5 Freelance Photography Job Options

If you want to pursue a career in freelance photography, you might be interested in these 5 job options. As a freelance photographer, you have many choices available to you. You can open up your own studio, or you can hit the road, going to schools, weddings, sporting events, or other happenings around town. To begin, you may want to starts as a generalist, taking pictures of anything and everything that you think you can market, but ultimately you will want to specialize, since doing so will allow you to charge higher fees for your services. 

1- Studio Work

One of your options as a freelance photographer is to open your own portrait studio. Here you can take a pictures of families, do head shots for actors, and take posed portraits of brides. You might also do commercial work, taking pictures of models for magazines or products for businesses. You could even photograph people’s pets. The only limit to what you can photograph is your imagination. Working in your own studio has obvious benefits, since you are your own boss and can set your own hours, but it also has its drawbacks, since you will have the expense of the building, utilities and advertising. You may want to wait to get your own studio until after you already have an established clientele, since then you will have a better change of succeeding.

2- Schools and Sports

Every school and sports team has pictures taken of its class or players. Therefore, you can find work as a freelance photographer by offering your services to school districts and sports leagues. Just be aware that many already have deals established with other photographers; however, some will be willing to change either because they are dissatisfied with the previous services they have received or because you are offering a better deal. Just make sure that whatever you are charging makes you a profit, since you are in business to make money.

3- Magazines and Newspapers

Many magazines and newspapers hire freelance photographers to take pictures to go along with the stories they are running in their publications. To approach these publications, you can send some samples of your work to the editor. If they like what they see, they may hire you on spec (speculation) to take photographs of an upcoming event. You may be asked to photograph things like parades, high school football games, and folk festivals-just to name a few. If they like what they see, they will pay you for the rights to the picture. Make sure you know what the magazine or newspaper will pay you and exactly what rights you are selling. If you do a good job, you may just be commissioned to do future projects for that particular publication. A good place to find publications that accept photographs from freelancers is Writer’s Market.

4- Special Occasions

Another great niche for freelance photographers is to take pictures of special occasions like weddings, anniversaries, graduations, bar mitzvahs, and birthdays. Usually you will be asked to show up at a particular location at a certain time. In general, you will be asked to take both candid and set shots of the participants. Just make sure that you take all the pictures you are asked to take, especially by the person who hired you. You want to make sure your customer is satisfied so that, hopefully, he will refer you to others in the future.

5- Online Submissions

More and more websites are looking for photography for their clip art files, and with digital cameras, this market is wide open for talented freelancers. Just be aware that there is a great deal of competition and that only outstanding photographs will be chosen. So it’s important to know about angles, lighting and subject placement in order to have the best chance of selling your photographs. A couple of websites that buy photos are istockphoto.com and photostockplus.com, but there are many others, and with a little research, you should be able to find many markets for your work.

Another options you have as a freelancer is to seek out websites that will allow you to find clients who are looking for photographers. One such web site is www.ifreelance.com. For a small monthly fee, you can set up a profile to attract buyers. You can also actively bid on freelance photography jobs. So as you can see, there are numerous options available to you as a freelance photographer.