How To Get Started In Freelance Photography
One of the easiest ways to making extra money is with a camera. More people own cameras than radios, and photography is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the world. Yet using a camera as an extra income tool is largely overlooked!
You don't have to have one of the popular, more expensive cameras. In many instances, an "off-the-shelf" camera will suit your purposes just fine. The only special piece of equipment you may want to invest in would be a good tripod for mounting the camera in different situations.
Beginners should avoid markets already overcrowded by professional competitors, like very well known magazines, which obviously deal only with professionals. The best markets for beginners are trade journals, special interest magazines and websites. Special interest publications attract very special groups of readers. For example, magazines and websites on mountain biking, pottery, golf, etc… which are bought by subscriptions, on newsstands or free.
By consuming a large amount of pictures, maintaining a constant demand for new ones and paying less than well-known magazines, they avoid the competition of professional and industrial photographers by buying mostly from beginners like you.
To begin with, the starting freelancer should concentrate on a subject he/she is familiar with. For example, a special hobby and/or what you enjoy shooting the most, whether it’s scenery, people, animals, etc. By finding out your specialty, you will be able to select your market and determine what magazines and websites would be interested in your work.
After you have selected the field you want to specialize in and found several magazines and websites related to your specialty, study what kind of pictures the editors are buying. A general description of picture requirements is often listed in the magazines and websites. You can also find out by looking at the pictures used in the past. Submit only the pictures you consider as good or better than the ones being used.
With a halfway decent camera, anyone can be a photographer. But, success in certain fields such as the outdoor market requires skills other than photography. You'll also need appropriate clothing for the regions and conditions, skills and equipment for the specialized activities and lots of patience, not only to get the picture, but because the pay off is not a quick one. Like so much in photography, you've got to love taking photos and view it long term. Specifically, the outdoor photographer needs specialized outdoor skills to even get to the places to take these kinds of photos. So to help you out visit my website on outdoor trips and skills and sign up for my newsletter at: CLICK HERE
Use Writing to Sell Your Photography
Here’s an important tip - Where freelancing for magazines and websites is concerned, your willingness to write can sometimes mean the difference between selling your photographs or not. Although editors work with words, they need pictures. They also need facts that are appropriate for their magazines and websites, facts that pictures can "hang" on. In other words, editors need information to go along with any photos they use.
What's most important to an editor is how useful the information they provide is to their readers. And, if photos can make that information more useful or appealing, which they do, then the editors will buy them. Now you might not think you can write, but remember that’s what an editor is for… editing. Let them do their job, they don’t need Hemingway, they need facts. If the readers aren't interested in what the magazine is putting out, the magazine won't sell, so give them something to work with.
Besides, if you’re willing to do the research, I can show you how to write (See the Freelancing Writing posts on this Blog). Article writing, the kind of writing generally used with photos entails facts. Which means observation, research and fact finding. This is where you, as a photographer, have the advantage!
First, you are to some degree already an observer. Second, you can supply ready-made photography involving whatever it is you're observing. Third, if you can research, either directly by asking questions or indirectly by using reference sources (i.e. the library, Internet, etc.), you can, together with whatever it is you've photographed, provide an editor with the “full meal deal”.
Yes, it pays to study the markets by reading the magazines and websites you submit your work to. But, ultimately the polishing process is the editor's job, not yours. So, if you want to improve your chances as a freelance photographer, study your markets and whenever you're out photographing something, look for an angle or idea, then use it as a written "Hook" on which to hang your pictures.
Finally, send your pictures to the Picture Editor of the magazine or website by finding the address in the publication itself or in the Directory of Trade Journals at your local library if the publication is not online or sold on newsstands.
To your success,