients. You will need to do everything you can to make the transition into freelancing as seamless as possible. Clients, brands and art directors could take months to get back to you so I would actually suggest forging those connections and making your prescence known as soon as your portfolio is up and running (which should come long beforehand).
  • Accept the realities of freelancing. Being a creative freelancer is often painted as the milennial's dream. Working for yourself, setting your own hours and working from anywhere in the world. But before you can even think of getting to that stage, there will be hard work. You may not get any holiday, you could struggle financially despite even the best planning. On top of this, you will probably be working weekends and evening in addition to your regular job. But this should never discourage you, because ultimately, the intrinsic satisfaction of  being able to do the work you've always wanted to do is finally coming to fruition. A particular quote I love is 'You can fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.'

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