It is no surprise that knowing how to find photography jobs in this day and age is not easy. While others see photography as an easy profession, freelance photographers understand that the struggle lies in landing gigs and clients. Compared to in-house photographers who have a stable income, freelance photographers rely on gigs after gigs and clients after clients in order for their businesses to thrive.
As a freelance photographer, you do understand that aside from the photoshoots and client meetings, you also have to attend to your admin tasks. Basically, you are not only a photographer; you also act as an accountant, purchasing manager, and operations manager. So, unfortunately, this leaves you little time to focus on finding good clients or a stable gig.
The Freelance Photography Industry
Freelance photography has been one of the strongest industries in the last few years. As a result, many in-house photographers shifted to doing freelance photography, not to mention those belonging to other professions who do freelance photography as a side job. With smartphone manufacturers creating exceptional camera features, everyone nowadays can capture sellable photos as well.
What does this mean for you, then? It means you have to be smarter in exploring ways how to find photography jobs. There may be a lot of opportunities for freelance photographers because of online businesses needing product shots or content creators who need good photos, however, the question still remains—will you get the job?
Gameplan on How to Find Photography Jobs
Breathe. You can do this. There are simple and practical tips and tricks that can help you in discovering how to find photography jobs. These are all doable ideas that you can work on to have good chances of landing new gigs.
1. Invest in Your Own Equipment
You’d probably agree that in photography, the equipment sets the standards of your work. In order to produce good quality photos, you need the finest camera lenses. Or the most fitting lighting equipment. Nowadays, some clients even inquire about what type or brand of camera you are using. Yes, clients can be picky. So know your cameras, lenses, and other photography gears. Know how to work with what you have and what you need to invest in.
The type of camera and lens you are using can be a factor in getting a gig. For example, you cannot get a job shooting group or family photos in small spaces if you do not have a wide-angle lens. Just the same, you cannot shoot indoors if you do not have a flash. Obviously, you need your gears.
2. Know Your Style
There are different styles of photography. Artistic, lifestyle, traditional or posed, and documentary are some photography styles. You have to know your interest and your strong suit and excel in it. If you do not focus on a single style, then you will never be the first in mind when people look for specific photographers. For example, modeling agencies will look specifically for fashion and portrait photographers, while retail businesses will look for product photographers. It is best that you make a name for a specific style. Capturing a particular market that fits your photography style will create a better flow of clients.
3. Learn the Trends
In photography, there usually are trends that set a standard. You can see that pictures from the 80s are different in composition from today. Colors may now be toned down, and poses may be bolder. Always, always be updated with the current trends either in photography style or technological advancements in camera equipment. Remember, nobody will hire a photographer who does not know the latest trend.
4. Be Unique
Be unique and have a good Unique Selling Proposition. No, this is not some big business thing. It just basically means standing out from the rest. In any business and any field, you have to be one-of-a-kind to put a mark on the map. Play with your lenses. Have fun mixing lights and colors. Be brave in exploring and discovering what you can offer that others cannot. Keep in mind that photography is an art. So turn what’s common into something extraordinary. Being different will definitely draw a lot of clients’ curiosity and attention.
5. Build an Amazing Portfolio
Do you want to know the secret on how to find photography jobs? An amazing portfolio. Photography is very visual. You obviously cannot simply describe your works in words. Show your best works, and showcase your photographs! Make a digital and a physical portfolio. Some clients will want to see what photos will look like when printed. Don’t forget to color-correct your printouts!
6. Have a Professional Page
Have a website. Create social media pages. Make sure your photos are available online to reach a broad audience. Remember that the first instinct of clients when looking for photographers is to go online. So make sure that you have an online presence. Put your portfolio on these pages. Add some personal touches, like memorable stories during a shoot. You may also add your rates and packages there because clients usually want a one-stop shop.
7. Job Boards Work
Yes, utilize job boards and other professional services sites. Do not wait for inquiries alone. Post your services on these sites because, aside from being free, job boards do work. You also search for clients looking for photographers on job boards. There is a good chance of getting a gig through job boards. Besides, as you explore these sites, you’ll see the market trend and current industry standards, which you could use to your advantage.
8. Work With an Agency
Be open to working with an agency. After all, they have a pool of clients and more resources to spare. They have ready proposals and contracts so you wouldn’t need to prepare for one. Some agencies even offer retainer services that are good for your business.
9. Vlog and Blog
If you can, have some time to create a vlog or publish a blog. You may talk about your thoughts on photography or discuss its history. Make how-to videos and a photography tips and tricks blog. You can make behind-the-scene videos, reaction vlogs, or review camera equipment if you are up to it. The point is, through vlogs and blogs, clients can see that you know your craft. You give off a sense of authority in your field. This generates immediate confidence and trust. Clients will not be afraid to hire you because they already see how you work.
10. Attend Bridal Fairs and Other Expos
Be on the lookout for events that would open opportunities for you. Obviously, if you are a wedding photographer, you have to join bridal fairs. It is through these expos that you get to actually discuss your services in length because that is why the clients are there. They are actually looking for photographers for one, and they will listen. They will engage with you. So be prepared and give it all you’ve got.
11. Referrals and Word of Mouth
It has been said and will always remain, that referrals are ultimately your ticket to bagging that next job. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Ask them to put on a good word for you. You may feel awkward at first, but there are tips on how you can successfully ask your previous clients for referrals. Referrals and word of mouth are really two of the strongest ways how to find photography jobs.
12. Practice, Practice, Practice
Whether you are a starting freelance photographer or an established one already, it is important to keep on exploring and improving your skill. As starting freelance photographer, start creating your sample works right away. Jumpstart your portfolio by shooting photos that create impact.
Take a look at your previous photos and see how you can enhance them. Apply new techniques and keep on practicing. Yes, it is true that practice makes perfect. So practice, practice, practice!
13. Do A Photo Exhibit
Why not hold an exhibit if you have enough good photos? It is one bold move but it is definitely worth it. Just like paintings, photographs are pieces of art. It would be a good strategy to formally exhibit your work, complete with the spotlights and the flowers and everything that would make your photographs extra special. Showcasing your work in a more formal setting will also help you land more clients.
Nothing excites clients more than knowing they will get freebies! For example, you can offer one printed photo for an all-digital package. Maybe, give a free USB (where you can store the pictures). Or add a few more shots for them to choose from. You may even have items like mugs or shirts with your logo on them as giveaways too.
15. Always Be Ready
Elevator pitching. Always be ready to sell your services. Anywhere. Make sure you have a copy of your portfolio with you and know how to introduce yourself in the shortest amount of time. You will never know who you will bump into at the coffee shop or in the elevator. If an opportunity presents itself, it’s always best to be ready. And that is how you will land your next gig.
It is truly understandable that you find it difficult to land gigs at first, given that the industry is open to almost anyone who can hold a camera (or a smartphone). But now that you have some ideas on how to find photography jobs, you’ll see that it is actually easy and quite fun!
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